A New Representative of the People on the OGB

Posted on January 24, 2008

On Monday I took “office” as a member of the OpenSolaris (Community) Governing Board, filling the vacancy of Mr James Carlson. I’m proud to be given this position, which I shall fill for the remainder of the current term which ends Apr 1, 2008. It is a great honor to serve the community in this unique and privilege way.

While many of you have found OpenSolaris politics off-putting, discouraging, or simply pointless, I assure you that there is still a lot to be done and a lot that can be accomplished, even in the next 3 months before a new OGB takes office.

I want to make clear that as an OGB Member I am representing the OpenSolaris Community… if your reading this blog I’m talking to you. It is my job to represent your interests, needs, and facilitate opportunity for all. If you’re discouraged or confused its my job to do what I can to make the situation more bright. The OGB can’t solve every problem, nor should it, but it should adequately respond to issues confronting community members and always make decisions based on the collective needs and desires of the community at large.

I want to be your advocate. If you don’t feel you have a place to turn feel free to reach out to me and I’ll do what I can…. thats why I’m here.

OpenSolaris is a community built around the Open Source Solaris codebase, complete with all the efforts to support its growth including Advocacy, Documentation, etc. But right now there isn’t much open about it. Much of the development still occurs behind closed doors and is dumped into the public space after the fact. Very little attribution occurs. Contribution of code is absolutely painful and I’ve talked to dozens of would-be contributors that just didn’t need the hassle. Some of this is existing process, yes, but its more so a cultural problem. I believe that there are ways to significantly improve the ease of contribution… I mean, when the argument is “with other projects I just send a patch to a mailing list and I’m done” how can we feel unable to facilitate contribution!

On Monday I went out and bought one of those yuppy fancy Moleskine note books and I’ve begun re-examining everything I can find. The CDDL, the Charter, the Constitution, the various CG’s and projects, old mail threads… I’m putting in the time and research required to really start building a base on which to try to effect change, and I think I’m already seeing benefits. I helped review the CDDL before it went to OSI, I helped in the drafting of the Constitution… but in the last 2 years we’ve put those things to the test and they have come up lacking, in some cases because we do not adequately embrace them, in others because they don’t adequately fulfill their purpose.

I may make things better, I may make them worse. I may make you happy, I may piss you off. But I’m definitely going to try to do my best to do whats right for this community, because at the end of the day, no matter how fed up I get with any of this stuff, I still love Solaris and I’ll come back to it again and again… so i’ll take the blessings that we’ve had (Solaris is Open!!!) and build on those, because Sun can always close back up (as stupid as that would be). So lets put on a happy face and try to make the best of what we have and push towards and even better tomorrow.