Oversight Board/2010/Meeting Minutes-2010-01-22

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In attendance:

SLOB members: walter, tomeu, seandaly, mchua, canoeberry, cjb

Some community members (including dfarning) attended the meeting.


  1. Finances
  2. Infrastructure
  3. Trademark policy
  4. Goals for 2010

Thanks to meeting-prep work done by mchua, we moved quickly through the agenda. (Mel has published her own version of the Meeting Minutes in her blog.)


We agreed to all actively seek out a replacement for our interim FD.


Motion: Authorize Luke Faraone to ship some used hardware from the Wikipedia Foundation (12 servers) to various hosting sites. The cost should not exceed US$300.

The motion passed: 6 yea; 1 absent.

Motion: Authorize Bernie to purchase a new server. The cost should not exceed US$ 3000.

We deferred action on this motion until we have more information (regarding hosting and the utility of the Wikipedia servers).


We agreed to write some case-studies/scenarios before finalizing the TM policy (Please refer to Case Studies).

Goals for 2010

We did not discuss this topic.

Next meeting

Friday, 29 January 2010 16:00 UTC (Note: We will again be meeting one hour later than usual.)


Meeting Log

Meeting-prep work


Current status

  1. We have assets of $25507.96 as of the Nov 2009 report from the SFC.
  2. About $7000.00 of this is discretionary; the rest is tied to the Gardner Pilot Academy (GPA) grant.
  3. Taxes: We do not need to worry about taxes at this time.
  4. Invoices: We have a number of pending invoices against the GPA grant.
  5. Who's responsible for keeping track of this, where are they filing things, and when are we regularly checking in on financial matters: This is one of the services we receive as part of our SFC membership. Once per month (around the ides) we get an update from the SFC. Currently, Walter is the one who checks with them on all financial matters, but it would be great if there were someone willing to volunteer in this space.
  6. What is our current process for requesting payments: Sugar_Labs/Governance/Transactions

Open Q&A

Questions about finances? Put them here!

  • Should we have someone take on the action item of recruiting another treasurer (who would then have to be approved/appointed by a SLOBs motion)?
  • Question
  • Another question


New server

This is a request to pre-approve the budget for a fast machine with 8 cores to run some of our primary services: wiki, trac, aslo, lists. These services are currently running on solarsail and sunjammer, both of which are insufficiently powerful to support the current growth in traffic.

If we successfully obtain donated servers from the Wikimedia foundation (see below), we may keep going a while more without this expense. Ivan is also planning to purchase a new server for his personal use, which he'll make available on friendly terms as he has done for solarsail.

Motion: Authorize Bernie to purchase a new server. The cost should not exceed US$ 3000.

Wikipedia servers

As discussed in the latest InfraTeam meeting, we will try to get 3 machines to RIT (pending approval on their side) and the rest to Boston and Washington DC. Luke Faraone has a few contacts of organizations which would be able to rack the machines for us.

These boxes are old and possibly not very reliable. They would make a good basis for clustering ASLO if we're careful to make every component of the cluster redundant and implement proper automatic takeover. David Farning and Aleksey Lim produced a cluster prototype which needs some more tuning and testing.

Clustering ASLO is something that we could postpone by 1-2 years (at current growth rate) if we purchased a modern machine which would be 8-10 times faster than our current hardware. However, this project opens valuable collaboration opportunities with RIT and other partners.

Motion: Authorize Luke to ship some used hardware from the Wikipedia Foundation (12 servers) to various hosting sites. The cost should not exceed US$300.



Goals and scope

We are working on completing and ratifying a trademark policy for the Sugar Labs marks, which are held by the SFC on behalf of SL. This policy will have to be approved by the SFLC before it becomes legally binding; once it does, it will affect the following marks when used in a Sugar Labs context:

  • Sugar Labs (trademark registered)
  • Sugar on a Stick (trademark in the process of being registered)
  • Sugar Labs Partner
  • Sugar Ready
  • Sugar Learning Platform
  • Sugar
Current status

We currently have no ratified trademark policy. We have been using Sugar_Labs/Governance/Trademark as our guide on individual cases in the interim. The current draft of our trademark policy is available at Talk:Sugar_Labs/Governance/Trademark#Sugar_Trademark_Policy.

Prior decisions

We have passed several trademark-related decisions in the interim that may be affected by our policy ratification decision.

References and resources

We have been drawing inspiration from how other open source projects have written their trademark policies.

Discussion points

  • proposed patch to the current draft
  • dfarning has asked us for permission to use the mark in his Ubuntu Sugar Remix
  • From the point of view of Marketing, is this trademark policy legally tight enough to prevent abuse? See Sean's thoughts and the subsequent thread, from which I've pulled discussion questions, below:
    • What conditions must the licensee respect in order to be allowed to use a SL mark? (Broad question covered by other points in our trademark discussion for tomorrow, I believe - this is basically the entire question.)
    • There is an assumption (or proposal) in the email that trademark usage of all SL marks will be free. Is this something we agree on, and should explicitly state?
    • When would licensing not be routine, i.e. require consideration before licensing?
    • What formulation(s) of the SL marks should we provide as options? This is the label text - our "circled intel inside sticker", if you will.
    • What could motivate us to revoke a license?
    • What graphical specifications on mark usage do we want to set forth? (must have this much whitespace, must use these colors, must not be distorted, etc) We might just set this as "we want to have graphical specifications," have someone take an action for it, and then vote on that as an amendment later when it's ready.gt
  • What does the process look like from the perspective of a trademark requestee (walk through a case study)? How much work-time and wait-time do we predict such a requestee will have to budget for the process, and is this acceptable? What steps can we take, or amendments can we make to the draft proposal, to reduce that cost even further?
  • Do we agree on the wording of the preamble as a human-readable introduction to "the legal stuff"?
  • The idea of having a trademark secretary to act as a point of contact throughout the process.
    • Technical setup: Have "trademark AT sugarlabs DOT org" set up as an email alias that sends the message to iaep with a [trademark] tag.
    • Logistical setup: The trademark secretary would be responsible for responses to all emails with that tag, as part of their duties. Other duties would include answering queries on trademark policy as set by SLOBs (typically via email, as described above), acting as a guide/coach/advocate to parties requesting trademark usage and assisting them in putting motions on the topic before SLOBs, and maintaining public records so that all can track relevant SLOBs decisions on the matter.
    • Governance setup: The trademark secretary would be an interim appointed position until the next election cycle (fall), at which time if we decide it has been useful and wish to make it a regular appointed position (like ombudsman and treasurer), we can.


To be called when the discussion is over, and there is general consensus that the trademark policy draft is ready:

MOTION: Approve the trademark policy listed at LINK.

MOTION: To appoint NAME as trademark secretary until the next election/appointment cycle, to be responsible for answering queries on trademark policy as set by SLOBs, acting as a guide/coach/advocate to parties requesting trademark usage and assisting them in putting motions on the topic before SLOBs, and maintaining public records so that all can track relevant SLOBs decisions on the matter.


The following action items need to be taken by somebody.

  • #action Clean up the wiki pages to reflect this discussion, making any redirects needed to clarify that all prior draft work has been pulled into the current, SLOBs-ratified trademark policy. Note on the policy page that the policy is pending approval by the SFLC.
  • #action Notify the community of the trademark ratification via the usual means (iaep with a [SLOBs] tag, Planet).
  • #action Forward the trademark policy to the SFLC for approval; check in on progress next week.
  • #action Perform any necessary follow-up with the parties involved in related #Prior decisions to ensure past decisions are brought up to date to be compliant with the current (newly ratified) policy. In particular, start SoaS through the trademark approval process.


Goals for 2010

Proposed 2010 goals for Sugar Labs (very rough first pass)

  1. Release Sucrose 0.88 and 0.90 in order to provide a more useful and stable learning platform for deployments and developers
    1. Release Sucrose 0.88 in March
    2. Release Sucrose 0.90 in November
    3. Deliver a product that has been well tested for usability and accessibility needs
    4. Make successful launches with great marketing campaigns
    5. Promote corresponding SoaS releases with Fedora
    6. Define Sugar 1.0 so that we can begin partnering with long-term stable distros, such as RHEL
  2. Make Sugar the learning platform of choice for 2010
    1. Support existing local user groups (e.g., local Sugar Labs) and work to create new ones
    2. Have SL representation at major free software and education events
    3. Establish relationship with third-party solution providers to help them understand the benefits of Sugar
    4. Work with other learning programs that complement our efforts
  3. Explore Sugar in the context of mobile devices and web-based services
  4. Make Sugar Labs the place for working on learning-related technologies
    1. Provide forums for teachers and developers to collaborate
    2. Provide a forum (similar to ASLO) for learners to share their work
    3. Demonstrate leadership by providing great tools for the appropriation and application of knowledge
    4. Always ask: how does this impact the learning
    5. Let downstreams such as deployers and vendors lead development by providing human resources
  5. Eat our own dogfood
    1. Promote free software
    2. Be transparent and open to critique
    3. Encourage new people to join our project

It has been proposed that rather than in addition to (having communal goals helps individuals frame their personal goals) having overarching goals that everyone in SL runs towards for 2010, we ask everyone within the SL community to state and document (perhaps on their user page, announced to IAEP and Planet) their individual SL goals for 2010, so people can easily find areas of intersection-of-interest that would advance SL's mission - if enough people pick up on the same goal (individually), then it becomes a de facto "community goal."

Individual goal statements

5-Year Goals


Given the pace of social, economic, and technological change, it is difficult predict what the context for Sugar Labs will be in 2015. However, we can frame our goals on some relatively stable tenets: (1) we embrace a distributed model of development and support; (2) "learning through doing" will remain our focus; and (3) and contributing to Sugar itself is part of the learning process. (Note that in 2015, Sugar's first Learners from 2007 will be in high school: a potentially large group of contributors.)

In five years:

  1. Sugar will be the learning platform of choice (our bottom-up adoption rate by teachers and parents -- including "home-schoolers" -- will out-pace our top-down adoption rate by ministers and administrators):
    1. We will have a stable, "proven" platform that is easily customized;
    2. We will have well-established channels of communication with and among teachers and parents;
    3. We will have simple, robust distribution channels.
  2. There will be local Sugar user groups measured in the 10000s:
    1. These groups will be providing most of the support and development of Sugar;
    2. Sugar activities will number in the 100000s and 99% of these will have been written by teachers and children;
    3. Sugar will be integrated into computer science and education school curricula, providing a talent pool for the local labs.
  3. Sugar, while still being primarily a stand-alone platform, will work fluidly within the context of mobile devices and web-based services.
  4. Sugar will remain focused on the needs of learning. (While the platform itself will be adopted and adapted for other problem spaces, the focus of the Sugar Labs community will remain: "how does this impact learning?")
    1. We will continue to promote Free Software;
    2. Be transparent and open to critique;
    3. Encourage new people to join our project;
    4. We will enable individuals to be expressive with Sugar such that they can pursue their own goals and we will have a mechanism for sharing those goals and successes.

Future issues to address

None immediately, as of now - Oversight_Board/Minutes may provide some inspiration. Please add topics to the list if they come up.