Saturday, October 21, 2006

Using countify to determine who voted

For the trustee elections, it's important to have a record of who
voted because it is by voting that one becomes a member of the
Gentoo Foundation. Any election official, after countify --collect
has been run, can determine that list using the following one-liner:

while read num user; do grep -q "confirmation $num"
master-trustees2005 || continue; echo $user >> voted;
done < confs-trustees200

That's what we used to determine the existing Foundation members from the
2005 trustee election.

Friday, October 13, 2006

History of Gentoo mailing lists

In mcummings recent entry (, Mike
mentioned meeting Spider on -user long ago, and that he thought
that -user and -core were the only lists at that time. I didn't
think that was quite right, so I went digging through my own
Gentoo e-mail archives. The oldest -dev mail I have dates from
April 2001. (Back then I tossed most of my Gentoo mail, so I don't
know when I actually subscribed to -dev.) According to the wayback
machine, Gentoo at the time looked something like this:

Snapshot of ancient Gentoo website


Back when "every user was a hacker", the only lists were -dev and
-announce. With a bit of additional digging I discovered that
-user appears to have been created in Oct. 2001, while -core didn't
exist until Feb. 2002. I faithfully read -user until sometime in 2003, when
the amount of traffic on -dev, -core, and -user became truly overwhelming.
Nonetheless, I'm embarrassed that these days my only contact w/ -user
is though the threads posted in the GWN.

(By the way, check out
to see what administering a Gentoo system used to be like!)

Monday, October 09, 2006

Trustee election, redux

I'm Grant Goodyear (g2boojum), and if you're an eligible voter in the current
Trustees election then I'd like your vote.

Okay, that gets the boiler plate out of the way. Seemant did a classy job
of lauding the skills of the current candidates
(, but he seems to have missed someone:

Seemant is the long-time developer who was once (in)famous not only for
breaking a vast portion of the tree with libpng, but also for the speed and
skill applied in fixing the breakage (along with spider's assistance, if I
remember correctly). Since then he has repeatedly proven to be responsible,
thoughtful, and willing to take on jobs that are necessary, but not necessarily
fun. For the last several months Seemant has been our lead contact with
Gentoo's legal team, and he has been doing an exceptional job of it.

As for what I think the priorities for the next year should be:

  • New (and approved!) bylaws. Several times during the last year or two
    I've raised problems with the current proposed bylaws (problems which
    are my fault since I drafted them, borrowing heavily from the Python
    Software Foundation's bylaws), but I've yet to achieve any sort of
    consensus on new wording that would work better for us. (Actually,
    I've yet to obtain any comments at all.) We really need to get
    something sane in place, though.

  • Move the corporation to a more non-resident-friendly state.

  • Dealing with money between the US and Europe is a real pain. Right
    now we're using paypal, but that's imperfect. Google's "checkout"
    system may be an improvement, but it seems to me that it would be
    better to have regional organizations that can raise and handle funds there,
    with the US organization responsible for US funds and handling and
    licensing all of the Gentoo IP.

  • Set a yearly budget for infra.

All that said, I'd also like to mention that if we can get the really
important items out of the way, then the Foundation, at least in my
opinion, should be a maintenance organization. It shouldn't be charting
the direction of Gentoo, because that's what the Council (and the devs,
first and foremost) are for. The Foundation's job is to collect and
disburse funds, provide a legal entity, and maintain and protect
Gentoo's intellectual property. That's pretty much it, and as such it
should be the least sexy part of Gentoo.

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