GNOME Board size referendum

I'll be voting Yes in the referendum. It's not necessarily the best solution, but it's the one that's likely to have an effect. Making the existing large group decisive has been tried without success. If the referendum does not succeed, then the members pretty much lose the right to keep complaining that the board does not make decisions quickly enough.

My logic:

  • The board is delayed by decision making more than by a lack of people
    getting things done. Decisions get punted repeatedly to the next meeting
    and eventually forgotten about for a few months, so we miss
    opportunities. In comparison, tasks are usually not much more than “send
    an email” or “write a wiki page” – we delegate large task to groups such
    as release-team and marketing.
  • Theoretically, time-limited discussion followed by votes within the
    board, would make decision possible. However, as a community we have a
    strong urge to reach consensus so any single person can veto a decision.
    I do not believe that we can change that, so we must reduce the number
    of vetos.
  • One or two people have suggested the alternative of having a
    president with the ability to make decisions without consultation. This
    is going too far, and has usually been suggested as a way to make
    (usually technical) decisions which are not the board's responsibility.
    Even the suggestion of conflict of interest would be huge and
  • The stuff that we disagree on is usually important, but there is
    rarely a great difference between the available options. Any one of them
    would probably be good enough, so there isn't a great risk in making it
    more possible to choose one.
  • When there's less people, there's more personal responsibility, and therefore more pressure to get things done, and more pressure only to
    run for election if you really have the time. Throughout GNOME, I've
    noticed that when you give responsibility, people take responsibility.

Whether or not this referendum is passed, I am pleased that it is yet another issue that we will have dealt with this year.