Sun, the Community, and the OGB

Posted on November 2, 2007

We’re at a cross roads, a conflict that has been lingering and postponed for some time now that Indiana is bringing to the surface with new viger. So lets get some basic ground rules understood please…

“Sun” refers to the corporate, nameless entity. The big black box when no attribution is available. I keep hearing “Sun did this..”, “Sun did that..”. This has got to stop. We know the players involved. They, despite having a Sun badge, are members of the community. Address them as such.

The OpenSolaris Governing Board (OGB) is a representative body created as an interface between Sun corporate and the community. It consists of 7 natural persons who are a core sample of the community at large. I keep hearing calls for community votes; this is rediculous. The vote of the OGB is the vote of the community. If you don’t like the decisions of the OGB then you should pay more attention when voting for your elected representatives.

What we’re seeing now is that there is no leadership. Those that would be leaders, such as Ian, aren’t getting the respect of a leader. No one is arbitrating and no one believes in the system. We’re seeing calls to revoke the commit rights of individuals who implement something that a community members doesn’t like, and people arguing with motions from the community submitted to the board. This is chaos of the worst kind and a sign that people don’t trust the system or even know that one exists.

Part of this confusion is the fact that the players inside of Sun who might ordinarily represent Sun corporate are also acting as members of the community.. thus the OGB isn’t a definitive bridge between the two groups.

The OGB itself has been paralyzed by several factors including internal gridlock (members that don’t want to work with others on the board), a lack of leadership from the chair and vice chair, an apparent disregard for the Constitution or rules of order, and an inability to act above other members of the community as leaders. Power and authority are available to those who assume it, not those who wait for it to be granted… because that was already done.

Lets face it, we got by for a long time because Jim was acting as the leader of this community.. but as he’s pulled back from that role when he moved to Japan no one has really filled that void. Dr. Stephen Hahn has done so perhaps more than anyone else, but he’s a very busy man.

The community is without leadership and clearly it is required. I would ask that someone immediately be appointed to such a position as Jim once filled and to get all parties involved on track. This chaos must end and its going to be a full time job to do it.