Leaks, Drips, and Spills

Open Source Matters, Inc - A Collection of Crash Testing Dummies?

15 Oct 2014
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To check out a newly built crash test dummy, first comes the Head Drop Test--and the name pretty much says it all. A technician detaches the  head from the neck and hangs it from shafts at a precise height of 37.6 cm above a heavy block of steel. A magnetic release mechanism drops the head, which hits the block with a thud. This test ensures that the head has the right weight and damping properties. Notice that there is no further test of the head such as ability to think, reason and make appropriate judgements. The Head Drop Test seems to be a step-up lately from the requirements to be a board member at Open Source Matters, Inc.

Here we are only 13 days away from Halloween and the board of Open Source Matters, Inc. seems to be more focused on travel to various events then it is on the required due diligence review of it's financial performance or the performance of the various volunteers it should be overseeing to ensure the brand of Joomla! is presented properly to the community.

So, what do I mean here? It's really quite simple:

  1. There hasn't been full financial disclosure to the community in over a year (closer to two or more) which makes one wonder if the minimal disclosure we have seen is what the board is receiving.
  2. At the very least, the board and the community should see the following each and every month:
    • Balance Sheet
    • Budget Compared to Actual year-to-date
    • P&L Statement
    • Current Year Approved Budget
  3. After a year of no reporting, we finally received a budget-to-actual report for September 2014. No other reports have been forthcoming. What is the board receiving?
  4. It is now October, 2014. We should have seen a posted IRS document for 2013 by now. What is the board's position on ensuring that the community (and perhaps the board itself) is kept properly and timely informed on all financial matters?
  5. There has been an outcry on the Joomla!  forums about the poor performance of the Global Moderators in getting rid of spam in a timely fashion particularly on weekends. There has been no effort that can be seen to improve this situation which reflects poorly on the Joomla! project. A number of volunteers have stepped up to assist in removing spam. Suggestions have been made on how to modify the forums to eliminate or sequester such spam before it gets revealed to the users of the forums. No response on what is being done, if anything, has been forthcoming. Now that the OSM board is responsible for the project overall without oversight, shouldn't they also be responding to situations like this to ensure that the brand is protected and the user experience is positive?
  6. Another outcry that has been going on for years has been about the Joomla Extensions Directory (JED). Those responsible for the JED have been accused of removing extensions and reviews with no communication to the developers. The few responses from the JED leadership that have been seen have been significantly less than satisfactory in explaining why the JED members took such actions. The OSM board needs to step-up and investigate complaints such as these and others and determine appropriate responses based on the outcome of the investigations. They need to be responsible for the entire Joomla! project not just PR through travel experiences.

Update # 1: 11/05/2014

Sometime this past weekend (either Friday or Saturday), OSM published the September 25, 2014 Board Minutes. There was a three sentence paragraph discussing the proposed structure change for the Joomla! project. Structure ­ Status Report The Structure Team published a blog explaining the process. So far there are no comments made on it. The team will continue with the proposed timeline in that blog. Of course you have all read the somehwat superficial blog about the proposed structure - haven't you? What you haven't read is what has been posted: 1. Structure Details 2. Leadership Process of Open Source Matters 3. Transition Plan From Current Structure to New. While all of this is available in open Google groups, you haven't been given the links to access it or even know it was there, have you? In two days, the Joomla World Conference will start in Cancun where the leadership of Joomla plans on voting for this structure without any of your input. So nice of them to keep you up to date isn't it?

That's not all the news of course. Victor Drover published a spreadsheet on Open Source Matters, Inc. - Public Mailing list with the Budget vs Actuals for November 2014. Of course, he didn't bother to post it on the Open Source Matters website for you to review nor did he provide the other financial sheets the community should receive such as P&L statement and Balance sheet. Must have been in too big a hurry to get to the beaches and beer in Cancun. Check out how over budget they are on legal fees and how much they have spent on travel (This is without the Cancun trip of course)

Update # 2: 11/23/2015

The Joomla World Conference was held November 7-9 at the Grand Oasis Cancun Mexico. Apparaently the leadership of Joomla met for 2 days prior to the conference to discuss the proposed but little known proposed new organizational structure for Joomla and perhaps Open Source Matters, Inc. Unfortunately, we were told on November 7 that "Discussions between the leadership teams about sharing summit sessions revealed a strong concern that some would not feel comfortable freely expressing themselves if the sessions were live streamed or recorded, and that it would hinder their ability to participate. So streaming or recorded meetings will not be offered. Information from these meetings will be shared in a blog following the summit." How did that make you feel Joomla community? Gee - feeling uncomfortable proposing a structure change so we can't be transparent to the rest of the community? Kind of maintains their track record of not willing to share, huh? I have been patiently waiting for the blog to appear but I guess not, huh? While they say all input will be considered, they don't share where the structure discussion now stands so how do you provide input. Ah ha. It's a conundrum. I always wanted one of those </sarcasm>.

So, then we get a posting buried on the forum in this thread by "astroboysoup" first that he had digestion problems during his trip to/from Cancun which I would classify as TMI and inappropriate and then he goes on in a subsequent post in that thread that all these groups are working on explaining to the community (what? where are they explaining? - oh I get it, they are trying to figure out how to explain. Must be some tuff stuff there). And he goes on to mention how we commoners don't have access to the discussions that are ongoing and, oh by the way, they are all volunteers so we are going to have to give them more time.

Simply terrific, huh? Guess we continue to play the roll of the mushrooms or is it the bulls**t? In the spirit of the season - Bah, Humbug!

Instead of simply attending a board meeting once a month and as many travel opportunities as possible, perhaps the OSM board should show us that they passed the Head Drop Test and more and can actually take charge and improve a user's experience when contributing extensions to the JED,  when participating in threads on the forums, or when reviewing the actions of the board both in financial reporting and board minutes reporting. Show us you're not just another statistic of the Head Drop Test. Don't leave your discarded head on the floor!



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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

Read more about Dave Huelsmann

+1 # Gary 2014-10-28 13:15
I am a Joomla extension developer and i've experienced many times my plugins and components being removed without NOTICE or warning, and weird disappearance of REVIEWS!! unfortunately i cannot prove the reviews are removed.

I worked for a wordpress company before doing Joomla and i don't remember being our plugin being removed there even we made few stupid mistake! They just notify and warn us so we fixed it! Now that is professional attitude!

But with Joomla, plugins are removed without warning nor notice that my plugin has problems. It does not even explain you the correct problem why i am getting unpublished.

And the JED support, most take them 2 weeks or 4 weeks to reply????!!!! they said they are volunteers!! but i see they spend more time travelling on events and speaking!

Is this how one of the popular CMS treat there developers or they treat me like crap because I am not a friend of the guy who manage JED nor Donate on Joomla days?

I donate to joomla days before...many times.. But since 2011.. my extensions are removed without noticed many times in 1 year. I am losing money with this...How do you want me to donate to Joomla events if i am becoming poor?

It is trending now that Joomla is going to die. But i do not believe Joomla will die but someone is destroying it from the core.
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-1 # Dave Huelsmann 2014-11-05 15:38
@Gary: Sorry to see that no one else has stepped up to share their experiences with the JED. It has always been the worst performing are of the Joomla project. It amazes me that OSM makes no effort to measure customer satisfaction for each of their offerings and then use that information to make improvements.
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