2007 PSF Members' Meeting Minutes

The Python Software Foundation
Minutes of the 2007 Members' Meeting

February 23, 2007

The Python Software Foundation (the "PSF") held its annual members' meeting on February 23, 2007 at 19:00 CST (01:00 UTC) in the Marriott Quorum Hotel in Dallas/Addison, Texas, USA (PyCon TX 2007). The agenda is available here. Stephan Deibel presided over the meeting. David Goodger prepared these minutes.

1   Attendance

The following members were present at the meeting:

  • Advanced Simulation Technology Inc., represented by Andrew Kuchling
  • David M. Beazley
  • Brett Cannon
  • CCP Games, represented by Kristján Valur Jónsson
  • Andrew Dalke
  • Stephan Deibel
  • Jeff Elkner
  • Enthought, represented by Travis Vaught
  • Jim Fulton
  • David Goodger
  • Raymond Hettinger
  • Steve Holden
  • Michael Hudson
  • Jeremy Hylton
  • Eric Jones
  • Richard Jones
  • Andrew Kuchling
  • Merfin LLC, represented by Reggie Dugard
  • Anna Martelli Ravenscroft
  • Gustavo Niemeyer
  • Neal Norwitz
  • Travis Oliphant
  • Guido van Rossum
  • Christian Tismer
  • Barry Warsaw
  • Thomas Wouters
  • Ka-Ping Yee
  • Moshe Zadka
  • ZeOmega, represented by Brad Allen
  • Zope Corporation, represented by Jim Fulton

The following members were represented by proxy (in parentheses):

  • ActiveState, represented by David Ascher (Brett Cannon)
  • David Ascher (Brett Cannon)
  • Anthony Baxter (Richard Jones)
  • Georg Brandl (Brett Cannon)
  • Matthew Dixon Cowles (Stephan Deibel)
  • Walter Dörwald (Brett Cannon)
  • Paul F. Dubois (Brett Cannon)
  • Paul Everitt (Barry Warsaw)
  • Google, represented by Chris DiBona (Guido van Rossum)
  • Thomas Heller (Michael Hudson)
  • Neil Hodgson (Stephan Deibel)
  • Hostway, represented by Jason Abate (Barry Warsaw)
  • Jim Hugunin (Jeremy Hylton)
  • Jack Jansen (Barry Warsaw)
  • Kurt B. Kaiser (Neal Norwitz)
  • Cameron Laird (Barry Warsaw)
  • Marc-André Lemburg (David Goodger)
  • Martin von Löwis (Barry Warsaw)
  • Ken Manheimer (Barry Warsaw)
  • Alex Martelli (Anna Martelli Ravenscroft)
  • Open Source Applications Foundation, represented by Ted Leung (Stephan Deibel)
  • Samuele Pedroni (Michael Hudson)
  • Tim Peters (Barry Warsaw)
  • Armin Rigo (Michael Hudson)
  • Vinay Sajip (Richard Jones)
  • Peter Schneider-Kamp (Barry Warsaw)
  • Strakt Holdings, represented by Laura Creighton (Michael Hudson)
  • Jason Tishler (Neal Norwitz)

The following members voted by absentee ballot:

  • Neil Schemenauer
  • Brian Zimmer

60 members were in attendance, represented by proxy, or voted by absentee ballot, constituting a quorum according to the Bylaws.

The following were also present, initially as observers:

  • Steve Alexander, representing Canonical
  • Steven Bethard
  • Catherine Devlin
  • Runar Petersson, representing Madison Tyler LLC
  • Sean Reifschneider
  • James Tauber

2   Election of Nominated Members

The observers were asked to leave the meeting during discussion. The following topics were discussed:

  • What are the requirements for membership? Past and expected future contributions to the Python codebase and to the Python community; visibility in the community; attitude toward Python's IP.

    The existence of the new Membership FAQ was pointed out.

    Nomination should not merely be a reflection of appreciation.

  • Emeritus membership.

  • New category of membership to show appreciation: associate member? The consensus was no; appreciation should be shown on the website.

After discussion, all proposed nominated members were elected (vote counts in parentheses, for-against-abstain):

  • Steven Bethard (47-3-9)
  • Nick Coghlan (55-0-4)
  • Laura Creighton (55-3-1)
  • Catherine Devlin (40-3-16)
  • Doug Napoleone (38-3-18)
  • Sean Reifschneider (58-0-1)
  • Jeff Rush (56-0-3)

After the vote, the observers were invited back into the meeting; Runar Petersson did not return to the meeting. Pizza was consumed while the ballots were counted. Ballots (for the remainder of the votes) were issued to the three new members present: Steven Bethard, Catherine Devlin, and Sean Reifschneider.

3   Election of Sponsor Members

The Board had already approved the pending sponsor members listed below. Each candidate was discussed. In future, candidates for sponsor membership should be asked for a paragraph describing their reasons for wanting to join the PSF.

After discussion, all proposed sponsor members were elected (vote counts in parentheses):

  • Canonical (62-0-1)
  • cPacket Networks (48-1-14)
  • Madison Tyler LLC (57-0-6)
  • Microsoft (57-4-2)
  • Tabblo (57-0-6)

After the vote, ballots (for the remainder of the votes) were issued to representatives of the two new sponsor members present: Steve Alexander (Canonical) and Raymond Hettinger (Madison Tyler LLC).

4   Review of the Year

4.1   Financial Report

Kurt Kaiser sent the 2006 financial report by email, which was reviewed. Summary:

Total Assets $289,419
Total Liabilities $177
Total Revenue $180,188
Total Expenses $158,284
Net Income $21,904

4.2   Infrastructure Committee

Brett Cannon summarized the choice of a new bug tracker for Python development (Roundup) and the current status:

The tracker is almost ready. We can get our data out of SF without issue and load it into our Roundup instance. At this point we are doing minor detail work on settings and such. After a reasonable amount of time following the release of 2.5.1 we will make the transition.

4.3   Conference Committee

Andrew Kuchling summarized PyCon 2006 and 2007: about 410 attendees in 2006, about 590 in 2007. We had a $19,000 profit from PyCon in 2006, and expect a profit for 2007 as well. There was a $6000 travel grant (financial aid) supplementary budget from the PSF in 2006, $7000 in 2007 but part of the PyCon budget. We got to a late start with sponsors for 2007, but many sponsors contacted us, and we have had excellent results.

Ideas & comments that arose during the discussion:

  • Thomas Wouters: Should we have a lower fee, and take a loss?
  • Travis Vaught: Spend more on financial aid / scholarships?
  • Steve Holden: Increase sponsorship fees?
  • Ka-Ping Yee: Lower the student rate?
  • David Goodger: The financial aid program should start earlier, and end prior to the end of early-bird registration.
  • Neal Norwitz: We should mention financial aid in the call for proposals.
  • Moshe Zadka: Free registration for speakers?
  • Sean Reifschneider: Registration optional for speakers? "I would like to pay my registration."
  • Ka-Ping Yee: Encourage speakers even if they can't afford to attend.
  • Thomas Wouters: Volunteers could get free registration.
  • David Goodger: An idea from linux.conf.au: have a corporate rate (purely voluntary)?
  • Steve Holden: The registration form could have an option like "I would like to fund another attendee's registration".

4.4   Advocacy Coordinator

Jeff Rush, the Python Advocacy Coordinator, sent a status report to the PSF Board, which was then forwarded to the PSF-members list. Andrew Kuchling summarized the status report which was then discussed:

  • Neal Norwitz: The PSF overviewers [himself and Stephan Deibel] didn't provide much direction.
  • Stephan Deibel: There was a failure of direction/supervision.
  • David Goodger: The result was positive & worthwhile though.
  • Moshe Zadka: There should be a stronger commitment for supervision.
  • Jeremy Hylton: I'm not interested in advocacy. Perhaps pay for a PyCon coordinator and/or a user group coordinator instead?
  • Brad Allen: Emphasize infrastructure & user group support? Send the coordinator to user groups? That may be a better use of their time.
  • Michael Hudson: EuroPython could use help too.

In his report Jeff Rush admits to spending an increasingly larger portion of his efforts on PyCon instead of on pure Python advocacy. As PyCon co-Chair, the temptation was too great. However, the consensus was that Jeff has done a lot for PyCon and for Python through PyCon, and Jeff deserves significant credit for the large increase in attendees and the success of Pycon 2007. The members were in favor of renewing Jeff's contract.

4.5   Secretary

David Goodger reported that he is proceeding to get the PSF's paper & electronic records under control. He will be scanning all the PSF's paper records into a repository and filling in gaps in our records.

5   Motion to Increase the Maximum Number of Directors

From the agenda:

A call for nominations of PSF directors was issued, to the PSF-members list, to other lists, and to the PSF blog. We had a good response, with 4 new candidates stepping forward, in addition to the 8 incumbents. We have a total of 12 candidates for Director this year, but currently the Board is limited to 8 Directors. As Tim Peters put it, "the bigger the board, the more gets done."

This motion aims to increase the limit on the number of Directors going forward. We learned in the past that it's better to expand the Board than to miss out on offers of help. This does not mean that all candidates for Director will automatically be elected; this year's Directors will be decided in the election below.

There was much discussion and controversy. Guido van Rossum noted that the PSF's activities are not, by definition, work for the Board. David Goodger noted that other than the incumbent Directors, no PSF members stepped forward as candidates for Director.

The following motion was put to a vote:

WHEREAS it is recognized that it is beneficial to the Foundation to have a large number of active Directors, be it

RESOLVED, that the PSF Board be increased to twelve (12) Directors.

The motion failed to pass: 27 for, 31 against, 3 abstentions.

6   Election of a New Board of Directors

There were 12 candidates for 8 board positions. There was some discussion of the voting procedures. One idea: next year, have only "yes" votes, no "no" votes, and the top-voted candidates are elected.

The vote results are in parentheses:

  • David Turvene (2-26-34)
  • Andy Todd (3-26-33)
  • James Tauber (16-16-30)
  • Mark Summerfield (1-26-35)
  • Tim Peters * (62-0-0)
  • Martin von Löwis * (59-1-2)
  • Andrew Kuchling * (60-0-2)
  • Steve Holden * (61-1-0)
  • David Goodger * (61-0-1)
  • Stephan Deibel * (60-0-2)
  • Brett Cannon * (59-0-3)
  • David Ascher * (55-3-4)

The 8 incumbent Directors (marked by asterisks above) were re-elected to the PSF Board.

7   PSF Budget and Action Plan

David Goodger briefly described the budget & action plan he sent to the PSF-members mailing list, but due to the late hour, he moved that further discussion be deferred. The motion was enthusiastically received, seconded, and passed without discussion.

8   Google Summer of Code

There was a brief discussion on the Google Summer of Code, such as non-core projects being directly supported by the PSF. Further discussion was deferred, including the appointment of an administrator for the PSF projects.

9   Adjournment

Stephan Deibel adjourned the meeting at around 22:00 CST.

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