Regular Meeting of the GNOME Foundation Board of Directors, 10 August 2023, 17:00 UTC
- Acknowledge receipt of:
- Executive Committee Minutes
- Finance Committee Minutes
- Governance Committee Minutes
- Approve previous meeting minutes:
- 2023-07-13 (no quorum)
- 2023-07-24 (at GUADEC)
- 2023-07-28 (AGM)
(5m) Sonny: There is a proposal to open a channel / room for exchange between board, members and staffer see https://gitlab.gnome.org/Teams/Board/-/issues/300. A decision should be taken.
- (10m) Sonny: Updates on Sovereign Tech Fund
(10m) Sonny & Regina: Report from the internshipos boF regarding global inclusive GNOME and GSoC selection process
(10m) Sammy: There is an already well-worked out Proposal of GNOME Youth Coders Challenge 2024 including a fruitful discussion. https://gitlab.gnome.org/Teams/Board/-/issues/289 A discussion about balancing input and output is desired on which a decision can be taken.
- (5m) During the last board meeting we decided to make Global inclusive GNOME a priority in the next year. Among other things the program should help connect the international community and help fundraising. Can a working group be established or how do we proceed with a roadmap?
(5m) Sonny: The board is asked to give a statement towards the Circle's Committe regarding legal concerns of copyright infringement of two apps. The issue is long time overdue. If no decision is taken, at least a roadmap should be decided and one person should be responsible for it. See more background https://gitlab.gnome.org/Teams/Board/-/issues/269
(10m) Sonny: GNOME Circle's Software Policy states that Circle Members cannot be "members of another non-profit fiscal sponsor organization." The sentenced produces several questions and loopholes and as this is a lont-time overdue issue, the board should agree on a roadmap to clarify things. (was: Fiscal Sponsorship ( https://gitlab.gnome.org/Teams/Board/-/issues/257 but not only)
- During the last board meeting and the AGM there were discussion about using telemetry in GNOME: where are we now, how do we proceed?
- Advisory board participation pre GUADEC was low. Some advisories positions are not clear e.g. Google and Canonical and others.
Updating relevant (wiki) pages about the board and committee changes, e.g. https://wiki.gnome.org/Foundation/Committee
- The meeting was called to order at 17:03.
- Introductions and greetings
- Review of the consent agenda process
- EC: Met yesterday but minutes not yet available, will submit all before next board meeting.
- FC: No meetings since last board meeting
- GC: No meetings since last board meeting
- Discussion about how we vote on consent agenda
VOTE: Consent Agenda passed with unanimous approval
- Opening a public-facing Foundation/Board Matrix room
- Sonny: Proposal to have the existing foundation room #foundation:gnome.org becomes open for public participation, board is moderator, staff join to participate.
Per GitLab issue: Discussion regarding whether a Discourse category may be more appropriate.
- Rob: There have been challenges regarding public-facing communication by Foundation members being misconstrued. We already have a category on Discourse available for discussion. Thinks a real-time chat is fine to add as an option. Counter-proposal: Infra team should run it and use existing moderators, rather than use board members as moderators. Set the room such that participants can't see messages before they join; the intention would be focused on members' discussion amongst each other.
- Regina: We're not fully utilizing Discourse currently; we should clarify the purposes of both Discourse categories and/or Matrix rooms. We should consider other ways to use the existing Discourse category for content.
Jeremy: Is it possible to send synchronous notifications? (For both Discourse & Matrix.)
- Sonny: Suggests that the new Matrix room should not be for any official announcements or notifications, and have Discourse be for more "official" announcements and interactive discussions.
- Erik: Asks for alignment about the above suggestions of delineating the two venues and that we can revisit later in the year.
- Non-binding preferences: +1: Erik, Jeremy, Michael, Regina; -1: none expressed.
- It would be great if staff can join but not obligatory.
- STF Grant update:
- Sonny: The grant has been approved for EUR 1mn. Some paperwork underway for grant logistics. Asks if and how the board needs to be involved.
- Rob: The EC will work on the necessary paperwork and process and work directly with the grantee team.
ACTION: Sonny will contact the EC to start logistics discussions.
- Congratulations and applause were offered.
- Report from internships BoF at GUADEC
- It is difficult to find mentors for the various internship programs. Maintainers need to ensure they have time to participate.
- Internship programs are strongly connected to the Globally Inclusive GNOME initiative. More involvement from local communities would help participants apply for these programs.
- Many GSoC students are already doing GNOME outreach in their communities. But it's unclear to them what is the path for contribution after their program. Can we create roadmaps for them to become mentors in future years? Need to ensure we have clear strategies for long-term involvement.
ACTION: There seems to be a disconnect between number of available Outreachy projects and the actual number of accepted participants. Sonny will investigate any possible issues.
- Rob suggests the need to financially compensate mentors for their time in any new formulations of internship programs. However some mentors are not necessarily in need of funding as they already have jobs. There are likely other motivators available for mentors that we need to research.
- GNOME Youth Coders Challenge 2024
Proposal has been made and lots of active discussion on GitLab, even within the hour leading up to this meeting.
Suggestion to defer approval and budget until asynchronous discussion on GitLab has slowed.
- We still need to detail out responsibilities and costs before the board can approve.
- Sonny: Community should express their interest in supporting the program before we approve it, because their involvement will be critical to its success.
ACTION: Sammy to expand proposal detail for an upcoming vote on approval of resources.
- (One discussion point minuted in private minutes for this meeting.)
- Globally Inclusive GNOME initiative
- Background on the past discussions about the work
- Erik: What next practical steps should be taken for the board to support the initiative? Working group? Something else?
- Question: If this is a priority for staff, what will be bumped off the list? Previously those priorities were expressed as Diversity, Volunteering, Fundraising.
- Rob: This actually encompasses all of those 3. The current approach is discuss, plan, and then fund raise. We are at the start of that process. There is not any significant staff time available for new initiatives, so we should ensure that funding accomodates the increased effort needed.
Board & staff need to clarify priorities and how that impacts ongoing daily/weekly work.
- We should try to ensure our discussion items are clearly aligned with one of these priorities. This initiative crosses many of them.
ACTION: Regina to open a GitLab issue for the board to review past discussions on priorities with respect to this initiative.
ACTION: Rob to work with EC to discuss and document staff priorities via-a-vis any new suggestions from board.
- Rob departed the meeting at 18:00.
- Request to extend meeting for additional 20 minutes until 18:20.
- GNOME Circle copyright questions
- Board is requested to make a statement regarding copyright concerns of Circle apps.
- The board has legal counsel available to respond to these types of issues.
- Circle can approve apps if there are no legal questions or concerns. But in the case that there are open questions, the Board can intervene on a case-by-case basis.
ACTION: Sonny will follow up with Rob regarding the specific open question discussed in the issue tracker #269.
- GNOME Circle fiscal sponsorship
- Conflict between the fact that Circle apps currently are not allowed to have a non-GNOME fiscal sponsor, but GNOME Foundation is not currently accepting new sponsored projects.
- Suggestion to remove the requirement that Circle apps may not have a different non-profit fiscal sponsor. Reinstate the rule as necessary if there is an available option.
- Fiscal sponsorship is generally a net (financial) loss to the sponsor.
- Would like to defer a vote until we have had a chance to hear from Rob about any concerns, and to understand what body has authority over the Circle inclusion policies.
ACTION: Sonny to ask Rob for details on Circle inclusion policy authority.
- Deferred to next board meeting.
- Advisory Board
- Deferred to next board meeting.
- Wiki updates for committees
- Deferred to next board meeting.
- It was noted that future board meetings can be scheduled for more than 1 hour. The duration should of course be announced when sending invitations with ample notice.
- The meeting adjourned at 18:17.
- None were assigned in the previous meeting.
ACTION: Sonny will contact the EC to start logistics discussions for the STF grant. (#305)
ACTION: There seems to be a disconnect between number of available Outreachy projects and the actual number of accepted participants. Sonny will investigate any possible issues. (#306)
ACTION: Sammy to expand proposal detail for an upcoming vote on approval of resources. (#289)
ACTION: Regina to open a GitLab issue for the board to review past discussions on priorities with respect to this initiative. (#309)
ACTION: Rob to work with EC to discuss and document staff priorities vis-a-vis any new suggestions from board. (#307)
ACTION: Sonny will follow up with Rob regarding the specific open question discussed in the issue tracker #269. (#308)
ACTION: Sonny to ask Rob for details on Circle inclusion policy authority. (#310)