SLOBs: coming up with a decision-making process

October 23, 2009 – 7:12 pm

I’m going to try to start blogging about Sugar Labs Oversight Board (SLOBs) happenings each Friday after our meeting, for radical-transparency-fu. This is not a Voice That Cometh From On High; I’m speaking only for myself and what I’ve heard and seen and what I’m thinking about what’s happening with project governance for any given week. Keep in mind that this is the first time I’ve ever been on a governing body for… anything, just about – so you’re reading through the eyes of someone who’s learning just about everything about being a SLOB member – or being on any board, really – as she goes along.

The new batch of SLOBs has been in office for 10 days. Our first meeting was on Oct. 16, 2009 (logs), with everyone present – returning SLOBs Chris Ball, Walter Bender, Bernie Innocenti, and Tomeu Vizoso, and new SLOBs Sean Daly, Adam Holt, and myself. Our second meeting was today, Oct. 23, 2009 (logs) with special guest Karen Sandler from the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) joining us to clarify the status of the trademark procedures that SFLC is writing for Sugar Labs.

I’ve learned two very important things so far:

  1. Mark authorization (use of the term “Sugar Labs,” for instance) is granted by the Software Freedom Conservancy to SLOBs, and SLOBs in turn can delegate that authority to others. The aforementioned trademark procedures being written by SFLC should help considerably with clarifying this.
  2. It’s very, very difficult for SLOBs to do anything because it’s unclear how we can, as a body, make decisions – and what classes of decisions we can (and should) be able to make.

I’d like to address the second, since I think it’s the first thing that we need to do to make SLOBs a more effective governing body. We have a lot of pressing issues to cover – trademarks, relationships with companies, etc – and we need to have the ability to deal with these issues well. So this evening, I proposed that we dedicate our next meeting to getting a decision-making process up and running.

Tomeu and I have started a brainstorm for various options we could choose from, and we’re asking for help. That call has been out for several days, and will have been out for a week and a half by the time the next SLOBs meeting comes around; I think that’s enough time to solicit thoughts on a first working version (remember, we’re also building in the ability for this procedure to amend itself, so at worst, we should only have to live with our mistakes for a few weeks if there are any). Please add your thoughts and discuss them on the mailing list thread. (Yes, it’s the same two links again. They are important.)

That’s pretty much what I’m going to be working on between now and the next meeting (agenda). It’s on Friday, October 30, at 14:00 UTC in #sugar-meeting on irc.freenode.net – please share your thoughts either on this blog post, on the mailing list, or in the wiki. (You go it. Really important links.) Talk about it on IRC and post your conversation logs to iaep. This is a chance to help determine how Sugar Labs runs.

…and that’s what’s on my mind with SLOBs right now. Thanks for listening.

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  1. 2 Responses to “SLOBs: coming up with a decision-making process”

  2. A Google search for SLOB does not return anything related to the SLOBs you are talking about. A search for fedora slob has this post as its first result, and no entries actually telling what a SLOB is. My favorite entry, though, was on wearing a fedora to avoid looking like a slob.

    So, what exactly is a SLOB?
    …and just as I finish typing this, I realize that it’s Sugar Labs Oversight Board, isn’t it?

    By David N on Oct 25, 2009

  3. Yes, it’s the Sugar Labs Oversight Board. Thanks for pointing that out, David – I’ll link that into the post text as well…

    By Mel on Oct 26, 2009

What do you think?