Meeting of the GNOME Foundation Board of Directors, 22 June 2020, 14:30 UTC




  • Approve minutes of 8 June
  • GNOME software definition & GNOME Circle initiative

  • Board handover arrangements


  • Approve minutes of 8 June
    • Philip: There is a domain name mentioned in the minutes that the Foundation would potentially purchase.
      • We decide to redact it so that it doesn't get scooped.
    • No other changes were submitted.
    • Minutes are approved, pending the above correction.
  • GNOME software definition & GNOME Circle initiative

    • Allan: This has been a long-standing item and I'm glad to be finishing it up. We've discussed these before, so I'll just go through what's new. The first item is the release team becoming a committee. We decided to stick to the bare essentials for the release team committee's charter, just covering the trademark issue where the board devolves the power to decide what is GNOME and what can use the Foundation's trademarks to the release team committee. The draft charter is at

      • Tristan: While it is all about the Foundation's trademarks, we don't mention trademarks in the charter. Should we?
      • Carlos: I don't think so. This seems like a policy implementation detail that the board is still responsible for. The board just needs to keep in touch with the release team about the requirements for the trademark.
      • Tristan: I agree, but I think it should be documented somewhere.
      • Allan: The trademark policy is part of the last item in the slate we'll be voting on.
    • Allan: The GNOME Circle committee has a draft charter at I'm volunteering myself for the committee as well, to help bootstrap it. As we've discussed, this affects who can become a member of the Foundation.

    • Allan: The last item is the policy on official GNOME software, the draft of which is at The domain name has been removed from the policy since we haven't resolved that question yet.

    • Tristan: You had already sent an announcement for what would be under the remit of these committees, correct?
      • Allan: The announcement was published on Discourse, but as a proposal.
      • Tristan: So what is our vote on today? To create the committees, make the proposal into a policy, and point the committees to it?
      • Allan: That's a good question. The release team's activities don't change, but there will of course be a transition period where the GNOME Circle committee is bootstrapped and the infrastructure for the GNOME Circle is created on GitLab. In practice, if there are difficulties with the implementation, then they will take it back to the board to amend the policy.

      • Tristan: My point is that the original proposal for these committees had a lot more detail. Do the committees know what is expected of them? What if the implementation turns out to be different from our intention?
      • Carlos: I agree, but I think the answer is that we need to anticipate that by being in a close loop with the GNOME Circle committee during the bootstrap period, not by making the charter more detailed.
      • Allan: In practice, we do the same with other committees, we can make course adjustments.
    • Allan: The part about projects with an existing fiscal sponsor has been removed, because it turned out to be confusing in the proposal. We intend to leave this up to the committee's discretion.
      • Rob: Fiscal sponsorship is a nonprofit term of art, so although it may not communicate very well because people might not know what it is, it is unambiguous. I do think it's important to specify it.
      • Tristan: It would be odd for a project to be both a GNOME Circle and an Apache project, for example.
      • Allan: We could add this back to the GNOME Circle committee charter, and I don't think it would be that confusing, because projects looking to apply would be looking at a more user-friendly description.
      • Carlos: I agree, we can include this guideline and the committee can discuss with the board if they want to deviate from it.
      • Rob: We do need to be intentional that the GNOME Circle projects further the GNOME mission, because being in the GNOME Circle affects how the Foundation's budget is spent.
      • Neil: The expectation would be that if a GNOME Circle project became big, then they would move to full fiscal sponsorship.
      • Rob: I think we should add a non-normative statement: "It is intended that projects seeking membership of GNOME Circle are not already members of another non-profit fiscal sponsor organization."
      • Tristan: I agree.
      • Allan: We will add this to the policy as a statement of intent.
    • VOTE: Approve the following:
      1. Create a new committee, "The Release Team", as described in Appoint the existing members of the Release Team as committee members:

        • Abderrahim Kitouni
        • Andre Klapper
        • Javier Jardon
        • Matthias Clasen
        • Michael Catanzaro (chair)
        • Emmanuele Bassi
        • Tristan Van Berkom
        • Jordan Petridis
      2. Create a new committee, the "GNOME Circle" committee, as described in Appoint the following committee members:

        • Allan Day (chair)
        • J Arun Mani
        • Martín Abente Lahaye
        • Jordan Petridis
      3. Adopt the GNOME Foundation policy on official GNOME software, as described in issue

    • +1 unanimous
  • Board handover arrangements
    • Allan: The new board takes effect at midnight tonight. There is a training tomorrow for new and returning board members. The following week, the new board will vote on officers, so Carlos will remain treasurer until that vote occurs. Then, in a couple of weeks, we will have the handover meeting, which the outgoing directors are encouraged to attend. The one question I had was when do we cut off access for the outgoing directors? It seems it would be useful to retain that access until the handover meeting.
      • Tristan: It seems important to have access to GitLab issues for the handover meeting.

      • Rob: It's less important to have overlap now that we have overlapping directors.
      • Tristan: The mailing list could have sensitive information.
      • Allan: Let's remove access to the mailing list and chat channel, and retain access to GitLab until after the handover meeting.

FoundationBoard/Minutes/20200622 (last edited 2020-07-10 15:03:03 by EkaterinaGerasimova)