Thoughts on Being Elected to Open Source Matters

Last week I was fortunate enough to be elected to the Open Source Matters board along with 5 others. After having a very U.S.-centric board, it’s great to see such a wide diversity of new members. Add a Aussie and a penguin and we’d have someone from all seven continents 🙂

  • Marko Milenovic – Serbia
  • Javier Gomez – Spain
  • Jacques Rentzke – South Africa
  • Robert Deutz – Germany
  • Akarawuth Tamrareang – Thailand

It would be silly to make promises as to what can get done as there are 9 other board members with their own ideas and concerns. However, I’ve been blogging on Joomla since 2005 so I’ve expressed views on many key issues. A quick rundown of where I’m coming from:

The GPL and Joomla

The effect of the GPL has been generally positive but often requires hard thought and planning on all sides. We’re certainly not alone – to take just one example, WordPress is still struggling mightly with the GPL and business models.

Communication from Joomla

Yes, it’s been poor. I’ve been closely involved in Joomla for years and knew very little about how, why, by who or even if decisions were made. The new OSM members have a responsibility to help improve that area. Less drama, more outreach.

Our job is to make it as easy as possible for Joomla’s community to do its job. The less you hear about what we do and the more you hear about what the community does, the better.

The Joomla Trademark

The trademark needs protection but we can learn something from the pros and cons of Drupal’s and WordPress’ implementations.

Paying Core Developers

Cautiously in favor. My views have slowly evolved. I started out opposing the payment of core developers. But after taking a long hard look at Joomla’s experience of those of its rivals, I lean in favor of careful experimentation. These are hard learning processes being undergone by other projects. Drupal is way behind on it’s main site redesign for lack of resources. We also have the examples of OSCommerce and Simple Machines Forum – both have lost their previous popularity because they couldn’t keep development on track.

Open Source Matters

I believe the best structure for Open Source Matters is a highly transparent structure with regular rotation of membership.

One very surprising thing to me was that Lorenzo and Wendy, the two people leaving OSM at the moment, are the first two to complete a full-term and then step down. That speaks of much upheaval. Think also of how many developers have cycled in and out of the core.

Joomla needs stability but it also needs fresh blood. So, I’ll take my own advice: I aim to serve for two years and then pass the job on to someone new.

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