Foundations summit

gnome Comments Off on Foundations summit

Tomorrow morning, I will be flying to Amsterdam for the foundations summit – a meeting of representatives of a bunch of free software based non-profits. So far, the Motley Bunch of organisations who will be represented are:

  • GNOME Foundation
  • The Perl Foundation
  • Blender Foundation
  • ObjectWeb
  • Classpath
  • Plone Foundation
  • YAPC Europe
  • OSI
  • Web 2.0 (OK, Chris, you’re not a non-profit, but we love you anyway)
  • Creative Commons International
  • Mozilla Foundation
  • Stichting NLnet
  • Benetech
  • Python Software Foundation
  • KDE e.V.
  • ASF

This is something I’ve been working on for a while now, and we deliberately kept it low-key to build up trust to talk about sensitive and confidential issues, and also to avoid a low SNR early on. But after a good start, and after over 6 months of good communication, the list is a really useful ressource, and word has started to get out – which is great.

We have a wiki, a mailing list with a growing membership, and this will be the second summit of its kind (I wasn’t at the last one).

We plan to talk about stuff which is essential to most non-profits, and which we all suck at mostly – governance, trademarks, legal frameworks, making sure the foundation fits into the community, and doesn’t try to dominate it. And also areas where we can better co-operate – on infrastructure, legal and accounting problems, for example.

Having a network of people in various organisations who are all friends and know what’s going on, and who can help solve each other’s problems, makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

I also plan to pop in to Bar Camp and see what those guys are up to. It should be lots of fun.

Nokia 770

gnome, maemo 10 Comments

I joined the growing club of people who received their Nokia 770 today. Woohoo!

I didn’t manage to get the bluetooth to work with the mac, and I don’t have wifi set up on my freebox, so for the moment there’s not much I can do with it, but that’s not going to stop me from playing.

Before and after

gnome 2 Comments

Before: GNOME stand 2004

After: GNOME stand 2005

What a difference a year makes.

Making passionate users

General Comments Off on Making passionate users

Following on from what Vincent said, here’s a link from “Creating Passionate Users” on featuritis – try to figure out where GNOME is on the curve. And another one on Easter eggs

Another post on “Creating Passionate Users” suggests that passion implies polarisation. And that got me thinking that Nicholas Petreley and Mango Parfait over at Tux Magazine are probably two of the best friends that GNOME has right now.

Look at the comments on their letters page – people hate GNOME. And they love GNOME. It’s great! In the last issue of Tux, half the published reader’s comments were on KDE vs GNOME, mostly GNOME users defending their desktop from the big mean TUXies.

Blog title

General 2 Comments

Apparently the Captain Beefheart reference in my blog title was too obscure (“Fast and Bulbous” recurs a few times during Trout Mask Replica), and some people thought it was rude.

So welcome to Safe as Milk, which lacks subtlety, but surely won’t have anyone calling me a pervert.

Free as in…?

General 1 Comment

When Jonathan Scharz talks about free software, I can’t help but wonder whether he’s talking about free as in beer, or free as in freedom.

Almost there

gnome Comments Off on Almost there

The petition for a referendum on board size is up to 33 signatories, just 4 shy of the 37 needed to call a referendum.

As Bill Hanneman and others pointed out on foundation-list, signing the petition doesn’t necessarily mean that you favour the change. It does mean that you feel this is an issue that should be discussed and voted by the foundation membership.

For those still wondering why this is a good idea, please have a read of the posts by Luis Villa and myself on foundation-list. Between them, they summarise a lot of the reasons why I think this will be a net positive for the foundation.

Update 11 Oct: The petition now has 43 foundation member signatories and 4 people who aren’t (yet?) members. I’ve asked Vincent Untz to put the process in motion, and we should have a calendar for this referendum this week. Thanks to all those who signed up. I will post the full list to foundation-list for completeness later today.

A recent arrival

gnome 1 Comment

A few days ago I got a big package in the mail…

The box

There was a lot of stuff inside.

The stuff

Here’s what the cover looks like.

The cover

And there’s two, four, six, eight, ten, eleven! whole pages dedicated to the best free software desktop experience around.

Page 1-2 Page 2-3 Page 5-6 Page 7-8 Page 9-10 Page 11

Many thanks to Fleur Brosseau at Linux Pratique for providing us with the magazines, and 50 LiveCDs that we will be giving out on the GNOME-fr stand at the JDLLs, to Marcus Bauer and Luis Villa for the huge amount of work they put into the Live CD, to Davyd Madeley for his rocking summary of the new stuff in GNOME 2.12 and to Ken Vandine and Laurent Richard for writing and translating Audio CD ripping and burning in GNOME.

Welcome, OpenedHand, Imendio, Fluendo

gnome Comments Off on Welcome, OpenedHand, Imendio, Fluendo

I’m happy today.

OpenedHand, Imendio and Fluendo have all announced that they’ve joined the GNOME Foundation advisory board.

As well as bringing new blood into that group, and with luck revitalising our communication with companies supporting GNOME, these are 3 companies which have grown out of our community – founded by GNOME hackers, thriving developing free software for and with GNOME (and, in the case of Fluendo, infrastructure for a whole platform).

In other news, Vincent Untz sent out a release announcing the creation of gnome-fr, a French non-profit to promote GNOME among French speakers. The association has massive potential. There is a really cool and vibrant community of GNOME French speakers, and I wish them (us) well.

For both these reasons, which show what’s great about the GNOME community, I’m happy today.

Keeping the rough edges

gnome Comments Off on Keeping the rough edges

I just read this article on the “Creating Passionate Users” blog (a worthwhile read in general), and it seemed relevant to our current discussions on board size.

When people aren’t brave enough for one reason or another, ideas are morphed and the sharp edges are worn away until there’s little left but a completely palatable, utterly unlovable lump.

The most interesting thing to come out of the article is not that groups are bad (they aren’t), but that successful groups work by empowering individuals in areas where they’re strongest.