[foundation-board] project coordinator role etc

Jo Walsh metazool at gmail.com
Sun Oct 3 13:18:13 UTC 2010

On 03/10/2010 11:38, Rufus Pollock wrote:
> Becky then sent a revised draft on the 22nd...

Uncannily enough, all this is in my inbox as well, and i reviewed it 
before writing here ;)

> a process where we require *explicit* assent

Yeah, a consensus process has its ups and downs. But this should be for 
the governance list. I was not talking about process though, just about 
consideration. Remember, i'm a volunteer too.

>> coord is an illusion that may be comforting to you, but is not to me.
> I don't feel this :) but this sounds like a separate thread :)

Yes. I'd like to find someone to take over chairing coord ASAP.
I'm no longer comfortable with it, nor can i really make the time.

> staff here to guarantee regular reporting to the board, especially in
> relation to funded projects.

Reporting to world, not to board. Repeat N times until it sinks in.

>> I am sick both of being told not to write things down

> I think the suggestion was not that things 'not be written down' but
> that occasionally things were being written down and sent to public
> lists in 'haste'.

For example. I wrote to the CKAN list to suggest that the core codebase 
is in serious need of refactoring - it's grown in a lot of directions 
without much architectural thinking - now there are a lot of instances 
of it, and the longer we wait to re-engineer and simplify, the more 
maintenance and migration headache there will be further down the line.

And i'm told this is in 'haste'. Am i not entitled to speak my mind?
What is it that you're worried about?
Part of free software process is to work in public, fail in public, 
learn in public. It shouldn't matter whether clients for paid work are 
sitting on a list, and it should reassure them to see problems being 
quickly diagnosed and addressed.

By accepting money that is not publicly disclosed for contract work on 
community projects, then apparently being unable to discuss the impact 
of the requirements of that work in public - you seem to be creating a 
conflict of interest for the Foundation.

I don't like it; i don't think it's *necessary*, i.e. we can succeed and 
flourish *without* having to do this. The further you get into loops of 
contracts you can't talk about, discussions you can't have logs of, the 
murkier it will be and the more OKF will suffer, reputation-wise, when 
the open data backlash starts to kick in properly here within the next 

I know, i know that the situation is being addressed - e.g. Jordan has 
created a default contract for new work which has a transparency clause 
in it - so in future OKF will not be constrained by third parties' 
expectations when we come to publish contracts.

We're apparently signing a contract with LAPSI/EVPSI right now.
Is the transparency clause in it? If not, why not?
Do they have any objections to making public the contract? If so, why?

>(though there are sometimes useful differences of opinion over what is the right direction).

I think it may have been Jonny who said to me a while ago,
"Is this a Foundation about Open Knowledge, or an Open Foundation about 
My response was, i want it to be both. It still is.

I'm already repeating myself, i suspect. I'll take the constructive bits 
to the governance list, even if that's writing into a black hole, i'm 
just flushing my brain in an attempt to see the bigger picture more 
clearly. If i hope i'm not trolling, does that mean i'm not a troll?


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