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To: gentoo-nfp <gentoo-nfp@g.o>
From: "William L. Thomson Jr." <wltjr@g.o>
Subject: Re: Council=CTO or Executive Board? [was: Re: Re: Re: Foundation reinstated]
Date: Mon, 19 May 2008 20:29:58 -0400
On Mon, 2008-05-19 at 19:55 -0400, Richard Freeman wrote:
> William L. Thomson Jr. wrote:
> > 
> > Put it like this, Council answers to devs. Foundation answers to
> > community. At some point the council should answer to the Foundation as
> > well. Otherwise the community has no voice, only developers.
> > 
> 
> I think we need to be careful here.  I wouldn't say that the Foundation 
> answers to the community or represents the community.  Rather, I'd say 
> that the Foundation serves the community.  The community is our mission 
> - not our source of authority.

It's a little of both. Less we forget the community are a couple of
things, users, sponsors, donors, etc. Most all devs start out as users,
so answering to the community and being accountable there is important.
But granted only part of the mission, not the entire mission.

> The reason this concerns me is that we really need to avoid an 
> us-against-them mentality.

There is none of that. No political parties etc. Just the one Gentoo :)
Dev's are part of the community. Just in a form, that they can remain a
member of the foundation long after they are no longer a dev if they so
choose. Depending on how the bylaws are updated and if there is a term
limit put there.

>   The devs are all volunteers and we can't 
> really afford to have those who aren't volunteering perceived as issuing 
> orders to those who are volunteering.

Delegation and asking people to do things as part of structure is
normal. Ever help out at a food kitchen? Ever or other types of
volunteering? Usually there is someone directing the action. I won't go
so far as to say boss, but they are calling the shots and delegating.

>   I think the role of the 
> Foundation is to inspire the devs to do what is right - not to order 
> them to do so.  I think most devs have respect for the effort the 
> trustees are putting into getting the Foundation running and what it 
> stands for.

Gentoo is not 100% the developer base. I was a user before I was a
developer, and my history as user is still longer than my history as a
developer. If/when I retire, unless there is something better than
Gentoo. I will still run it, and be a member of the community.

>   As a result, I think that the Foundation will be heard when 
> it speaks, at least more so than a bunch of end-users who are perceived 
> as always asking for more but never giving back.  (I use the word 
> "perceived" as I know the reality is more complex.)

The foundation was essentially supposed to do allot of things for Gentoo
it never has. So it will be heard, seen, and have an influence unlike
before.

> I couldn't have said this better.  There have been those who have 
> recently been looking towards the trustees to essentially make the devs 
> fall into line, and I think that what you've said emphasizes the balance 
> and care required to make the distro a success.

All things require a balance. Thus creating a better hierarchy with
checks and balances. So that all are represented in an equal and fair
manner. All can be heard, have influence, etc. Gentoo can be all it can
be :)

-- 
William L. Thomson Jr.
amd64/Java/Trustees
Gentoo Foundation

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References:
Council=CTO or Executive Board? [was: Re: Re: Re: Foundation reinstated]
-- Steve Long
Re: Council=CTO or Executive Board? [was: Re: Re: Re: Foundation reinstated]
-- William L. Thomson Jr.
Re: Council=CTO or Executive Board? [was: Re: Re: Re: Foundation reinstated]
-- Richard Freeman
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Updated Jun 17, 2009

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