JoomlaLeaks

Leaks, Drips, and Spills

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Thursday, 24 December 2015 12:17

OSM Has Gone Dark!

For a number of years now Open Source Matters, Inc. has done a really poor job of communicating. Since October, 2015 they have gone completely dark! No, I don't mean they have gone to the dark side (in Star Wars parlance). I mean they have gone completely silent. I know, I know, it's hard to tell since they were not that far away from this state to begin with. Now, however, with what is supposed to be major changes to the governing structure of Joomla happening, all communication with the outside world (or should I say those with an abiding interest in all things Joomla) has shriveled up and blown away. Last time I checked, the terms of all of the members of the OSM Board were to end on October 8th, 2015. On September 28th there was a call for a special meeting of the OSM board scheduled for October 8th at 3:30 am Eastern Time (9:30 pm Central European Summer Time (CEST)). That's it - the last communication on the Open Source Matters public mailing list.

Published in Joomla

Feel like you are not "part of the conversation" surrounding Joomla lately? Well you are correct. The Joomla leadership team (all of them, CLT, PLT, and OSM) have somehow mashed together leaving the rest of us on the sidelines while they conduct their conversations mostly behind closed doors. Every now and then a snippet works its way loose and we get a little insight on how the wheels may be coming off the tracks. For instance on August 28, 2015, Jessica Dunbar wrote (empasis mine):

Hi can we freeze any new Joomla installs, subsites or subdomains. Our current websites are grossly under maintained. Out of 29 Joomla installs 7 soon to be 8 are running on the latest version. There is a small team of people who are actively trying to get sites up to date, clean up content, make sure the templates and branding are correct. But new sites are being built faster than we can maintain.

Published in Joomla

So here we are once again. Once again we are promised that the new organizational structure will fix all that is wrong with the Joomla! project. So, what is wrong? Apparently there are some communication and documentation issues between teams. Oh, Okay so what has OSM strong-armed the various teams to agree on? Well, it looks like software development teams will take a back seat to the non-technical people who will likely inhabit the board seats of OSM who will then "guide" the community on to bigger and better things. Wait, what? People like me who don't do software development will tell the developers what to do? Yup! Sounds just like big business doesn't it? Yup! Is that good? Nope!

Published in Joomla
Saturday, 07 March 2015 13:43

Not Now - We're Too Busy!

You can picture it can't you? I certainly can. For a number of years now I have been pointing out that OSM fails to provide the Joomla! community with the transparency appropriate for this not-for-profit organization. Even members of the OSM board attempt to remind their colleagues of that duty. As recently as towards the end of last month on the Open Source Matters, Inc. - Public Mailing list Ryan Ozimek OSM Board Member stated:

Board of Director friends, I've seen a lot of great discussions happening on our private mailing list that, while full of beneficial information, really need to be posted on this public list to continue our focus on transparency. Please use this email list by default for all board-wide conversations. Unless it is something that must require privacy to be communicated safely, if it is a board-wide email you're sending, it should be sent here. This is a core tenant of our goal to improve online communications, not just within the Board of Directors, but across the project's growing leadership team. Let me know if you have any concerns

 Guess what happened. No discussion ensued at all. Any wonder there is mistrust of the board members of OSM?

Published in Joomla
Tuesday, 13 January 2015 13:07

Does Hanlon's Razor Apply To OSM?

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity, but don't rule out malice

This epigram –usually called Hanlon’s razor- is generally credited to either the science fiction writer Robert Heinlein or to a less famous writer named Robert Hanlon.

Before we go on, let’s stipulate that when we speak of stupidity, we are not speaking of actual mental deficiency. Essentially, if you look at how the saying is most often used, it refers to a person who–not to put too fine a point on it–goes around with his head up his butt. Hanlon’s razor would say that such a person should be judged by a lesser standard than someone who is motivated by hate. My view is that there is usually little or no difference between someone who acts in malice and someone who constantly behaves like an idiot–the result is more often than not identical, and what is often passed off as stupidity is really just a lack of concern for others.

John Scotus
"Stupidity Is No Excuse" 

So, let's talk about what is not happening at OSM once again. 

Published in Joomla
Wednesday, 26 March 2014 00:00

Stop The Excuses OSM!

I continually question why the minutes of the board meetings are not completed in a timely manner and made available to the Joomla Community. Got one of the excuses off of a forum thread that occurred . There are two excuses from Marijke about why the minutes are late. The first one is interesting because she says she doesn't have the primary job of posting minutes. You will find the second excuse sort of contradictory to the first. At least I did. The links are provided in the quotes.

 We are talking about 4 months of minutes with a lot of issues surrounding the board's restructuring and voting arrangements. Presumably, even the board doesn't have the minutes to refer to - unfortunately that is the only legal document of their activity.

Published in Joomla
Sunday, 19 January 2014 12:17

OSM Groupthink Over? Dissension Has Begun

If you haven't taken the time to read the new and revised OSM Bylaws, you should start there before reading any further. Much of the additional discussions you will hear about and read center around these bylaws. Pay particular attention to ARTICLE III - MEMBERS & MEMBERSHIP. The revised Bylaws were apparently approved at the leadership summit held in Boston on Thursday, 21 November 2013. I said apparently approved because OSM has not seen fit to release the minutes of any November or December meeting held in 2013 no matter where the location. This is a perennial problem with minutes unpublished up to three months at a time. Kind of shameful performance actually. Once you have read the bylaws, you will then want to read the proposed election process that would take place at the Annual General Meeting of the Members of OSM. Carefully read the back and forth comments for the highlighted sections. It is interesting to note that Paul Orwig is having difficulty adhering to a democratic election process. It is also interesting to note that if the board of OSM doesn't explicitly vote themselves as members before their Annual Members Meeting, only two people will be electing the new OSM board! You might also remember if you have read other blogs by me, that the OSM board is required both by its own bylaws and by New York Charities Bureau regulation to hold an Annual Meeting. Check back through the minutes. Bet you don't find a single one declared. This could be a first!

Published in Joomla
Saturday, 28 September 2013 11:52

OSM - Leadership Circus?

Finally after over promising and undelivering over and over again, Jacques Rentzke published some of the financial reports on or about September 22, 2013. This after promising on August 6, 2013 that " The OSM board is currently voting on the adjusted Budget for 2013 and that should be approved, and published within 7 days. Once the budget is approved, we will again also have the "Budget vs Actual" report available. (that would be useful for teams to track their spending against what was budgeted)."  Based on the seven day commitment, we should have seen those reports somewhere around August 12 or so. Didn't happen. Then on August 20, 2013, Jacques stated "The board of Open Source Matters approved the adjusted 2013 budget, and I'll be posting it to our web site by the end of the week. (along with a Budget vs. Actuals - 2013 report)" . That commitment should have been fulfilled by August 23 or even the 25th. Didn't happen. So, when did some of the reports get published? According to Jacques Rentzke, he published them on September 22, 2013. So, some 41 days from his first promised posting of reports to the actual delivery of at least some reports. In the OSM world, failure to unapologetically follow up on your commitments either completely or partially seem to be the norm for the last several years. Even today, we haven't seen hide nor hair of minutes for June, July, or August. The September board meeting should have been completed by now, so there is really no excuse for failing to publish all of these minutes unless you are not doing your job or, worse yet, someone doesn't want timely release of information to the public. So, OSM who wants to be held out as the leaders of the Joomla Project and who recently had all oversight of their activities removed (not that the oversight was effective by any means) continues down the path of failing to lead in any sense of the word.

Published in Joomla
Saturday, 02 February 2013 00:00

OSM, how embarrassing this must be for you!

Hmmm, that would assume that OSM board members are actually capable of feeling shame for their many failures to keep the community informed and fulfill their fiduciary duty to the organization. So far there is no evidence of that at all.

Let's see, we are in the first week of February 2013 - what have the members of OSM's board failed to do so far?

  • Publish the minutes of the last three board meetings on the OSM website (November, 2012, December, 2012, and January, 2013)
  • Ensure that their treasurer timely filed all required tax returns (CHAR500 and IRS990 NY Charities Bureau and IRS1120 filed with the IRS)
  • Questioned the Treasurer why there hasn't been a posting of the above on the OSM website and why the NY Charities Bureau hasn't been able to post their required returns on their website if they were filed on time.
  • Questioned the Treasurer and the president of OSM why there hasn't been a completed financial report for the years 2010, 2011, and so far 2012 that has been attested to as correct by both the President and the Treasurer and made available to both the community and the NY Charities Bureau as required by both OSM Bylaws and NY Law.
Published in Joomla
Trade unions, corporations, humanitarian organizations, schools, hospitals, political parties, and other voluntary organizations all must operate under laws and regulations designed to ensure that the interests of their members and the general public are properly served, and that these institutions do not violate the public's trust.

 Democracy Web

"A popular Government without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own Governors must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives."

 James Madison, Letter to W. T. Barry, August 4, 1822

"...[T]he concentration of power and the subjection of individuals will increase amongst democratic nations... in the same proportion as their ignorance."

 Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Vol. 2, 1840

 For the past two plus years transparency at OSM has been mentioned in passing but unfortunately missing in reality!

Published in Joomla
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