The GNOME Foundation
help the progress of the GNOME project by coordinating releases,
representing the project to the rest of the world, producing documentation,
and more. The board which directs the Foundation currently has seven open
slots, to be filled by an election ending on December 16. There are
for those seven slots. A look at some of the things the
candidates are saying gives an interesting view into the issues which are
driving the GNOME project this year.
If you are a rock star hacker (or a busy non-rock star hacker at
work), you will not be a good Board member. Don't think that you
can squeeze in a couple hours each week; you won't be able to. In
the Board you have to do little tasks like answer mails, take
minutes, send minutes to the public, be in contact with the
companies in the Advisory Board, make plans, etc. If you wouldn't
normally have time to participate in a volunteer organization where
you do paperwork, the Board is not fit for you.
-- Federico Mena Quintero
(not a candidate)
I would like to see us hire a bugmaster to
ensure that downstream distros benefit from their collective work. I
would like to hire a full-time editorial resource for our user and
developer websites. I would like to see the foundation invest heavily in
documentation, and ensure that high-quality, up-to-date, printed
documentation exists for the platform and for users. I would like to see
the foundation invest also in marketing, listening to ISDs, distributors
and users and ensuring that that feedback gets fed back into the
-- David Neary
More specifically, as a Board member I would like to focus on the GNOME
Brand - the verbal and visual manifestation of what GNOME is all about -
GNOME's personality. I will continue to drive our brand's definition via
the brand book (regardless) and once finished, make it easy for others
to use and spread GNOME by driving the development and organization of
consistent collateral. I would also love to help in any way I can to
fully address our trademark concerns so we can confidentially make use
of our brand.
-- Máirín Duffy
As a board member I like to see we get the
revamped website online, and the online store become a reality. I also
want to see the Foundation have better writers, possibly funded by the
foundation. I want to help better documenting board's events and
procedures, and make sure incoming board email is processed as fast as
-- Behdad Esfahbod
Here's what I want to do if I'm elected. It's no big things, but
important stuff: make sure that people who mail the board have an answer
in less than 2 days, send as much informations as possible to the
membership about what's happening (I do not feel the minutes we send are
enough), push to delegate stuff.
-- Vincent Untz
Hire a business development manager for the GNOME Foundation, to raise
funds and manage our organisational relationships. I am particularly keen
on this, because a bizdev manager for the GNOME Foundation will be able
to better manage the operational side of my crazy ideas.
-- Jeff Waugh
I think it's important to keep a steady flow of funds from the advisory board
members. I don't really have much of an idea of the current situation regarding
finances in what areas we're spending or raising money.
-- Glynn Foster
Someone inside the European Union is pushing white papers,
recommendations and similar documents since years. We need to be part of
this effort and position ourselves in order to be in the right place
when the reports lead to planning processes, design and implementation
of real policies and migrations in the public sector.
-- Quim Gil
Certainly getting involved with the board shouldn't
require technical knowledge. But there is a need to
plan the development of Gnome, and I'm not sure who is
doing this. The last few releases have lacked
direction, features are added without consideration of
their integration into the desktop and future
development, and hard decisions are not being taken.
If not the board, then who?
-- Joachim Noreiko
Right now, some GNOME hackers are targeting OLPC for a port of their
application, but we are not actively developing for that. I think OLPC is
doing a lot of innovation, and GNOME can be a
bigger part of it.
-- Sara Khalatbari
I think embedded and targeted devices is en exciting new area where GNOME
has been going to in the last year. From the 770 to the OLPC and gps
devices GNOME tech is being spread well past the desktop. The cool thing
about these areas is that they allow for more focused development than a
general desktop does. What this does is make the general desktop better
because tech developed in the embedded market is in many cases huge wins
for the desktop. We need to make sure we don't fork GNOME but instead
create an environment where embedded developers contribute back to upstream
and where upstream is open to the stuff the embedded developers and
-- John Palmieri
The board should deal with, and point out important issues in time.
Which means that we as community together should prepare ourselves well
ahead of time.
Licenses, open standards, software patents, free competition, privacy,
and freedom of choice are issues I care deeply for. Along with access
to, and sharing of freedom, knowledge, and information.
-- Anne Østergaard
That's one statement from each candidate (in no particular order). A few
more quotes caught your editor's attention as highlighting other themes in
Much like our focus on
usability and the release process, issues related to Software Freedom figure
prominently in GNOME's trial-by-fire introduction to development (something
we need to improve). We face a tougher time with our users because we don't
usually have a direct relationship with them - we must work with and through
our distributors to make sure users understand and hopefully value Software
-- Jeff Waugh
What freedoms exactly?
The computer users I know can't code. What are they
going to with the source code they have the freedom to
And free as in beer makes no difference to them: they
either got their Windows XP with their Dell, or from a
bloke they know with a CD burner.
Freedoms that you can't exercise are meaningless.
-- Joachim Noreiko
I've been focusing on another market for a while now (more seriously in the
last year) which is not entirely standard fare for us: mobile and embedded.
This is a massive, growing market, more open to newcomers than the desktop
market (thanks to our favourite monopolist incumbents), and we have a bunch
of fascinating advantages in this space. It's a huge opportunity to take
Free Software to *vastly* more people, faster than we've done so far, and to
spur further investment in our developer platform (there are already more
developers contributing to our platform for embedded use than desktop use).
-- Jeff Waugh
All GNOME Foundation members should have the information they need to
vote. May the best candidates win.
to post comments)