Stormy’s update: Week of September 7th

This is my update for work done for the GNOME Foundation, reprinted from the GNOME Foundation blog. For a higher level overview for what I do as the Executive Director, see What do I do as Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation? or my earlier updates.

Monday was a US holiday.

Met with a company interested in using Linux and GNOME. (Actually using it but not as much as they'd like.) They had a lot of feedback for us and we talked about ways that they could get that type of feedback directly to the projects. One of the main issues was knowing where to submit bugs. They submitted a lot of bugs to the Linux distributions. Then they'd be told to resubmit the GNOME ones to the GNOME project … it would help if we could just forward them along to the right place.

Talked about upcoming events at the GNOME Advisory Board meeting. Mario Behling and Emily Chen talked about the GNOME.Asia Summit. Daniel Siegel and Seif Lotfy talked about the Zeitgeist hackfest and John Palmieri talked about the Boston Summit.

Worked on 2009 waterfall chart and 2010 budget with German. It is now ready to share with the board of directors and then board of advisors and the Foundation list.

Talked to several people about OIN's announcement about purchasing 22 patents from Microsoft. OIN is supposed to post the actual patent numbers.

Talked to Willie Walker about GNOME accessibility.

Met with Ruthe Farmer from the National Center for Women & Information Technology. They do studies about women in technology and publish best practices for how to encourage more women to take technology jobs and to stay in them. They would like to do a study around women in free software. They have recently written a study about the Culture of Open Source Computing (pdf) that points to a lot of resources about women in open source and developer motivations in open source and you can find their reports online.

Sent thank you letters to people who donated to the GNOME Foundation during the week.

Started studying Ford Foundation website to understand what types of programs they give grants for and how we might find a good fit for GNOME projects.

Followed up with an advisory board member who hasn't paid 2009 fees yet.

For this week. This is not the list of all the things I have to do but rather what I want to do this week.

  • Board of Directors meeting
  • 1:1 with Brian Cameron about my goals and results
  • Send finances out to advisory board. (All ready to go – waiting on Board of Directors feedback.)
  • Work on requirements for a CRM system so that sys admin team can install one.
  • Follow up with potential sponsors.
  • Follow up on 401K plan.
  • Follow up with International Cooperation, the group in Gran Canaria working with developing countries.
  • Fill out (draft for) form for applying for a Ford Foundation grant and run by appropriate GNOME mailing list.
  • Make sure that plans are in place to have a new US event box and get it to Utah Open Source Conference.
  • Finish following up with advisory board members whose 2009 payments haven't come in yet.

4 Replies to “Stormy’s update: Week of September 7th”

  1. Has OIN said or hinted at when they will announce which specific patents it is that they’ve purchased? From what I have been able to glean in the short time I’ve been reading up on this, not being so much into the political side of software, is that they have something to do with 3D technology? What is your opinion on the impact this development may have (if you’re willing to share it publicly, of course)? Just curious what your take is on the subject, because even though on it’s face it sounds like it’s mostly a good thing, given my limited knowledge on the subject I’m not sure what to think of it. The only thing I’ve been able to determine for certain so far is that Jim Zemlin is certainly upset. Still reading as much news as I can on the topic, as I wasn’t even aware of this until I saw your post on Planet GNOME.

  2. OIN told me they’d be listing the patents on their website. I can’t find
    them at the moment but I’ll ping them later this week. I’m hoping they also
    share what they think those patents apply to in the free software world.

  3. Stormy –
    Thanks for your answer. In the interim since my initial reply, I’ve gotten a lot more clarification on this situation from some articles posted on GrokLaw as well as a few other news sites and blogs. From what I gather, in short laymen’s terms, is that OIN’s acquisition of these patents essentially amount to Linux having potentaily dodged a huge bullet. When these type of things are exposed or actually happen, it of course sometimes sends a shiver down my spine when I contemplate the future of free software. Yet at the same time, even as these types of things continue to take place under their very noses, there are those within the Linux community who ironically persist in accusing people like me of being a tin foil hat wearing conspiracy theorists when we express concern for other technologies which exist under the potential threat of similar action by companies with very deep pockets. But still, things like this can’t help but make me think that maybe we’re not so crazy after all.

  4. I hope they post the patent numbers soon so we everyone can see how much of
    an issue this is or isn’t.
    The good news is that we obviously have a lot of people and companies
    looking out for free software’s intellectual property rights! We can all
    help by spreading the word and through programs like OIN’s prior art

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