Re: Questions for candidates

I think the fundamental idea - that package maintainers have the final
call on code changes, and others must earn the respect of the package
maintainers to have influence - can't really change within the
framework of a volunteer community.  You can't really impose rules on
a volunteer community.  "Ownership," over concrete things (code trees)
is about the most complicated rule that can really be imposed
institutionally - multi-disciplinary directional strategy has to be
arrived at culturally.  But within this model, there is a lot of room to

First, you need to be clear on where that model applies.  Maintainership
is on a module level, not a GNOME-wide level.  DV has no more control
over the direction of epiphany than marco does on libxml.  Any
influence *anybody* has on the direction of GNOME as a whole is
through earned respect and sound ideas, and that respect is not tied
to maintainership (although maintainership can be a way to earn it).

>From a project-wide perspective, it's hard to defend the idea that the
maintainers are the only ones that decide the project's direction.
The release and UI teams have made bigger sweeping changes than almost
any maintainer-driven initiatives.  In day-to-day development work,
there are non-maintainers who have as much ability to influence a
given module as anyone else.

I think that GNOME has a culture that recognizes the contributions of
non-coders.  And given a fundamental respect for the contributions,
anyone has the ability to earn an active role in the direction of
GNOME.  But I think that there is sometimes a feeling of helplessness in
the non-maintainer communities.  I suspect that it mostly stems from the
fact that there is an established path to individual respect as a
coder, and not in some of the other disciplines.  So perhaps the next
step to changing the culture is to start looking at ways to establish
that path for non-developers.  But my mail has gone on for long enough
now, I think :)

Have fun,

On Tue, 2003-11-18 at 08:19, Pat Costello wrote:
> I think that the time has come to look at the identity of the GNOME Desktop, and the GNOME community. For example, I went to a presentation at GU4DEC in Dublin, where the following points were made [to summarize]: 
> - The real decision-making power in the GNOME community lies with that group of people who build the core packages. This group will define the direction of the GNOME Desktop. Nobody else, just this group. 
> - There are other people who are not core-package builders who have done good work for the Desktop, and have therefore gained respect. However, these people are ancillary and do not have direction-influencing roles. This is not necessarily a view of how things should be, just a reflection of how things are. 
> - The future lies in individual volunteerism. The involvement of companies is only good in the short-term but is not good for the long-term future. 
> Others can correct me if I got hold of the wrong end of the stick, but that's what I took away from the presentation. I thought that the above points and values might have been good in the startup phase of the GNOME community, but that for the Desktop to achieve maturity, to thrive and prosper, and to rival commercial Desktops, then a broader, more inclusive set of shared values has to emerge. Directional strategy must be a multi-disciplinary activity, involving people who are experts in their
> relevant fields, and the more key disciplines that are involved in the directional strategy the better. My opinion, of course, as a non-core-package-builder. 
> If the above points are in fact the shared values of the community, then you can dismiss my opinion. The majority of the community might in fact want to retain these values into the future, cheerfully and consciously accepting any implications that might have for limited growth and potential. So the first question to the candidates, as far as I am concerned is: are these your shared values? 
> On the other hand, if there are other people in the community who think that the time has come to change the focus, then the question for the candidates is, what do you think the shared values of the community should be? 
> Pat
> Glynn Foster wrote:
> > 
> > Hey,
> > 
> > > So it is now over a week since Telsa posted these. Ballots go out in a
> > > few days and only three people have sent in answers. This doesn't leave
> > > a lot of time for debate. :-(
> > 
> > Okay, so now that I'm done with answering the questions, time to ask
> > some questions ;)
> > 
> > As mentioned in a bunch of people's statements of last year's board
> > candidates, they almost all share the 'we didn't achieve much'
> > implication. Did we actually achieve something as a foundation this
> > year? What is the perception out there for this year's successes and
> > failures? Sometimes it's pretty hard to know if we're doing the right
> > thing - since the foundation is pretty much a thankless task.
> > 
> > Sun, like many other companies I'm sure, has this set of goals for each
> > year - more often than not, a simple list of 10 big goals which are
> > pretty well mapped out. I feel that the GNOME Foundation should also
> > adopt this idea, and create a public list of 10 things that the
> > Foundation wants/needs to achieve for the coming year. It would not only
> > give a good indication of the progress being made by the board each
> > year, it would also be a good indication of where we're going, and how
> > we're doing as a project. What would those 10 big goals be?
> > 
> > Discuss ;)
> > 
> > Glynn
> > 
> > _______________________________________________
> > foundation-list mailing list
> > foundation-list gnome org
> >
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