Leaks, Drips, and Spills

Is The Joomla Community From Mars and OSM From Venus?

22 May 2014
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Twenty-two years ago John Gray, Ph.D wrote the highly popular (his books have sold over 50 million copies in 50 languages) "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus". This book is equivalent to an "Idiot's Guide to Listening, Respect, and Communication, with Easy-to-Remember Examples." One wonders if he should also write a book about the failed relationships between open source communities and distanced board members - and no, I am not speaking of gender communication differences. We in the community could use a board who can listen, show respect when questioned, and communicate freely. We certainly are not getting that now. I thought we would see more of an effort from this newly crowned board to communicate and be more transparent.

But I guess that is not to be. Victor Drover was quite proud of his accomplishment of completing a new budget in record time for OSM. And he should be. However, he should feel shame for his failure to publish monthly financial reports. The last partial financial reports generated for OSM were for September, 2013. That has been 7 months of no financial information whatsoever.

Minutes of OSM meetings were finally caught up to March, 2014. It really showed that given enough motivation, the board could approve minutes via email rather then wait until the next board meeting. Given all of the changes in the board and their bylaws, this deadly period of quiet we are seeing now leads to speculation about what the board might be up to. Keeping the lines of communication and information open by timely publishing of minutes and financial reports rather then providing the same old excuses why something wasn't done would go a long way in generating confidence and trust.

There are now thirteen board members, and while it took over a month, they finally have all thirteen bios posted on the OSM website. It was nice to see they updated that information sooner rather than later.

For now, we are stuck with wait and see. I would much rather see some action from either the Joomla! community or the board.

Update: June 6, 2014

Normandy Dday 0Seven decades ago in the midst of World War II, Allied forces landed on the Normandy coastline on June 6, 1944 with the aim to liberate France, and then advance to Germany. And, while many died and many suffered, the allies were eventually victorious.

I, however, apparently have not influenced the Open Source Matters Board sufficiently to correct their continued blatant failure to make any effort to be transparent to the Joomla community. They completely fail to make such efforts a priority of their reign in office no matter who is now serving. With 13 members, you would think at least some might consider such efforts to be a focus of their time in office. Not so far.

Let's take a look at financial reporting for instance. The last publicized report was at the end of September, 2013. What's that? At least 7 months ago. Over one half of a year without any information on finances. While Victor Drover was quite proud of himself for completing a budget in record time for which I have several times said he deserved, he has now proven to me that he no longer deserves any kudos from me by failing to provide the Joomla! community with how things are going with the finances in a  timely matter. At J and Beyond held in Germany on May 30 through June 1, 2014, the Joomla leadership held a joint meeting where they asked themselves  "‘What is Joomla! holding back?’ we came up with a list of subjects that contained, among others, our communications..." Now, we have to ask ourselves how many times that has been identified both within and outside of the Joomla leadership --- many, many times and yet nothing is ever really done about it. In that same meeting, we find that "Along with these subjects there were presentations about the status of the budget (by Victor Drover)..." Just how hard is it to share?

Now, how about looking at the minutes. I suspect they have held at least one meeting in April since the new board took office and should have had a meeting in May either normally or while the whole crew was in Germany. Great opportunity in May to approve April's board meeting and publicize the results. I couldn't find any results, could you?

Venus is a very cloudy and inhospitable planet but otherwise similar to Earth. Seems like a fitting moniker for the OSM Board's lack of transparency don't you think?


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David Huelsmann

Dave Huelsmann was Treasurer of Open Source Matters, Inc. from 2008 to July, 2010 and Joomla Forum Global Moderator from 2005 to November, 2010. Now retired, he was a senior healthcare executive who managed large and diverse clinical laboratory, radiology, electroencephalography, and centralized patient transport operations/departments in both not-for-profit and for-profit companies throughout the United States.

Dave was a Navy Corpsman who served in Vietnam while attached to Seabee battalionmcb71

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