Wednesday, September 03, 2008

» openSUSE Board and Elections, part 2

Expanding my own post (here), I noticed that Vincent Untz wrote a couple of interesting questions about "what being a board member involves", which I'm going to answer now.

Are there meetings? How often?

Yes, there have obviously been regular meetings, but that's really up to each Board team to decide. Our schedule varied a lot, from once per week in the beginning to once per month when there wasn't that much stuff to do.

How are they done? What kind of topics are discussed?

We chose to meet on IRC, usually on Mondays at 21:00 CEST, which more or less accommodated everyone (Federico is sitting in Mexico). AJ kept logs that were post-edited (to remove chit-chat bits as well as non-public topics) and posted to the opensuse-project mailing-list. We didn't do that for all meetings, almost always because we either only voted on openSUSE membership applications (only the result of the vote is public), or because there wasn't anything left once non-public topics were removed. I think we failed a bit regarding transcripts of meetings. The funny thing is that I'm used to being on the "other side", asking for transcripts of meetings that were held internally (which happened a lot at the beginning of, but has become really rare nowadays, fortunately). I guess it's human, we're lazy. Note that I don't think it was that much of an issue in terms of content, and most meetings wouldn't have had a transcript anyway, but at least posting an email that says "We voted on membership applications." would have been helpful I guess. We also discussed a few topics that we didn't disclose, for obvious reasons, pretty much all of them being cited in my previous post. It's not because we were wearing black suits and making secret pacts with Novell, but simply because they were still in flux (and, no, none of them was involving the Novell-Microsoft agreement).

Does it require a lot of time?

It really depends on the activities of the Board. The openSUSE membership voting certainly demanded a lot more time than we initially thought, and the tooling around it definitely needs some enhancements to make it possible for all Board members to work asynchronous on it. But it's hard to quantify, because it depends directly on the initiatives the Board will take, and the requests members of the Community will send to the Board. I'd say something like 3-4 hours per week, worst case.

Do you need to travel?

No, not at all. I mean, it could happen that one or more Board members get invited to do a talk somewhere (about the Board and/or the Community), but that didn't happen up to now. There was a short Board talk at FOSDEM 2008, but there was a vast amount of openSUSE contributors (including a few Board members) there anyway.

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