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PSF Meeting Minutes for 2009-04-13

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The Python Software Foundation
Minutes of a Regular Meeting of the Board of Directors

April 13, 2009

A regular meeting of the Python Software Foundation ("PSF") Board of Directors was held over Internet Relay Chat beginning at 16:02 UTC, 13 April 2009. Steve Holden presided at the meeting. David Goodger prepared these minutes.

1   Attendance

The following members of the Board of Directors were present at the meeting: Brett Cannon, David Goodger, Steve Holden, Andrew Kuchling, Martin von Löwis, David Mertz, Tim Peters, and Jeff Rush. Also in attendance were Kurt Kaiser (Treasurer) and Pat Campbell (Administrator).

2   Minutes of Past Meetings

The January, February, and March 2009 Board meeting minutes were not ready.

3   Votes Taken Between Meetings

No votes were taken since the last Board meetings on 12 March and 27 March.

4   Status of Past Action Items

(Pending action items appear like this.)

Action items are tracked in the private PSF wiki and their status is recorded in the regular minutes. The numbers in square brackets (like "[0]") refer to the action item ID on the wiki.

4.1   Carried Forward

The following are action items carried forward from the 12 March 2009 meeting, as highlighted in the minutes (Section 4, Status of Past Action Items). Numbers in [brackets] represent the item ID in the PSF private wiki.

  1. [11] Originally from June 2006, Section 6, PSF Records: The Board agreed to assemble the existing records in one place, have them scanned, and enter them into the PSF data repository. D. Goodger will coordinate this work and maintain the records. [Update 2008-12-08] D. Goodger will identify the records for scanning and send photocopies to P. Campbell. [Update 2009-03-10] Copies received by P. Campbell.

    Status: in progress.

  2. [30] Originally from August 2006, Section 10: T. Peters will ask the advice of Larry Rosen regarding concerns with the contributor agreement.

    Status: carried forward.

  3. [13] Originally from December 2006, Section 4, Jython Contributor Agreements: D. Goodger will write to the Jython contributors and ask them to sign contributor agreement forms, in combination with item 1 [11] above (transferred from A. Kuchling).

    Status: carried forward.

  4. [29] Originally from March 2007, Section 18, Bylaw Change Survey: S. Holden will call for a separate discussion of changes to the bylaws [with S. Deibel's help]. Include an affiliation program [ref. July 2008 section 8].

    Approved by member vote 2009-03-27.

    Status: done.

  5. [23] Originally from 14 April 2008, Section 5, Treasurer's Report: S. Holden will assist K. Kaiser with accounts receivable reminders.

    Status: in progress.

  6. [15] Originally from 14 April 2008, Section 7, PyCon Asset Record-Keeping: D. Goodger will update the assets file in PSF CVS with the details of the laptops and VGA2USB boxes purchased for PyCon 2008.

    Status: in progress.

  7. [16] Originally from 14 April 2008, Section 12, Sponsor Membership Issues: D. Goodger will update the member information in members.xls (sponsors & nominated members) & sponsor-addrs.txt, in PSF CVS.

    Status: carried forward.

  8. [22] Originally from 16 June 2008, Section 6.1, Treasurer's Report: K. Kaiser will submit an expanded report to psf-members.

    Status: carried forward.

  9. [4] Originally from 16 June 2008, Section 6.2, Treasurer's Report: D. Goodger will follow up regarding the PyCon transaction analysis.

    Status: carried forward.

  10. [5] Originally from 16 June 2008, Section 6.3, Treasurer's Report: D. Goodger will ensure that documentation for unpaid PyCon tutorials is found and provided.

    Status: carried forward.

  11. [9] Originally from 16 June 2008, Section 6.7, Treasurer's Report: D. Goodger will follow up regarding unpaid PyCon sponsorships.

    Status: carried forward.

  12. [10] Originally from 16 June 2008, Section 6.8, Treasurer's Report: D. Goodger will follow up regarding unpaid PyCon registrations.

    Status: carried forward.

  13. [25] Originally from 11 August 2008, Section 6.2, PyCon UK Sponsorship: R. Hettinger will propose a blanket policy for sponsorships, instead of one-off requests.

    Status: carried forward.

  14. [17] Originally from 8 September 2008, Section 7, PSF Logo: D. Goodger will produce final layouts for a PSF logo.

    Status: carried forward.

  15. [34] Originally from 8 December 2008, Section 5, Role of Administrator: D. Goodger and P. Campbell will verify and update the member contact information.

    Status: carried forward.

  16. [38] Originally from 12 January 2009, Section 7.2, Trademarks Committee (TMC): J. Tauber will work with the Trademarks Committee on establishing voting procedures.

    Status: carried forward.

  17. [39] Originally from 12 January 2009, Section 7.3, Trademarks Committee (TMC): J. Tauber will document the Trademarks Committee procedure as discussed at the Board meeting.

    Status: carried forward.

  18. [40] Originally from 12 January 2009, Section 7.4, Trademarks Committee (TMC): J. Tauber will work with counsel on a proposal to register Python trademarks.

    Status: carried forward.

  19. [42] Originally from 12 January 2009, Section 10, Legal Issues: K. Kaiser will look into acquiring errors and omissions insurance for the Board of Directors.

    Status: carried forward.

  20. [43] Originally from 9 February 2009, Section 9, Internet Domain Management: S. Holden will frame a motion regarding the management of the PSF's Internet domains.

    Status: carried forward.

  21. [44] Originally from 9 February 2009, Section 12, PSF Community Awards: D. Goodger will ask the members for nominations for the PSF Community Awards.

    Status: carried forward.

4.2   New On 12 March

These action items originated at the 12 March 2009 Board meeting on IRC.

  1. [46] Section 5, Internet Domain Management: S. Holden will ask Sean Reifschneider about domain management services.

    Email sent 2009-03-12, awaiting detailed reply.

    Status: carried forward.

  2. [47] Section 6.1, Members' Meeting: M. von Löwis will restart the discussion on giving up control of the Python logo, and formulate a summary and a resolution for the agenda.

    Email sent 2009-03-12. Resolution added to the agenda and voted on at the 2009-03-27 members' meeting

    Status: done.

  3. [48] Section 6.2, Members' Meeting: K. Kaiser will prepare a 2008 financial report (P&L and balance sheet) in advance of the members' meeting.

    Presented at the 2009-03-27 members' meeting, and emailed on the same day.

    Status: done.

  4. [49] Section 7, Board Candidates: S. Holden will send email to the members list regarding Board nominations.

    Email sent 2009-03-12.

    Status: done.

  5. [50] Section 8, Account Signature Authority: K. Kaiser will obtain signature cards from the PSF's bank and coordinate their signing.

    Status: carried forward.

4.3   New On 27 March

These action items originated at the 27 March 2009 Board meeting at PyCon.

  1. [51] Section 4, New Members: D. Goodger and P. Campbell will inform the new members of their election, invite them to join the psf-members list, and will update the membership records.

    Status: carried forward.

  2. [52] Section 5, PSF Community Awards: P. Campbell will add "PSF Community Award nominations" to the Board agenda quarterly.

    Status: carried forward.

4.4   New Between Meetings

No action items were added since the last Board meetings on 12 March and 27 March.

5   Grant Funding from Mellon Foundation

S. Holden asked the other Directors to familiarize themselves with the Mellon Award for Technology Collaboration for the next meeting.

6   PyCon Italia

We received a funding request from PyCon Italia to help with a $7,000 shortfall in their budget. The PSF sponsored PyCon Italia 2007 & 2008 at 1,500 Euros each. S. Holden: "It's a rather larger conference this year, with Guido [van Rossum] and [Alex] Martelli visiting."

RESOLVED, that the PSF support PyCon Italia 2009 with funding of $3,500.

Approved, 8-0-0.

B. Cannon: "Are we ever going to say that we are not going to sponsor a conference after X number of years? In other words do we ever expect them to become fully self-sufficient?"

D. Goodger: "We do need a policy of some kind."

S. Holden noted that there is an outstanding action item to propose a policy on conference sponsorship.

[53] S. Holden will notify the PyCon Italia organizers of the PSF's funding, and will request an invoice.

7   PSF Community Award Nominations

Nominees for the next round of PSF Community Awards were discussed. One nominee was selected.

[The details below were temporarily omitted from the public minutes, restored after the award announcement.]

RESOLVED, that Stephan Deibel be awarded the PSF Community Award.

Approved, 8-0-0.

Sean Reifschneider was recommended for his many contributions: to PyCon networking, to python.org maintenance, and to the Python community. Whether to award Sean or his company, Tummy.com, was debated. T. Peters: "We should ask Sean which he'd prefer -- he may have business reasons for wanting, or not wanting, Tummy to get it."

8   Grant for Vern Ceder for NECC Talk

Vern Ceder approached S. Holden about PSF support for his attendance at National Educational Computing Conference (12,000+ teachers), where he will present Computer Programming for Everybody: Python in the Classroom with Jeff Elkner, promoting Python. Vern is a schoolteacher who needs $1,000 total funding, and asked if the PSF would underwrite a portion.

RESOLVED, that a grant of $500 be made to facilitate Vern Ceder's attendance to present a Python paper at NECC.

Approved, 6-0-2.

[54] S. Holden will write to Vern Ceder about the PSF's grant towards his talk at NECC.

9   Request for PSF Support of FOWABE

A request was received from Xavier Heymans for the PSF's support of FOWABE, an EU proposal relating to improvements to the Plone/Zope technological stack. It was noted that the request did not contain a complete proposal, and the Board agreed that it could not support the proposal without complete information.

[55] S. Holden will write to Xavier Heymans to explain the Board's position regarding FOWABE support.

10   Request for Support of the "NiceTime" Proposal

A request was received from Ian Benson for a $10,000 grant of the "NiceTime" proposal, to further the Python education of a group of schoolteachers in the UK. The grant would be used to hold a one day workshop in September.

D. Goodger: "I don't see a significant link to the PSF's mission."

S. Holden: "[Ian Benson] is actually working towards formal adoption of Python as a teaching technique in the UK (and, later, perhaps the US) mathematics curriculum, so there is definitely relevance to our mission."

A. Kuchling: "I found the proposal didn't give enough details to let me decide. ... And there's a lot of jargon I didn't get..."

T. Peters: "I didn't see anything specific about what the money would be spent on. ... Specific would be "food", "clothing", "travel", "awards", etc. In effect, I want a high-level budget from him, so I have some idea where the PSF's money is going."

[56] S. Holden will request a reformulated proposal for NiceTime.

11   PSF Prepayment and Reimbursement of Meetup.com Fees

J. Rush presented a proposal to reimburse user group organizers for fees paid to Meetup.com in the past year, and to prepay annual fees for Meetup.com Python groups ($144 per 3 groups). Details at https://www.dfwpython.org/Meetup/Meetup.

S. Holden asked J. Rush if he would be prepared to administer an annual budget for this. J. Rush replied that he would.

S. Holden: "I'd personally see this as directly relevant to our mission. With $1,500 we could fund up to thirty groups."

M. von Löwis wasn't familiar with Meetup.com. The Board described it as: a system to encourage local groups to form and be active, used for organizing semi-public face-to-face meetings that can range widely in size and scope. An organizer posts a date for an event, and people indicate their interest in attending. For each group the Meetup.com site keeps a calendar of past meetings, with attendance, if the organizer approves it afterward. Meetup evens can be useful, but attendance and frequency is not closely monitored by Meetup.

D. Goodger asked about obtaining an umbrella group discount. J. Rush: "I'm still talking with meetup.com; they don't make it easy to sponsor groups of groups. Been pushing them for years."

A. Kuchling: "Is there some criteria we should set for reimbursement? E.g. meetings of a certain size/frequency." D. Goodger agreed

S. Holden: "We could have criteria for continued funding, but at $50 per group per year we don't want to over-administer this - it could easily become a bike shed."

D. Mertz: "I think criterion of "not obviously defunct" would be enough to keep funding a local group."

K. Kaiser asked about the number and frequency of invoices. J. Rush: "Probably 4-5 a year, spread throughout the year, for the first year."

RESOLVED, that an annual budget of up to $1,500 be established for Meetup expenses for local user groups. Jeff Rush will administer the funds initially.

Approved, 7-0-1.

12   PyCon Financial Results

T. Peters inquired about the PyCon financial results. D. Goodger: "Our meeting planners, CTE, have assured us that we won't have to pay any attrition (empty hotel rooms). That saves us up to $70K. They haven't completed their post-conference audit yet though. And we haven't done all the books yet. Probably a small loss overall."

13   PyOhio Donations

D. Mertz: "Should the board have any position about the proposal on PSF list to let PyOhio run its donations through PSF?"

J. Rush: "The PyOhio issue is bigger; some regional groups want PSF to indemnify them; one idea is for the PSF to provide boilerplate org papers, rules."

A. Kuchling: "PyAR also would like boilerplate documents (for conference budgets, sponsorship contracts, etc.)."

S. Holden: "I think we need to look at how to act as a channel for smaller groups, we certainly can't do it without consideration of liability issues and 501(3)(c) status."

Further discussion was deferred to the ongoing discussion on the PSF-members mailing list.

14   Website for Learning Python

A. Kuchling: "FYI: notes on a new micro-website for people wanting to learn Python. I'll probably start trying to write it in a few weeks."

15   Adjournment

S. Holden adjourned the meeting at 17:06 UTC.