Gentoo Archives: gentoo-nfp

From: "William L. Thomson Jr." <wltjr@g.o>
To: gentoo-nfp <gentoo-nfp@l.g.o>
Subject: Re: [gentoo-nfp] Council=CTO or Executive Board? [was: Re: Re: Re: Foundation reinstated]
Date: Mon, 19 May 2008 20:57:57
In Reply to: [gentoo-nfp] Council=CTO or Executive Board? [was: Re: Re: Re: Foundation reinstated] by Steve Long
On Mon, 2008-05-19 at 21:36 +0100, Steve Long wrote:
> > Yeah but I disagree that the Council is limited to CTO, since the whole pupose > of Gentoo is to develop software. I'd argue the Trustees are a Supervisory > Board, and the Council an Executive Board within the two-tier model.
CTO is an executive position and title. Given full control over R&D, technology, technical direction, etc. But the council is not over the foundation wrt to hierarchy. It's supposed to be a subsidiary board. For example, Council dictates to infra. But infra lacks what they need to make council happy. Decision to approve/fund, lies with foundation. So who's the top? ( not meant in terms of power ) Something happens technically and Gentoo is sued. Does council then step in and represent Gentoo. No the foundation does, and take full blame and responsibility for councils actions or etc. In a case like the present, where the council is to be replaced per some policy. There is no entity over the council to see that through. Because of our current structure. Nor are there any checks or balances. More to the point that this hurts Gentoo technically. While companies like Redhat can partner with say Intel. Making sure their stuff is certified on Intel hardware. There would need to be liaisons if that was to happen for Gentoo. Like say the council says we want to support Intel's newest yet to be released chipset. They mention that to the board/officers. Whom then in turn contact Intel and facilitate a vendor relationship. Which is then handed back to the council, to see through technically. Again normal organization like you would see in any normal business entity. Which the Gentoo Foundation is a business entity, so should have some structure to reflect that. Given how chaotic at times our existing structure is, or lack there of. I can see it making a huge difference in the long run.
> The portage team strike me more as the CTO in that setup though I admit your > knowledge of these titles outweighs mine ;)
What does the portage team have to do wrt to R&D, or technical direction of Gentoo as a whole? Portage is just one piece of the pie, that the council oversees, decides the recipe, and bakes. Thus CTO, there is no one beyond the CTO on technical matters. They are the top, and they report in layman's to the CEO/Officers, and board at times if they are split. For decisions that might involve them or to simply keep them informed or in the loop. 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. Although the Foundation, board/officers, will never dictate to the council/CTO on technical matters. At best only suggest, based on the will of the community, vendors, or etc. What the council does from there, is up to them. As it is now. Because after all they know what is best technically, and that's their call to make in the end. -- William L. Thomson Jr. amd64/Java/Trustees Gentoo Foundation


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