Comments on: Revising the Board Election Rules, 2nd iteration Blogs and Ramblings of the openSUSE Members Fri, 06 Mar 2020 17:50:09 +0000 hourly 1 By: Andreas Jaeger Fri, 01 Oct 2010 20:31:30 +0000 Right now out of the 5 elected members, two are Novell employees. So, that number might not change and we could have left it at that. But it’s not only restricting Novell’s power but also that of others.

With the role that the board has, it does not control contribution to the distribution etc.

Btw I’m not in the board – currently the elected Novell employees are Henne and Pavol.

By: Anonymous Coward Wed, 29 Sep 2010 22:46:04 +0000 Are you sure you want to cap the Novell board representation at 40% by fiat, when contributions from Novell still represent more than 80% of the actual work? Having the board membership being disconnected from the contributors they represent is dangerous on several levels.

I can see opening the spectrum further by eliminating the criterion for 2 Novell “mandatory” members, so that anybody can literally be elected. But I would not introduce a rule that 60% of the board members must come from elsewhere, when so much of our contributions do come from SUSE. Those contributors have a right to be represented (or to be elected) if they choose to vote that way. This rule basically says that at most 40% of the board can represent 80%+ of the contributions… I do not like that tension.

This is not so much a concern for Novell — the contributors they staff/pay for, obviously the can direct their work to contribute to the areas they see as interesting or strategic. But it is bad for the contributors themselves, as they cannot vote for a colleague (or run themselves), as basically the rule guarantees for the foreseeable future an AJ+Michael representation for Novell (nothing bad with you two, you are both great, but it practically stops the rest of the Novell team to run for election or to meaningfully vote for a colleague). Unless the popularity of either of you tanks, which I sure hope not to be the case 😉

You should consider these rules as more than a mathematical exercise, given the Community membership realities we have, they have significant consequences. Forcing the board to have a majority non-Novell membership should follow, not precede, having majority external committers. Politicians come a dime a dozen (no offense to Board members), the value is in Contributors, and external participation is still massively lagging behind the current external board membership, let aside the proposed one.

Eliminating the mandatory Novell seats opens up participation, and as the rainbow of outside contributors continues to grow, so will the diversity of those voted in. Forcing the issue by requiring 80%+ of the actual work to be represented by a 40% share of the board does not help, as it puts the horses in front of the cart (or the politicians in front of the committers), and creates an unhealthy tension as SUSE’s internal openSUSE members outside of the project leadership become realistically unable to successfully run for election.

Board diversity has to follow, not precede, committer diversity. Doing it backwards will not be fun, I fear.h