This week in Maemo Community politics
Editor: Ryan Abel
Maemo Community politics always get interesting during periods of change. Nokia is in the process of handing over control of maemo.org and its infrastructure to the community, which makes this one of the largest fundamental changes in community history. Big change, lots of politics.
Last year, the Hildon Foundation was formed to act as a legal proxy to the community and provide stewardship for the infrastructure. A board of three directors was elected at that time to direct the foundation. It has, in many ways, had a rocky start. Despite success in negotiations with Nokia about the specifics of the maemo.org handover, and generous assistance from the community in the form donations (last count was totalled at several thousand dollars) and time (volunteer sysops like Falk Stern stepped up to provide support for the new infrastructure), all of the elected board members have resigned (Randall Arnold early on, and Tim Samoff and Ivan Galvez Junquera more recently), leaving a board composed entirely of appointed members. This has lead to calls from the community to hold new elections for the board.
Unfortunately, there are several issues causing contention and a number of different interpretations of how they should shake out. We're going to attempt to give you a good overview of most of the issues in question and summarize the arguments from the major positions on them. The core issue the week, though, is whether the Maemo Community Council has the authority to call for an election of the Hildon Foundation Board (which is covered further down the page).
Rob Bauer's take on the Maemo Community Council/Hildon Foundation Council distinction
Editor: Ryan Abel
One of the major issues in the recent debates is the interpretation of a clause in the by-laws which provides for a Hildon Foundation Council alongside the Hildon Foundation Board. At issue is whether the Maemo Community Council was intended to become the Hildon Foundation Council from the start, whether they were appointed as such by the initial Hildon Foundation Board, or whether there currently is no Hildon Foundation Council and one must be elected.
This is important, because the Maemo Community Council—if it's not also the Hildon Foundation Council—has no authority to call for a mid-term election of the Hildon Foundation Board. The current Maemo Community Council was attempting to call just such an election based on the all-appointed composition of the current Hildon Foundation Board and desire from members of the community to see an election to validate the board.
Posting from the Hildon Foundation account on the news page at hildonfoundation.org, RM Bauer has given us the "official" board position on the breakdown of the situation with the Maemo Community Council and the Hildon Foundation Council: It is noted that the three current members of the Maemo Community Council have purported to appoint themselves as a three member Hildon Foundation Council and to conduct the elections of the Foundation without the Electorate and Nominations Requirements document specified in the Bylaws. This was not done through any cooperation with the Board or the community at large. It was an unofficial act, beyond the authority of the maemo community council indicated above and is of no effect.
Given that at least one member of the board does not seem to agree with this interpretation, your editor believes this post to be simply an opinion piece from Mr. Bauer and not necessarily the official stance of the board; however, a compromise was reached on this subject in the board meeting held last Friday. The summary of which we've covered later in this issue.