Polling is now open for the OpenSolaris elections and will remain open until March 24. If you have
Core Contributor status in any OpenSolaris community, you are eligible to vote. In addition to some test questions which have been
put back on the ballot, there are three important polls; two constitutional amendments plus the election of the 2008-9 OGB. Since I
proposed both of the amendments, I'll explain them both.
Article IX: A Process For Managing The Constitution
The first proposes replacing Article IX of the constitution. At present this Article reads:
This Constitution and its bylaws may be altered, amended, added to, or repealed by an affirmative vote of
a majority of the Members of record, provided that the proposed deletions and additions, when applied to the Constitution, will
result in a new Constitution that remains in complete compliance with the OpenSolaris Charter. The complete text of the proposed
deletions and additions must be delivered in a notice by electronic mail to the Members no less than ten (10) days prior to any
vote on said deletions and additions.
In the run-up to the current elections, it became apparent that this article was not sufficiently detailed to tell people how to
frame amendments. In addition, it did not specify who could propose amendments or when, or require any kind of community quality
control to proposals prior to voting. I spent some time on IRC and then suggested text in the tracking system. After some discussion at the annual meeting I then sent the text to the Core Contributor list
according to the current process. The proposed new text is:
Constitution and its bylaws may be altered, amended, added to, or
repealed by an affirmative vote of a majority of the Members of record
during Annual and Special meetings as defined in 5.2 and 5.3, provided
that the proposed deletions and additions, when applied to the
Constitution, will result in a new Constitution that remains in
complete compliance with the OpenSolaris Charter. The complete text
of the proposed deletions and additions must:
- be approved
within an OpenSolaris Community Group using the Majority voting
rule in article 8.4 prior to being delivered to the full
Membership for adoption.
- be delivered in a notice by electronic
mail to the Members no less than ten (10) days prior to any vote
on said deletions and additions.
This new text is intended to allow the flexibility members need to discuss and propose amendments anywhere in the OpenSolaris
community. It also applies a quality control measure (the amendment has to be vetted in a Community Group somewhere) and limits
consideration of amendments to either the Annual Meeting or, in exceptional cases, to a Special Meeting.
I believe that this
amended text offers a more balanced and operable process for the constitutional amendments - something I am convinced we need - and
I encourage you to vote "Yes" for measure "Amend_Amendment".
Article VI: Promoting OGB Transparency
One of the controversial topics associated with the OGB this year has been a lack of clarity about the connection between OGB
members and their employment-related interests. While some have proposed attempting to prevent OGB members having such interests, I
believe that's impossible. Instead, I suggested on the tracker that the OGB should engage in the same level of transparency expected of political
leaders by declaring their employment-related and other interests that affect OpenSolaris. After discussion there and on IRC, my suggested amendment text is as
section 6.3: "Candidates for election shall publish a list of their
commercial affiliation, or other interests related to OpenSolaris,
so that a voting member can understand the context from which they
would act on the OGB and the likely biases they would bring.
Candidates who before the start of voting do not publish such a
statement and attest to its accuracy shall not be eligible for
election. The Secretary of the OGB shall maintain a public register
of OGB Members' interests."
Addition to section 6.2: "OGB
members upon change of corporate affiliation or other interests
related to OpenSolaris, must notify the membership of the same when
that change applies.
I believe this approach recognises the inevitability (and indeed the desirability) of having an OGB consisting of people with a
stake in the future of OpenSolaris while encouraging transparancy of motive. I note that many of the candidates for the current
election have indeed declared their interests in a way that would satisfy the requirement as worded here and I think it is would be
healthy to formalise this requirement. I encourage you to vote "yes" for measure "Amend_Board".
Finally: the Board election. I would be delighted to have another opportunity to serve the OpenSolaris community on the
Governing Board, as I was able to in 2006-7. I did not stand for election last year and since then have been observing and
occasionally participating. My statements of interest are in my
OpenSolaris profile so I'll not repeat them all here. I believe that in the coming year we particularly need an OGB that is
equipped to communicate strongly, clearly and frequently with Sun's management. For communication to take place through channels
other than the OGB undermines the OpenSolaris community. I also think that the OGB membership should reflect the interests around
the project, and so in addition to the valued participation of those outside of Sun, I hope we will continue to see a strong
showing of Sun employees elected to the OGB.
The candidates I'm referring to have all received endorsement to stand for the OGB from their management chain and all have seen
Sun's employee policy on open source participation. They are all committed to asking Sun's management to communicate regularly and
clearly with the OpenSolaris community and they represent a diverse cross-section of the community. I consider all to be
independent-minded and honourable people. In arbitrary order they are John Plocher (plocher), Jim Grisanzio (jimgris), Glynn Foster
(gman), John Beck (jbeck), Michelle Olson (michelle), Alan Coopersmith (alanc) and myself (webmink).
Of course, there are other excellent candidates. It is in the interests of getting proper Sun representation on, and dialogue
with, the OGB that I encourage you to place the people I have listed early in your order of preference when you vote. I will be on IRC in the Annual Meeting at 10pm GMT each night this week if you'd like
to discuss anything in this posting.
And thanks for reading to the end!
Update 15-Mar: I've clarified the intent behind these positions, take a look.