Wednesday Mar 21, 2007

I Just Voted

I just voted in the OpenSolaris OGB Election. It was pretty easy and only took me about 2 minutes. I'll not tell you the order I ranked my votes, but I was influenced by the fact I had spoken to thirteen of the candidates, all of whom were ranked higher in my voting list as a result of my having had the chance to hear how they think first hand. I'd like to thank all of them for taking the time to speak with me. I was sorry the others didn't feel inclined to talk, but of course that's their choice. A reply would have been nice though (only Casper did, of the five).

In my voting I favoured diversity, ranked higher on a willingness to work with others of all persuasions, on an openness to friendly discussion and on a lack of elitism. I also voted "yes" to ratifying the draft Constitution because I think we have to start somewhere.

OGB Bootstrapping

On that subject, I promised the OGB I'd write a little about the rationale behind the Constitution and electoral roll. The current OGB doesn't pretend to have all the answers. Once it realised the scale of the issues, it sought to bootstrap the community, both in terms of the Constitution and of the initial electors, in a reasonable and fair way while recognising its own imperfection.

The initial electorate was a big problem. We decided the best plan was to have a group of voters identified by the selection of their peers. We sought a large enough electorate to make voting diverse, but the very fact some communities failed to select any Core Contributors even after repeated reminders guaranteed that it would be flawed. I am sad that some people felt disenfranchised, and hope we caught all the most serious errors over the last week or so. Plenty needs fixing, and that was inevitable and unavoidable. Nonetheless, we have a diverse electorate large enough to dilute most biases. It's good enough for bootstrapping.

We did not have the breadth of vision to solve all the tricky issues in OpenSolaris that need to be covered by a Constitution, nor the personal knowledge of community members to perfectly identify the electoral college. I've heard one of the candidates harshly criticise this fact and imply he had all the answers, but I disagreed and still do. No-one does. I still believe it's smarter to iterate and to leave properly elected OGBs to iterate. Trying to solve everything up-front usually fails.

The new OGB needs to build on the Constitution and amend it, especially to address the community structure properly. It also needs to fix the electoral college to reflect the community that will exist once the project/community issues are fixed. I would also suggest to them that they expect the OGB that follows them to need to do further fixing and regard themselves as a phase of the bootstrap. Amending a Constitution in the light of experience has precedents, after all.

OGB Interviews Summary

Since I haven't heard back from anyone else, I'm now closing the LiveMink Election Special podcast series. I encourage you to listen to any of the candidates you've not met. Then to go directly to the task of voting (assuming you have Core Contributor status). You should try to vote before the rush on Monday, when doubtless many will be realising the poll is about to close and be rushing to log on.

Here is a list of all the candidate interviews I have recorded, in reverse order of appearance. All these podcasts can also be found on iTunes by those of you using Windows or Macs.

[Jim Grisanzio][MP3][Ogg](18' 39")
[Stephen Lau][MP3][Ogg](15' 05")
[Shawn Walker][MP3][Ogg](19' 53")
[Michelle Olson][MP3][Ogg](8' 50")
[John McLaughlin][MP3][Ogg](13' 35")
[Jörg Schilling][MP3][Ogg](12' 58")
[Rich Teer][MP3][Ogg](13' 35")
[Alan DuBoff][MP3][Ogg](12' 41")
[Ben Rockwood][MP3][Ogg](21' 12")
[Garrett D'Amore][MP3][Ogg](17' 21")
[Karyn Ritter][MP3][Ogg](7' 40")
[James McPherson][MP3][Ogg](14' 52")
[Glynn Foster][MP3][Ogg](12' 33")

LiveMink TV: Open Source Development

Open Source Month continues over on SDN TV (have you subscribed yet?), and this week I interview Kuldip Oberoi about Sun Studio and about Solaris Express Developer Edition, and OSG candidate Glynn Foster about GNOME. If you've not tried Sun Studio go give it a try - it's a great development environment for the non-Java programmer.

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