Answers to Foundation questions

Well here it is. I'm sick of editing it. :P

 1 How do you manage your time and that of others? 

Well at Intel I've had many roles that require not only time
management but knowing when it's something you can do and when
you need to delegate.  Workload management is pretty important in
a position like mine.  While it's not always perfect I generally
manage to make do and get things done.

 2 How are you going to treat your current Gnome work once you become 
   a foundation board member? Will it suffer?
   (towkMy )

Most of what I do is making sure that cvs is cleaned and learn
what changes are going on in the modules.  I also help out in
advocacy and helping to answer questions.  The largest contribution
this year has been setting up a successful GNOME booth at OSCON.
Where we were able to promote GNOME to businesses.  Talk to other
projects that were out there.

The good thing is that even though direct contributions to GNOME
is small I still have a fairly good perception on where it's
advantageous to place GNOME from large or small business settings
to schools to villagers in a far flung place.

 3 Which parts of the Gnome project do you think work well and would 
   like to encourage further?

Right off the bat, I want to say that the current CVS spatial
nautilus is just incredible.  Dave and Alex have been doing some
awesome work there.  Nautilus is the face of GNOME and what most
people (non-hackers) will interact most often.  The result I think
has been quite beautiful.  Overall, though every thing has improved
over time.

I'm particularly excited by some of the things that Curtis Hovey 
has been doing with Medusa the indexing daemon.  I think we'll
see some interesting stuff from him.  Gossip is another one 
that I think is an important core application to watch. 

I'd like to continue to encourage documentation and translators.  
They've been doing some good stuff and have worked really hard over
the years in getting their documentation infrastructure working.

They are the polish that a desktop needs to make it truly great.

 4 The GNOME team has been working on several features to promote use of 
   GNOME in small and medium business environments, which will potentially 
   deliver GNOME many users. What are you going to do to promote the use of 
   GNOME within these environments?

Well promotion can be done in any number of ways.  Personally,
I think giving out live cds with GNOME on it is a great way to get
exposure.  These CDs could be distributed at business conferences;
maybe sent to magazines and so forth.  When I organized the GNOME
booth it occured to me that there were lots of local business that
were coming in and I had no way to show them other than a live demo
what GNOME was capable of.  They should be able to go home and play
with these on their home computers regardless of what OS they have.

It's also important that we ask the press to review GNOME and
applications based on GNOME technologies in mainstream magazines.
For instance, reviews of gnumeric and abiword out in the trade
press would be excellent promotions.

Finally, target governments.  A lot of local businesses 
works a lot with the government and being able to get GNOME
into these smaller government offices will really help influence
purchases.  With government we are well poised because WTO rules
are forcing at least smaller countries to respect copyrights.

Providing free alternative quality applications that are supportable
is going to win converts.  In Vietnam for instance we are seeing
governments deploying PCs with Linux because local companies and
individuals cannot afford the licensing costs of closed software.
Work with the government of Vietnam and alert them that GNOME could
help here.  Same for Argentina and various others.  In the U.S.,
states like Oregon who are having budget concerns could consider
using a Free Software alternative to Windows.

Tim Ney and others are already doing this very same thing in 
the latin countries.

Finally, I think Mono is going to be a key technology here for
adoption.  With .NET GNOME will have access to more developers and
more software.  Perhaps we can finally also introduce Free Software
into the Windows world?

The edge that GNOME provides is accessibillity, good documentation,
translation, and finally HIG.   Oh yeah, the technology rocks too. :-)

 5 What do you see as current threats to the future of a complete Free 
   Software desktop? And what would you like the GNOME Foundation to be 
   doing to address these issues?

Software patents is probably the biggest concern we have in the
Free Software realm.  Any company with a large enough IP portfolio
can cripple us if it so wanted.

Gnome foundation already has someone to address these issues and
thats GNU.  Being part of the GNU we have recourse to council.
If you want to combat the threat, you'll have to petition the
government(s).  In the U.S. we are approaching an election year and
it's probably a great opportunity to approach presidential candidates 
see if they will support us.

Our other threat of course is lack of developers and volunteers.
We need to continue to make sure that we have new blood.  Otherwise,
it leads to stagnation and lack of fresh ideas and direction.

GNOME doesn't put any emphasis on bright shiny cool stuff that it's
harder for them to get some developers because after all a desktop
with out a lot of options is boring and getting pendantic about HIG 
can be frustrating if you don't understand the reasoning behind it. 
Maybe there is truth in that or maybe it's hogwash but it's my opinion.
Call it a feeling or a hunch.  I'm funny that way.

The other is documentation.  If you want to learn something you have
to slog through either the source, look at source code of another
application, or guess on what the API's do because there are
holes in the API documentation.  We've been making strides but 
we still need to do more.  A lot of us are weekend code warriors and
it really is hard to sometimes pick things up without some sort of 

 6 What ideas, if any, do you have regarding GNOME and the rest of the 
   world (as in not USA and other "central" countries) ?

Please see the answer to the previous question.  GNOME proliferation
can be done by hilighting the fact that the WTO is practically
pushing Free Software onto non "central" countries.  Countries can
comply with the copyright provisions of the WTO and be able to
join it.  It would be delicious justice. :-)

We currently already GUADEC but perhaps we should consider a Latin
conference as well.  We seem to have a following in South America 
and maybe getting it's members to set things up would be great.

 7 What is your commitment to transparency and open books? Given this 
   commitment what steps will you take over the next year to realize 
   your vision?

I'm having some trouble answering this question.
Mostly because I don't know why things aren't transparent now.
Maybe there are good reasons why things aren't revealed today?
I'd like open and transparent foundation.

Things I would like to see that are open and transparent:

* GNOME foundation finances (within reason finances are always touchy)
* General idea where technologies are going
* More meat on what is discussed on GNOME foundation meetings.

My main reason to push it is because it gets people involved.
The foundation list only gets traffic around election time but
it's not really a high traffic site.  What do people get for
being a member in gnome-foundation and have yearly elections?
It's beyond me.  Maybe exclusive GNOME parties at USENET. :-)

 8 What would you do to increase community participation in the GNOME 
   community and GNOME elections?

I should read all the questions before answering them.  :-)  Like I
said in the above question I believe that transparency and having
real issues to discuss builds a community.  What's the foundation
made of today?

* Core developers
* Translators
* Documentors
* Fringe dabblers
* Bug fixers 
* Application writers

So you have this group here all in a mailing list.  You tell me?  What would
you do with it?  I'd be bringing things like :

* What would be cool features that application writers would want?
* Hows our documentation?  Any holes?
* Looking for volunteers to help with xxx?

Non-technical issues should be brought up in foundation list as well.

 9 Do you have any thoughts on how to expand the developer base?

Well, I think we should be showcasing some of the things we are
currently developing.  I remember reading the State of GNOME report
that Uraeus used to put out once a week about what was all going on.
That was fun to read because you could see what new things that
developers were working on.  It certainly made me want to pitch in.
The State of GNOME stuff used to show up in a number of places like
linuxnews and lwn and so forth.  We need to do more of that.

Besides there are other people we want other than just developers.
I'm sure the documentation team would like more people to help out
in documentation and more translators too.  Gnome in Swahili? :-)

10 [Long introduction I hesitate to summarise, but I believe the gist
   of the question to be] how do you propose to fix the lack of apparent 
   structure or direction which causes a loss of momentum?

I disagree that there is a lack of structure or direction.  If we
had no direction or structure we would not have gotten as far as
we have today.  Generally, direction and tone for each release has
been set at GUADEC and during conferences like the Boston Summit.
There is a mass of ideas and presentations made and it's here GNOME
decides where it wants to go.

Structure is hard to enforce on a volunteer run'd organization.
While yes we can structure certain things like hardware
infrastructure and how we go about submitting patches or what not.
But you generally have to come up with what works best for your
portion fo the project.

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