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Roundup: GNOME Foundation Board CandidatesNov 08, 2003, 15:00 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Brian Proffitt)
The GNOME Foundation Membership & Elections Committee has announced the close of nominations for the 2003 elections for the Foundation's Board of Directors.
Thirteen candidates have been nominated for 11 board positions. They have provided their platform statements on why they feel they should be elected to the GNOME Foundation's Board of Directors. Linux Today is reprinting these statements to give Foundation members and the rest of the community an idea of who wants to guide the direction of GNOME and its Foundation in the near future.
The preliminary list of the candidates running for the Foundation's Board of Directors are listed below. Candidates have until 2359 UTC Sunday, November 9 to submit their entries, so it is possible there will be additions to this list and the platform statements as that dealine approaches.
Michael Meeks (Novell)
Ballots will be e-mailed to all eligible voters on November 21, 2003, and must be returned by December 5, 2003, 2359 UTC.
Name: Jonathan Blandford
Affiliation: Red Hat, Inc.
I am a long-time member of the GNOME community, and an employee of Red Hat, Inc. Having been active on the Board for two years and treasurer for the past year, I am aiming to serve again.
Hi, I'm Jonathan. My experience in the GNOME community is as follows:
Being treasurer has been enlightening. It has taken some time for me to fully come to grips with all the nuances involved. Moving to the Boston area has given me much more of an opportunity to keep in contact with Tim Ney, our Executive Director. Being treasurer from a different state was very hard -- it has proven invaluable to be able to go over the books in person.
For the coming year, my main goal is to make GNOME more financially secure. I aim to build an endowment, so that we will always have the funds to sponsor events such as GUADEC regardless of the fluctuations in the world economy. I want to make sure that we end the board this year in a better financial state than we started it.
Name: "Captain" Dave Camp
During my senior year of high school, I was the rally commissioner in student council. I brought heavy metal to the pep rallies. It was totally awesome. I want to bring heavy metal to the GNOME Foundation Board. Figuratively, I mean. Not actual heavy metal. That would make the phone calls annoying.
What do I do now? I work for Ximian's Desktop Team. I maintain Nautilus, along with Alex. I do some printing work. Lately I've been doing more travelling than I'd like to, going to various places talking to Novell about GNOME.
Why do I want to do this? I care about GNOME, and I care about its success and adoption. The board is starting to play a crucial role in this - getting the developers together with each other (fund raising), and getting the developers together with customers (marketing). And the board is a good group of people, that I really enjoy working with.
Please vote for me.
Name: Glynn Foster
Affiliation: Sun Microsystems Inc.
I'm not in this for the glamour, the title or girls. I'm not in this to feel popular if I get voted. I'm not in this so that I can sit on the board and avoid the real work. I'm not in this so that I can fanboy the other board members. I want to help the GNOME Project achieve, and I will donate my time and energy to make the ideas become a reality.
I am a 25 year old Irishman, currently working remotely on Sun's Java Desktop System in New Zealand. I have been involved in the GNOME project for 3 years and was a member of the Foundation Board last year. I helped in bringing GU4DEC to Dublin, wrote 'battfink' and 'zenity', and sometimes maintain 'gnome-utils', among other things.
Although I am employed by Sun as a developer, I am not bringing those skills to the table .
The Foundation Board's motto has always been something like 'We have so many ideas, we just don't have the time'. If you don't have the time, you should not run for the GNOME Foundation Board. The board is about a group of passionate people wanting to see GNOME evolve and succeed. For the most part, it's an amazingly unglamourous role but it does have its benefits. I have the time, the passion and honesty to say that I am running for the board to get the ideas turned into reality, not for my ego or the directorship title.
I believe in consistency, and believe that it's crucially important as we move forward, especially at Foundation Board level. When I look back at the archived meeting minutes, I sometimes ask myself
'Did we actually achieve anything this year?'
Perhaps the answer is
'Not as much as we wanted to'
but from a board perspective we've created a better understanding of what we are trying to achieve, where we are trying to go and more fundamentally a better structure and synergy to work from.
 Or lack of them ;)
Name: Nat Friedman
Affiliation: Novell, Inc. Baby.
Vote for me because I care deeply about the success of the foundation, GNOME, and the open source dekstop; because I've devoted the last five years of my life to advancing the Linux desktop; because I believe that we are engaged in a peaceful and bloodless revolution to end poverty, hunger and disempowerment; and because I will keep pushing until we have won.
Also in some circles I am known as "the lambada king."
I served as chairman of the GNOME Foundation's board for the last year. In my 2002 candidacy statement, I summarized my achievements for the previous year:
In the last twelve months, I did the following things:
And I cheered on the sidelines as Jim Gettys led the charge to get the Bitstream Vera fonts open sourced.
Reading over my candidacy statement for last year, I still agree with what I said there, goal-wise. The foundation needs more money so it can help the project better, and the foundation needs to make better use of the money it has.
Substantial improvements need to be made to our fundraising processes. We've started some of that this year, with Friends of GNOME and more aggressive recruitment of advisory board members. This can be improved further. The Mozilla foundation charges more than 10x what we do per year for membership. We also could reallocate our cash disbursement to greater advantage to the project.
Next year, I plan to push harder on our fundraising efforts, and have more of the cash directly and visibly benefit the project; bounty hunts, paying for web site work, flying hackers to conferences, subsidizing summits, and so on.
Feel the love,
Name: Jody Goldberg
Affiliation: Novell/Ximian/HelixCode/IGS (note to self : see what we're called)
I'd like to keep a focus on GNOME development and improving our platform. Co-existing with other projects is useful, but it would be far more effective if the disparate efforts could share a platform, rather than writing bridges between. In my opinion the Getty's 'Drain the swamp' doctrine makes activities like, freedesktop.org, and small share-able libraries like libgsf good contenders for pulling communities together.
Name: Bill Haneman
Affiliation: Sun Microsystems
I'd like to put myself forward for re-election to the GNOME Foundation Board of Directors for another term.
I think it takes awhile for a newly-elected Board member to get traction on issues, so I think a certain degree of continuity from year-to-year in the Board is very important. I also believe that I represent GNOME positively in attendances at various FOSS and accessibility conferences and represent the interests of the GNOME community well in Board meetings. The current Board has been reasonably successful at handling some of the key issues that fall outside the day-to-day GNOME development activities, like GNOME branding and outreach, and organizational duties. That said, I think there's room for improvement in the effectiveness of the Foundation Board and in my own contribution, and I'd like to have the opportunity to work hard to multiply our effectiveness in these areas. It's been an exciting year for GNOME, let's make sure that we make the most of it. I think the Board has a key role to play in serving as a conduit between the Advisory Board and the core GNOME developer community (a role which I think has been neglected of late), in looking for ways to protect and improve the visibility of the GNOME 'brand' (i.e. 'GNOME inside', the foot logo) and coordinate developer and user events, and generally holding the GNOME banner high.
Fortunately there has been little reason for the Board to get too involved in policy issues regarding the 'direction of GNOME' over the past year; I think that's as it should be. On the other hand I think the Foundation Board may be in a good position to facilitate and improve communication between the Advisory Board and the developer community which is the heart of the project. As GNOME gains visibility and "market share", and is used in new and larger contexts, we need to keep the flow of information going between the development and end-user communities, and unite them where possible.
As a co-maintainer of atk. at-spi, gnome-mag, gok, and other GNOME modules, I am a very active GNOME hacker; as a presenter at a number of conferences and an architect of the GNOME accessibility project I am also focussed on the 'big picture' of "GNOME for everyone". As such I believe I am well qualified to make what I hope will be an increasing contribution to the Board.
Name: Michael Meeks
Affiliation: Novell Inc.
On the board I would push for closer integration with other parts of the Free software desktop, particularly OpenOffice.org. I'm also concerned that Gnome stays a meritocracy and yet has a coherent strategy for companies to invest in. I'm interested in the board and it's organs promulgating only non-invasive decisions.
Of course - my real reasons are more related to wanting to pay less for the pure joy of contributing to endless confused ramblings on the phone [ or something ;-].
Vote early, vote often, vote for me ! ;->
Name: Leslie Proctor
Affiliation: Not Given
I'd like to throw my hat in to the election process.
I've been working with GNOME since the very beginning--I did the media relations around the launch of GNOME. That hooked me and I've been an active member since then.
Having a marketing dweeb on the board has some advantages - most importantly, I look at things through different eyes. If I were a member of the board, I could spot potential marketing opportunities early and more often. I wouldn't have to play catch up as often as I do (which is pretty much always) and could take full advantage of our accomplishments to make some noise for ourselves.
I can also be useful in fund raising - I have a great deal of experience in this arena as well.
Most importantly - I'm a good team player, am very diplomatic and I communicate well.
Guess that's it.
Name: Sriram Ramkrishna
Affiliation: Intel Corporation
Having been convinced to run. I'm running for Foundation Board of Directors. I believe my background as a softare engineer at Intel Corporation will provide experience and a different outlook from others who have backgrounds more devoted directly to Linux and the desktop.
I'm also a damn good socialite. :-)
Has noted above I work as a Unix Systems Engineer at Intel working with microprocesor designers for the past 7 years. I've been working on Unix Computer systems since the late 80s and have dealt with a variety of different kind of systems.
I've been involved with GNOME since nearly the beginnign probably sometime after the 0.5 release. So about 5 years or so.
Contributions to GNOME:
You're going to have forgive me on this. As I said earlier, I hadn't quite planned on running but apparently people seem to like the idea of me running. :-)
The short answer is that I believe we need to continue with making the desktop an easy to use experience. Make working on Unix a dream. That means working on getting things like DBUS into our framework, implementing HAL etc.
We need to continue to evangelize GNOME in companies. Especially now with Europe, Latin America, and Asian countries moving towards Free Software.
Finally I think we need to get more developers and people interested in the foundation. Just from our current list of candidates we see that we do not have enough candidates. That might be a signal that interest is waning or people are not feeling encouraged to join and participate.
Name: Owen Taylor
Affiliation: Red Hat, Inc.
I'd like to use the experience I have in the technical and organizational side of GNOME to continue the good work the current board has done in moving things forward smoothly, sort out remaining sticky areas, promote cooperation with other parts of the free software world to solve problems for users, and expand the visibility of GNOME in the broader computing world.
Introduction and background:
I've been working at Red Hat on GTK+ and GNOME since 1998 and using and hacking on free software for just over 10 years now. I won't claim to have had the vision to see how far Linux, GTK+, and GNOME would have come by now, but I'm glad to have played a part in getting them there.
Contributions to GNOME:
A few of the directions for GNOME I'd like to see in the next year.
Name: Malcolm Tredinnick
So why me....
The past twelve months has seen GNOME gain some serious traction in the world at large. That is something it is encouraging to see. I would like to help push that further. In particular, I would like to help assist more developers to build applications using the GNOME platform. More third party applications that Just Work is good for everybody. Sometimes I think the GNOME developers' group put less priority on that goal than may be necessary.
The board has already made great steps towards involving large corporations. It would be nice to take that to the smaller groups as well; the sort of people who cannot necessarily go to GUADEC each year or spend a lot of time reading GNOME development lists.
Looking over the minutes for the past twelve months, I am alternately disappointed and pleased with the work that is public enough to announce in the minutes. It seems the loose group of people that create GNOME (developers, administrators, artists, the works...) are on the verge of becoming very coordinated in the face presented to the outside world. But not quite there yet. A few things got dropped, some publicity opportunities were missed. Hopefully with a few different agitators on the board, combined with some of the experienced members, the new enthusiasm can help push a few more of these things into action.
I started playing with GNOME as a user back in early 1999 (just before 1.0 came out, from memory) and began to contribute as a bug fixer and general nuisance on mailing lists and IRC in mid-2000. In my day-to-day job, I work with a bunch of people who are generic GNOME users -- they are comfortable using their computers and they want things to work in a way that helps them get things done. They don't care about what happens under the covers to make this happen. They do care (and apparently expect me to care as well) when things are unpleasant for them. The motivational issues for me here are strong and I believe I have a realistic awareness of how our products are perceived by general users. My day job does not involve any GNOME development at all -- it is all a free-time gig for me.
I have experience serving on large and small committees, including those that influence events at a national level.
Oh, and one more point: being on a board with both the Lambada King and somebody who wants us to use more Heavy Metal is a motivational factor: Heavy Lambada is a dance crazy whose time has come, I think.
Name: Luis Villa
Affiliation: Novell, Inc.
74 word 'why me':
In the past year on the board, I feel like I've accomplished a fair amount- I've been able to represent the board and GNOME in a few places I might not have otherwise, I've helped organize the upcoming summit, and I've chipped in in a lot of little ways, like polishing the budget and working for more open finances in general.
That said, I've learned far more about what I don't know than anything else. To that end, I've been reading a lot on how foundations work in the rest of the non-profit world, how boards and executive directors can market non-profits, and other such. [I'd intended to take a Harvard Business School class on non-profits, but my travels to Utah and India prevented that. :/ I still bought the whole reading list. :)] So... my goals for the new year:
Basically, I think if I achieve the previous two goals, I'll have had a succesful year as a board member- I think each will have significant impact on how we work and what we achieve. But there are a couple of other things I'd like to work on if the first two can be achieved easily and early.
Anyway, this has already gotten too long :) There are other things I want to do/talk about, but they are subsidiary- these are, IMHO, the most important things the board can focus on in the upcoming year, and by making them explicit personal tasks as opposed to nebulous board-wide goals, I hope to make sure that they really happen.
Name: Jeff Waugh
Affiliation: Flow Communications
I love GNOME. I am passionate, motivated, and dedicated to building our success, both outwardly - a foot on every desktop; and inwardly - making sure our developer and user communities are rocking all the time. I have a strong and involved presence on the Board. I am an active member of the community without affiliation with the major GNOME contributing companies, and can strike a balance between these sometimes conflicting positions. Lastly, I am here to help GNOME rock.
The "Who Am I?" bit:
The "Why Should You Vote For Me?" bit:
The "Other Stuff" bit:
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