Oversight Board/2008/Log-2008-09-05

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<walter> Is everyone together right now?
<walter> Who is here? Shall we get started?
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<gregdek> Presto!
<marcopg> hello
<walter> Is Marco around? And Chris Ball?
<marcopg> walter: hello
<walter> Hello everyone.
<marcopg> pinged cjb in #sugar
<walter> I put together an agenda in the wiki: http://sugarlabs.org/go/Sugar_Labs/Oversight Board/Minutes#Friday_5_September_2008_-_14.00_.28UTC.29
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<walter> I'd like to discuss some bureaucratic issues first, as this is the first meeting of the elected Oversight Board
<tomeu> ok
<walter> We've been pretty good about things like minutes, but let's appoint someone at each meeting to be responsible for them.
<gregdek> ok :)
<walter> I'm happy to do it this time.
<walter> A couple of other things that are at loose ends, at least in my mind:
<walter> Presumably this is an open meeting.
<gregdek> I hope so.
<walter> I didn't announce it other than in the Sugar DIgest though.
<walter> Should we announce it to sugar and iaep?
<gregdek> I have no objection.
<marcopg> sounds good
<gregdek> How do we handle visitors?
<gregdek> Do we allow people to participate, or watch, or what?
<walter> Good question.
<walter> I think we let people participate, but if we need to vote on something, the board would do that.
<gregdek> Fine for me.
<walter> The more minds the better, at least at this scale.
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<walter> Which brings me to another issue: I'd like to propose we explicitly invite some folks to these meetings.
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<walter> The board is a great group, but very tech-centric. We are underrepresented in the deployments and learning.
<gregdek> As recurrent guests, or from time to time depending on the topic, or what?
<_bernieXO> true
<walter> I think as permanent -- non-voting until/if we change the by-laws -- members
<walter> I'd like to ask a designer (Eben or Christian perhaps) to be here.
<walter> I'd like Hernan or Paulo from deployments to be here.
<marcopg> yeah I'm actually sad that Christian was not elected :)
<walter> I'd like some educators to be here.
<marcopg> and no one from the deployments
<marcopg> absolutely +1 from me
<gregdek> No objection here.
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<tomeu> yeah, makes sense
<gregdek> I especially favor deployment representatives.
<walter> Could we resolve to make a formal outreach from the OB to each of these constituencies?
<gregdek> i.e. "users". :)
<walter> Perhaps in the form of committee heads?
<walter> We do have the task of appointing committees...
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<walter> The only one we agreed to in advance was membership
<tomeu> sounds interesting, which would be those committees?
<gregdek> Perhaps we should enumerate the committees and their purposes before we agree to head them. ;)
<tomeu> deployment committee would make sense?
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<walter> We have a first pass in the wiki: http://sugarlabs.org/go/Sugar_Labs/Governance/Committees
<walter> We never had a deployment committee on the list. If we create one and appoint some folks from Peru and Uruguay to kick-start it...
<walter> We can ask that they report back at each OB meeting...
<walter> Same with Learning...
<gregdek> +1 to a deployment committee.
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<bernieXO> 3
<gregdek> So I understand. The goal of the deployment committee would be to serve as ombudsman for deployments?
<walter> We had 3-4 very strong candidates who'
<walter> d make a great kernel of a deployment committee: Paulo, Rabi, Hernan, etc.
<walter> More than just ombudsman, which is my mind is a more reactive role
<bernieXO> I'd like to get rabi or bryan involved if they want to
<gregdek> Actively bringing issues to the board?
<walter> I'd like to see them actively pursuing issues... and bring the important ones to our attention.
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<walter> Not just waiting for complaints...
<gregdek> Right.
<gregdek> So. Are we waiting on volunteers to chair committees? :)
<walter> We should not wait, but solicit. I'm happy to solicit members to the Deployment committee and ask them to help write up a mission statement.
<walter> We need to appoint a OB member to each committee as well...
<walter> Anyone want to tackle Membership?
<tomeu> arjun may be able to bring some experience to the deployment committee
<walter> Yeah. And maybe Carla?
<tomeu> would be nice to have someone from africa, perhaps julaino knows someone?
<tomeu> julaino
<tomeu> juliano, sorry
<walter> I know the folks involved in several of those trails as well. We need not settle on the details now, but I think we agree in spirit on what to do re Deployment?
<cjl> Distinctions between Deployment, Learning and Community might be made clearer. Deployment sounds like "user community" and "learning workers in the field". Community (as currently framed) seems more like "Participation".
<gregdek> The most actionable mission statements make the best committees. :)
<gregdek> Deployment is clear: "to solicit feedback and prioritize improvements for Sugar deployments in the field" or something like that.
<gregdek> Others, to me, are less clear.
<gregdek> Learning in particular.
<walter> I think the idea behind community committee was not so much the constituency as much as the task: they'd be all about organizing Sugar meetings
<walter> e.g., BOF and tjhe like around the world
<gregdek> Then let's call it the Events committee?
<walter> Is there the need for a separate Learning committee? Perhaps not yet.
<walter> Events works for me.
  • gregdek would be happy to work the Events committee.
<gregdek> Having had some experience there.
<tomeu> this actionable mission statement thing sounds good to me
<walter> Quick: everyone else take one step back. Greg, it is yours!!
<marcopg_> :)
<dfarning> Sorry I'm late, I will work on membership
<walter> Another glutton for punishment has spoken... great!
<gregdek> It means I escape the harder committees. ;)
<bernieXO> I shall take infrastructure then
<walter> So, as specific action items, could Greg, Dave, Bernie, (and whomever -- me?) come up with a short list of committee members and work with them on mission statements for our next meeting?
<gregdek> I will.
<dfarning> yes
<walter> Shall we leave the learning committee aside for the time being?
<walter> See what the other ones turn into?
<gregdek> Until we can more explicitly describe its goals, I would say.
<walter> What about driving the technical/design goals? Is that a committee?
<tomeu> all committees are learning committees ;)
<gregdek> An aside: it's "Sugar Labs", not "sugarlabs", right?
<walter> Yes.
<walter> But when we get to the logo discussion, we may consider sugarlabs
<walter> back to committees, maybe Simon has an opinion about the need for a tech committee
<marcopg_> what's the actionable mission for tech?
<erikos> walter, you mean me?
<walter> I'd like to propose that the OB formally sing Simon's praises for doing a great job as release manager.
<dfarning> walter, would you consider leading the teaching committee, none of the rest of us are very qualified?
<marcopg_> walter: +1!
<tomeu> yeah, let's sing!
<bernieXO> watch out your teeth!
<walter> The setting of technical goals is something that needs coordinating, but maybe that is something that the Release Manager does...
<walter> Or do we want to have a committee? That is what I was asking Simon.
<walter> What would make it easier, more productive for you?
<bernieXO> we're largely understaffed in the tech team... this is maybe a topic to be discussed later
<tomeu> I'm not sure if committees work on this one
<erikos> so the release manager is not setting the goals as i understand it
<erikos> he does make sure the goals that has been set get into the release
<tomeu> developers interested in implementing a feature are in charge of driving the design discussion
<marcopg_> yeah I'm not sure we should a tech committee
<gregdek> Or stay out for good reasons. :)
<walter> Not setting... I misspoke... but making sure they are clearly articulated, so he/she can do his/her job
<tomeu> in a more informal way, I think
<bernieXO> tomeu: i'd follow the old mantra of not touching what is not broken
<walter> +1
<erikos> walter, ok
<tomeu> yeah, perhaps that's what I had in my mind
<walter> Let's leave it for now.
<bernieXO> the sugar hackers have been coordinating themselves impressively so far
<walter> Very well coordinated... a pleasure to watch
<tomeu> we are just too tired to fight for long...
<tomeu> ;)
<erikos> i can keep on doing what i did during this release if people were worried about that
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<walter> If you are willing...
<erikos> sure
<walter> I just want to make sure you have the tools you need.
<erikos> one critical thing we need is a bug squad
<erikos> that would really help in order to make the release process successful
<gregdek> +1 to organizing a Test Committee.
<gregdek> (Which is a really hard job, by the way.)
<walter> Let's recruit Mikus
<tomeu> mchua wanted to work on that?
<marcopg_> what about hoboprimate and garycmartin?
<erikos> i was thinking about hoboprimate and garycmatrtin
<marcopg_> they are both *very* good I think
<erikos> +2
<tomeu> yeah
<walter> We have some very good people.
<walter> We need to give them a mandate and a means to be successful
<tomeu> benzea and mtd may just keep sending patches as they feel better
<tomeu> I missed bemasc, may be busy with other stuff
<marcopg_> yeah he is busy I think
<marcopg_> getting graduated or something
<erikos> ok so what action item does need to be fulfilled to get the bugsqad going
<tomeu> and Charles Merriam?
<erikos> what do they need
<walter> We need one of us to act as liaison/coordinator
<erikos> ok i can do that
<erikos> it does fit well with the release efforts ;p
<walter> So we have membership, deployment, events, test set to take action on
<cjl> Distinctions between Deployment, Learning and Community might be made clearer. Deployment sounds like "user community" and "learning workers in the field". Community (as currently framed) seems more like "Participation".
<cjl> sorry
<gregdek> cjl: Replacing "community" in that list with "events".
<walter> I think the blending of deployment/participation/learning is hard to tease apart at this stage
<walter> Are we putting "learning" as a separate committee on hold for the moment?
<gregdek> :<business_hat>Deployment == customer satisfaction:</business_hat>
<cjl> sorry, I repeated an earlier line by accident, what I meant to say was I assume Walter handles Finance for now?
<walter> Let's talk about finance...
<bernieXO> oh yeah
<walter> The bottom line is I think that the main focus for me in the next few months is $$$
<bernieXO> $$$
<tomeu> what are we going to spend the money on?
<walter> I am getting a number of proposals from folks, e.g., an interesting proposal to set up a development team in Pakistan.
<tomeu> travel, what else?
<gregdek> EVENTS.
<gregdek> Over half of Fedora's discretionary spend goes to event funding.
<bernieXO> walter: that' _INTERESTING_
<tomeu> walter: sounds interesting
<walter> And helping get more developers going.
<tomeu> as always, I'd like to talk about growing our devleopment resources
<walter> Not Sugar Lab employees, but affilated groups that want to advance our mssion
<bernieXO> badly needed
<walter> If we can raise money (or help others to raise money) to subsidize development, I think we should.
<tomeu> walter: I know we are not fans of payed developers in sugarlabs, but I think that it could have a big strategic impact to contract someone for the next 6 months
<tomeu> so we have a much better 0.84 release
<tomeu> if 0.84 really rocks, we'll have an easier road next year
<walter> I know this is a controversial issue, but we need the horses and the long-term interest of some of our partners, e.g., OLPC, is not development.
<dfarning> Yes, I agree will walters last statement. In fact his main focus should be engaging statkeholders
<walter> I think there are any number of groups that would be willing to help us help them.
<tomeu> yes, I see countries and other organizations as the future of development resourcing
<bernieXO> yes, we should make sure Sugar Labs doesn't become the main source of developers, but sponsoring one or two for 6 months would be fine
<tomeu> yeah, I'm advocating for something like a "strategic exception"
<walter> I was looking into a plan, for example, for the WB to fund the development of SME tools based on Sugar that would advance their mission of fostering local entrepreneurship
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<tomeu> supporting past releases is draining lots of development resources
<bernieXO> the Linux Foundation also sponsor a few "random" kernel hackers
<walter> They have offered to help with Events...
<walter> (Greg: we should talk about this offline)
<gregdek> walter: Happy to.
<walter> But we need more help in development sooner than later and unfortunately, outside of our control, some people are being pulled off the project...
<bernieXO> walter: who are the developers in this packistani team?
<tomeu> or redirected to non-sugar stuff
<walter> We'll need to have the resources to guarantee some level of stability
<walter> in some cases, redirected, in some cases, contracts not renewed.
<walter> But we could, for example, channel some of these resources to help build up some of the fledgling teams in places like Pakistan
<tomeu> I wouldn't mind to spend some times on those places
<tomeu> helping build the team
<tomeu> but the recruiting job may be a hard one
<bernieXO> walter: you know I'd love to do it, don't you?
<tomeu> we have two people in the travel committee ;)
<walter> I think we an count on locals to find talent--we'll have to help bring them up to speed.
<bernieXO> walter: although I'm afraid I didn't have much luck hiring new sugar hackers in kathmandu...
<walter> And I can work with these groups to find money to support them and the help.
<bernieXO> I think this is exactly what we'd need at this time
<walter> As Bernie points out, there is not guaranteed to be critical mass of talent everywhere, but we need to start somewhere.
<walter> I think Pakistan and India are good places to try.
<walter> So I have been working on some joint proposals.
<walter> What should be the process of vetting a proposal that commits Sugar Labs to something or asks for a Sugar Labs endorsement?
<bernieXO> but if we succed in creating a team outside USA/Europe, it would be doubly as worthwile
<gregdek> walter: Discuss it in a board meeting and vote if need be?
<bernieXO> walter: good question...
  • gregdek is wary of creating process before it proves to be necessary...
<walter> The other thing I have been working on is corporate money. I am meeting with Chuck next week to spend a day on a fundrasing roadmap/strategy
<walter> I will have a few different proposals pulled together over the next few weeks. I'll circulate them to the OB, I suppose.
<marcopg_> approval by the board sounds good to me for endorsement
<tomeu> after some discussion in the mailing lists, I guess
<walter> There is an issue with public discussion of some proposals...
<walter> Maybe I can generalize them--remove the names--for the mailing list discussion?
<tomeu> I think the broad community can give input on broad strategy and policy
<bernieXO> sure
<walter> I think the ideas can and should be public. But the details of whom and where are perhaps more sensitive?
<tomeu> concrete proposals may be a different thing
<walter> OK. will do.
<tomeu> sure, that everybody can understand
<walter> So, plan on a report from the finance committee at the next meeting.
<walter> One more detail re committees and the like. OK to reappoint Bert as Ombudsman?
<dfarning> yes
<tomeu> if he's interested, yeah
<walter> I think he is... but I'll confirm.
<walter> I don't think it has been a burden to date, but I think it is good to have someone in that role.
<tomeu> agreed
<walter> Another bit of admisnitrivia: SFC
<bernieXO> have we been officially endorsed yet?
<walter> Karen has been out much of the summer due to a medical issue so things have gone very very slowly.
<walter> I am trying to get the final draft of the agreement for the board to sign.
<walter> It is not in any significant way different from what we discussed in Milan, but...
<walter> As soon as I get their sign off, we'll circulate it for your signatures.
<tomeu> walter: do you anticipate any problem?
<walter> (Originally, the acting board was going to sign it.)
<walter> I don't there is a problem... just that Karen has been out.
<walter> I spoke with them briefly yesterday and they seem to still be enthusiastic about out joining.
<tomeu> ok, hope this goes forward
<bernieXO> cool
<walter> Yes. I have been in limbo re fundraising because of it, for one.
<walter> (and I thought the pope got rid of limbo at Vatican II)
<dfarning> I'm willing to be point of contact to SFC so walter can move on to other issues
<tomeu> sounds good, like OLPC has been doing with laptop.org
<erikos> sugarlabs.org ;p
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<bernieXO> how about the second server?
<dfarning> I can tie the email address as a part of membership
<marcopg_> dfarning: +1
<bernieXO> or would we want to let people go and discuss it only with interested parties?
<dfarning> will report next meeting
<erikos> and a t-shirt ;p
<tomeu> would be now a good time (before we get seriously into 0.84) to migrate more stuff to sugarlabs machines?
<bernieXO> dfarning: ok thanks
<bernieXO> tomeu: the lists, at least
<erikos> well we need the machine up as far as i know to host git as well
<bernieXO> erikos: the second machine was going to host user shell accounts, secondary services, backups, and such
<bernieXO> for now, develer is still providing these things
<erikos> bernieXO, yup - we should make it a solid solution before announcing it
<erikos> bernieXO, but i am confident we will have the second machine soon ;p
<dfarning> could someone update http://sugarlabs.org/go/InfrastructureTeam I have lost track
<marcopg_> dfarning: I don't think it's out of sync
<bernieXO> dfarning: can't do it quickly, my laptop just dropped dead
<marcopg_> dfarning: we just don't have all the services setup yet
<marcopg_> dfarning: and we are looking for a second box
<walter> I just posed Christian's sketches: http://sugarlabs.org/go/DesignTeam/Logo-ideas#Christian.27s_take_on_this_theme
<walter> BTW, AMD has offered us a box; just taking time to materialize
<marcopg_> I don't like the colors :)
<tomeu> yeah, don't like the colors neither
<walter> The colors can change... just like XO colors
<walter> I like the orange we saw in Milan
<walter> He is going to give me an SVG so we can play with the colors.
<marcopg_> +1 for the orange :)
<gregdek> Logotype, eh?
<gregdek> -1 to Christian!
<walter> But what I like about it is that it is thematically related, but not another abstract icon
<gregdek> I like the sucker.
<bernieXO> haha
<bernieXO> with the light bulb superimposed :)
<tomeu> hmm, don't know if I didn't liked more the italian logos
<tomeu> but the colors are important and can be changed, yeah
<walter> I liked the logos Luca did for us, but I was never comfortable introducing yet another icon...
<walter> there was still too much of a distance to associate it with Sugar Labs.
<gregdek> I'm kidding. I really don't care.
<walter> We need to be a bit more blatant with getting our name out there.
<gregdek> The mark doesn't matter. It's the experience that the mark provides.
<cjb`> Hi all, sorry I'm so late. Catching up now.
<walter> If we were as famous as Prince (or the artist formerly know as Prince) we could use an icon.
<cjl> It needs to look cool on schwag. There is an art to that.
<walter> Or random Unicode codepoint...
<gregdek> Maybe we could get some treatments of the logotype in common usage?
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<cjb> walter: Very happy to hear about reaching out to educators/deployments -- my first thought on seeing the board was "wow, this is a lot of programmers" :)
<walter> I really like: U0E5B ๛
<bernieXO> a key?
<gregdek> Is our agenda mostly done, btw?
<walter> It is a Thai character for end of chapter... but Sugar Labs is a beginning, not an end...
<walter> I'd like to raise one more topic
<bernieXO> walter: so reverse it!
<walter> I had a long conversation with a group in Toronto yesterday about accessibility
<walter> They'd like Sugar Labs to participate in a proposal and it has far reach... into Linux/Gnome/and various deployments.
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<walter> Not really much to discuss here, except to raise it as an issue to ask how we might recruit someone who could liaison between Sugar and the accessibility community
<walter> They have some nice ideas and we have a great platform
<walter> they are interested in our embedded efforts too, as they are interested in mobile accessibility
<gregdek> Are they adding resources?
<walter> In theory, yes.
<cjb> walter: might that be David Bolter's group?
<gregdek> Then I'm all for it. :)
<walter> This is Jutta's group at UT. I think David Bolter is involved.
<cjb> (He runs gok, which is GNOME's on-screen keyboard, and does a lot of behind the scenes accessibility stuff.)
<cjb> Cool.
<walter> I am meeting their Brasilian partners next week...
<walter> I think this is something we should follow/participate in.
<walter> Apparently, accessibility is going to be part of the Brasil olpc bid.
<gregdek> I've got a Fedora ambassador who is doing grad studies on OLPC and leads Fedora ambassadors in South America. Very motivated. Should we throw him into that mix?
<walter> Sure. I meet them next Thursday morning in Cambridge.
<walter> Any one want to take the lead on this theme? Or should I develop it a bit further first?
<gregdek> I'd kind of like to know more.
<walter> No takers? OK.
<walter> One final topic: next meeting date
<walter> How about in two weeks?
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<gregdek> Two weeks works for me.
<walter> Same time, same channel?
<dfarning> sounds good
<walter> I'll post today's log/minutes in the wiki...
<tomeu> yeah, good for me
<cjb> works great. I'll be on time for that one, sorry again. Pesky developer's sleep schedule.
<erikos> thanks!
<walter> OK. Thanks for participating today...
<marcopg_> thanks!
<tomeu> one more small thing:
<walter> sure
<tomeu> how is the OB going to communicate between them outside the irc meetings?
<walter> Bernie, can you make a list?
<BernieXO> cjb: hay man!
<BernieXO> walter: sure
<BernieXO> walter: overseers@lists.sugarlabs.org?
<walter> but I think the private comm. will be minimal. Sugar and iaep seem to be the right forums for most things.
<cjl> walter on accessibility, there are some local folks possibly worth talking to http://ncam.wgbh.org/bp/index.html
<walter> how about simply ob@
<walter> clj: I'll check it out.
  • BernieXO likes c.scott's policy of forwarding all email he receives in private to the lists (unless REALLY confidential)
<BernieXO> walter: ok... or board@
<cjl> walter, mchua is also someone to drag into that issue.
<BernieXO> no, ob@ is better, we might have multiple boards
<davidb> walter: please see if you can get someone to 'wear the sugar accessibility hat'
<BernieXO> cjl: sure... she also vounteered to be a bug master some time ago...
<BernieXO> cjl: we should enroll her if she's still willing and available, once we have the bug tracker set up
<walter> davidb: I'll find someone to be the champion...
<davidb> awesome
<cjl> She didn't really get to do the accessibility stuff she had planned for ILXO (as far as I know), it's an impt issue to her.
<dfarning> I'll look into accessibility this week, might need to pass it off next meeting
<walter> So, meeting adjourned?