[squeak-dev] Squeak Constitution

keith keith_hodges at yahoo.co.uk
Sun Mar 7 16:06:32 UTC 2010

On 7 Mar 2010, at 00:24, Matthew Fulmer wrote:

> On Sat, Mar 06, 2010 at 07:01:24PM -0500, Matthew Fulmer wrote:
>> On Sat, Mar 06, 2010 at 04:38:22PM -0700, Ken G. Brown wrote:
>>> I would like to know what each candidate thinks about creating
>>> 'Terms of Reference' or 'Terms of Engagement' or
>>> 'Constitution' or 'Clear Governance Articles' or 'Rules and
>>> Regulations' for the Squeak Oversight Board, named something
>>> agreeable, along with a great mission statement.
>> My opinion is that the members elected to the board should do
>> what they say they will do in their election statements. The
>> community votes a set of people to the board, and also each
>> person's agenda. The sum of the board member's stated agendas is
>> what the board should be doing.
>> The board only serves year terms, and can be replaced rather
>> easily, should the community want to. Thus, I believe the above
>> is sufficient to ensure that the board adequately represents the
>> community.
> An important corollary I feel is worth stating:
> If the board adequately represents the community, its actions
> will generally align with what the community as a whole wants.

Or conversely and altogether more likely, the community will align  
with the board. Those who don't like what the board do can leave the  
community immediately since they don't have to wait for an election to  
vote with their feet.

You actually have to make an effort to ensure that this is not the  
default situation, to practice humility, communication and openness of  

In this year in particular the board has forgotten that it was  
originally conceived to advise and oversee. Its official direction as  
of this time last year was that it was not even sure if it should have  
any involvement in technical issues. To the extent that I ignored  
invitations to run for the board, because I didn't see that it had any  
relevance to myself as an active coder.

If you did want to attract individuals of significant status (e.g Dan  
Ingalls or the likes of Kent Beck) to be on the board, in a board like  
role, in an advisory nature, you will need a clear idea of what the  
board's role is, it cant be a release team at the same time as being a  
board. If you want the board to be a release team, then that needs to  
be made clear, and I could be wrong but I don't think that Kent Beck  
would be interested in hacking trunk. Conversely Edgar clearly feels a  
need to be elected to be heard on release issues.

The current situation is that the board is arguably partisan to  
supporting the development of  one particular direction which is  
inextricably tied in with the commercial interests of one particular  
company, and as a consequence another company with its own commercial  
interests has pulled out of supporting squeak, and has left the field.

The board should be working to ensure that this type of situation does  
not happen, or at least to provide a round table for all interested  
parties to converse on equal terms.

Squeak's viability as a platform stands and falls on the strength and  
maturity of the board as it's primary representation; not the  
individuals on the board, but the board as a political entity in and  
of itself.

While the board has no terms of reference, and no vision statement, it  
has no identity in its own right, it is merely a collection of  
individuals running to their own individual agenda's, some more or  
less altruistic than others. In other words it's an accident waiting  
to happen again.



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