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Re: [steering-discuss] Updated draft of the Community Bylaws


Hello Bernhard, Florian,

I updated the text and also inserted some requested additions and
changes on the BoD meeting frequence and physical meetings. Other
changes are commented inline below.


Le Tue, 30 Nov 2010 00:37:01 +0100,
Bernhard Dippold <bernhard@familie-dippold.at> a écrit :


BoD elections are not clear to me:

"... the BoD gets renewed by half each year ..."

"... the nine candidates having won the highest number of votes are
deemed to have been elected ..."

If all nine Directors are elected at once, how should the "renewal by
half each year" work?


Right, thanks; I clarified the text.


In my eyes present BoD members are more likely to be re-elected for a
second term (if they did a good job) as anybody else not being that
prominent and well-known in the Community.

If the BoD members want to go on with their work for more than two
years, they have to take a "sabbatical" and come back one year later
- provided the TDF members votes for them.

What I'd like to see is a request to some of the BoD members not to
candidate for a second term after the first year but to try to become
re-elected the next year and stay then for two years.

This would allow continuity over a longer timeframe, as it avoids the
problem of all the BoD members having to resign two years after the
first election.

But I don't think that this thoughts (or similar ones) should be
mentioned in the Bylaws.

One year term with possible extension for one more year (then one
year pause before re-election is allowed) is clear enough.

How we achieve continuity will rather be discussed directly than
implemented in the Bylaws.

Based on your input and Florian's input on this particular question, I
think we're taking the wrong approach. By this I mean that our
provisions on terms come from a good intention, and it's important to
anticipate future potential issues. But there's also a different
between caution, refinement in drafting bylaws and writing byzantine
rules. My professional experience elsewhere shows that any system
creates its own politics and also stirs the forces that may overthrow
its rules.

That's why I decided to stop this terms' limit insanity that I also
somewhat started and come back to sheer simplicity: members get
elected. No limit to successive terms. If people are not happy they can
elect someone else, request a change in our bylaws or go fork. :-)



Another point is the position of the line about "Disputes between
Contributors". The content is about the BoD and the Chairperson, but
it is positioned at the end of the paragraph about the "Executive
Director" (without "the" in the title, while "The Chairperson"
contains it).

Yes indeed. I put the sentence into the Conduct of business sub
section.


Confidentiality: Did you think about the preparation of a marketing
strategy with a result: "We're going to do this or that during the
next months and will go public in half a year.."?

Such work can't be done if the outcome has to be published one month
after the decision.

What do you think about
- publish results one month after the cause for confidentiality is
gone.
- internal review on a monthly basis if the cause is still valid.

I reviewed the text and your proposal, and here's an existing subtelty
that can perhaps provide you with an answer: what is requested is the
output of the decision, not necessarily the discussions or its full
content. It's quite tangential, but I also think we're a Free and Open
Source software project. Secrecy only lasts so long, and I would not
want to see secret committees popping up here and there. We're not
inside OpenOffice.org anymore.

I would much rather want to see a well planned strategy that leave
volunteers and professionals alike implement it in a public fashion,
rather than a secret team doing all the work. On the other hand,
marketing and communications do require planning, surprises and timing.
So a good mix between these two is required.

If it's absolutely necessary, one can publish the output of a
confidential marketing strategy planning session a month afterwards and
restrict the details to interested contributors. I think it would be
fair, but should not be done 12 times a year. If necessary the BoD will
be able to decide on this specific question later on.



Membership:
  Could you replace "artwork" by "design"?

This covers not only all the branding design and visual identity, but
also UX and UI design: These contributors are not necessarily
researchers or code contributors, but experts in areas IMHO not
covered in the other criteria.

+1, done.


Membership application: Here is the only place the Steering Committee
is mentioned (as replacement of the BoD "during a interim period").

Why don't you state this fact already at the paragraph about the BoD?

Because there are chances we will start to care about membership while
the BoD will not properly exist. These bylaws apply in a context where
a foundation is fully established.


"Until the first BoD election the tasks of the BoD are handled by the
Steering Committee" or some better wording.

see just above :-)

This would not only cover the appointment of the Membership
Committee, but all other activities too.

I would not necessarily go down that path. The Steering Committee's
mission is covered by other pages on the wiki...

Best,
Charles.



Best regards

Bernhard





--
Charles-H. Schulz
Membre du Comité exécutif
The Document Foundation.


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