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Time for an election / The status of SME Server Inc.

Time for an election / The status of SME Server Inc.
« on: January 14, 2008, 06:42:13 PM »
Our intended terms as leaders have past where they were supposed to end now.  Things are still rolling along on the development side, which is great.  On the business side of things, we are at a point now where Gordon, Paul and I are looking to pass the torch to someone new.  We would like to hold an election as soon as we can to elect a new Project/Business Manager.  It is my opinion, that we should elect just one person this time around, so that decisions are made quicker.  That person can delegate and I'm sure will receive offers of help from many community members, so there will still be a leadership 'team'. 

When it comes to the company that has been created, 'SME Server Inc.', in Colorado, we are at the point where we are filling out paperwork with the IRS to get tax-deductable status.  Quite a bit of time, money and effort has been put into getting the company established, so it would be a shame to let that fall apart.  But there would be a few options:
1. If the elected leader is from the USA, work with Ruffdogs to transfer the company to your name/state.
2. Elect someone anywhere, and possibly Ruffdogs can continue to manage the money side of things
3. Elect someone anywhere, and close the company, transferring the funds to that person to manage

I am impartial to which is the best option.  I would just like the election to be open to anyone to run, and that an enthusiastic well-intentioned person win.

Thank you to the entire community for your help and support during our term as leaders.  I hope we can come together now and determine the best path to keep SME Server being developed, and have an active and growing user community. 

We are working out the technical details to hold the election, but stay tuned, it will be happening soon.

Quick update:
- The IRS paperwork can be filed without holding an election first. 
- No date has been set for the election, and it is unlikely that it will happen before the 28th, although it would still be great to know now who would be interested in running.
- I spoke too soon and it will likely be an election to elect 3 board members again, as that is how it was set out in the constitution and articles of incorporation. 

Sorry to jump the gun everybody.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2008, 10:12:46 PM by gregswallow »

Re: Time for an election / The status of SME Server Inc.
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2008, 07:27:14 PM »
Ruffdogs would be happy to continue in this aspect, as we are well aware of what needs to get done legally and from a community standpoint. I believe we have also shown our commitment and that we can be trusted to do what's best for the community, as we have been taking care of donations since the beginning.

Either way, this will all have to happen very quickly.

Garret

Re: Time for an election / The status of SME Server Inc.
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2008, 03:07:00 AM »
Either way, this will all have to happen very quickly.

How quickly is "very quickly" and what are the reasons for the time pressure?

Re: Time for an election / The status of SME Server Inc.
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2008, 03:21:08 AM »
How quickly is "very quickly" and what are the reasons for the time pressure?

The 28th of this month, which is the extended time line provided by the IRS to get our paperwork complete.

Re: Time for an election / The status of SME Server Inc.
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2008, 10:52:03 AM »
Hi,

As i'm in France, i'd like to know what "IRS" and "paperwork" is. Because I don't know at all.

Greetings

Offline cactus

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Re: Time for an election / The status of SME Server Inc.
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2008, 11:03:48 AM »
Hi,

As i'm in France, i'd like to know what "IRS" and "paperwork" is. Because I don't know at all.

Greetings
The IRS is the Internal Revenue Service, the association concerned with taxes.
Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than its worth ~ Baz Luhrmann - Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)

Re: Time for an election / The status of SME Server Inc.
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2008, 09:39:27 PM »
Quick update:
- The IRS paperwork can be filed without holding an election first. 
- No date has been set for the election, and it is unlikely that it will happen before the 28th, although it would still be great to know now who would be interested in running.
- I spoke too soon and it will likely be an election to elect 3 board members again, as that is how it was set out in the constitution and articles of incorporation. 

Sorry to jump the gun everybody.

Thanks,

Offline cactus

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    • http://www.snetram.nl
Re: Time for an election / The status of SME Server Inc.
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2008, 09:53:21 PM »
- I spoke too soon and it will likely be an election to elect 3 board members again, as that is how it was set out in the constitution and articles of incorporation. 
Is there some information on what are the requirements needed for functions as well as a list of tasks?
Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than its worth ~ Baz Luhrmann - Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)

Re: Time for an election / The status of SME Server Inc.
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2008, 10:08:49 PM »
Is there some information on what are the requirements needed for functions as well as a list of tasks?

We currently have a business manager, development manager and communications manager.  I don't have a job description for each, but like I said in the other thread, I think it should be three people with a vision of:
- how to make SME Server a more popular distribution
- how to encourage and reward the developers
- how to collect donations and/or fees from a larger percentage of the community of people that use SME Server

Thanks,

Re: Time for an election / The status of SME Server Inc.
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2008, 12:38:00 PM »
I had used this distro just about a month.
But i have to say it's a great distro.
I'm a linux user, since 2000,also a active member of some linux forums.
Now,I started a small business corp,We supply linux based solutions for SMEs.
I'd like this project to be continued,and more popular...


Re: Time for an election / The status of SME Server Inc.
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2008, 10:07:22 PM »
Hi all,

I'm an Director of Security Network Company in Brazil. 
Looking at forum , i see this post and i can offer:

to be a Project Leader or
use my company to do community services on SME Server, my companyprofiles can be changed to do community services.

we think in :
do all job to divulgate and expand community support on SME,
Join all world developers and entusiastics to one Forum,
Provide hosting and servers of my Company to project,
provide marketing actions on Brazil to be SME Server well known.
research on best practices to SME functions, and Admin GUI.

but if everything above fails, the hosting and server can be done at "Zero" cost.

awaiting

Re: Time for an election / The status of SME Server Inc.
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2008, 08:21:56 AM »
I am really interested at being involved, I have been an SME user since day one and worked with Dan York pre Mitel at Linuxcare in San Francisco so have watched the project grow.

My Linux background is 2 years at Linuxcare in San Francisco followed by a stint as a project team lead on Sourceforge and various other projects at VA Linux. In 1999/2000 I founded SmoothWall (still one of the worlds most popular OpenSource success stories) whilst working at VA which went on to be pretty big (over 22m downloads if you also include IPCop and Endian versions) and the commercial OpenSource company of the same name. I've won three international awards for SmoothWall and I've given talks on OpenSource and security to a staggeringly large list of schools, universities, colleges and functions.

I am an experienced team leader, but also I've a trackrecord of securing funding and ensuring open source projects such as Phlak, LocalAreaSecurity, Backtrack got both the funding and hosting to maintain a presence long enough to move from startup project to become fully fledged standalone creations in their own right. I am currently securing funding and resources for MailScanner working hand in hand with Julian Fields it's creator and maintainer.

More recently I headed up Security for three and a half years for Europe's biggest cable ISP (7.5m users) and did consultancy pre sale to Yahoo for Open Source mail / messaging darlings Zimbra in San Mateo.

I maintain a rack of servers in London mirrored to my dev lab in the Cotswolds in the UK and I am currently advising amongst others the UK Government on OpenSource and just finished writing a book on OpenSource vs Proprietary thats out sometime this year.

The main strengths I bring to the table are the facts that I have been doing this in the OpenSource movement since pretty much day one. I've got good personal links into the Kernel, PHP, Apache and Spamassassin camps and I understand package release schedules and have an understanding of how to use PR and the proprietary press (as well as the OpenSource press) to gain awareness.

I also hold the unenviable record of being the sole OpenSource developer on the planet of having personally sued MS and won.

I would love to have some sort of involvement even if it was just to prove to Charlie Brady that my heart is in the right place and he's actually right up there on a pedestal once I've worked out how to feed him indigestion tablets.

Richard
« Last Edit: January 19, 2008, 08:24:58 AM by dickmorrell »
...

guest22

Re: Time for an election / The status of SME Server Inc.
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2008, 01:37:34 AM »
Dick/Richard,

Good to see that you are an enthusiastic user/watcher of SME Server.

I, and many more of us, have seen the past discussions between you and others on this forum accompanied by many examples of what people meant at that time. These discussions themselves where left by you in an 'interesting way'. We also know about your involvement with other distro's and the verbal 'battle' about that. That said, I believe that everybody is entitled to show and prove their good intentions and so do you. However..

Is there any way you can show/prove that your past discussed behavior and language has changed definitely?? We know that many 'commercial' minded people are out there that are willing to 'nurse' a promising project and then eventually try to make big bucks out of it at the expense of this community. This is my personal worry and I believe I am not the only one.

The time you spent on e-smith/SME Server and your personal involvement does not show from this being your 20th post/reply....  Is there any entity that can back up your statements please? As for involement, ALL visitors can be involved. There is the forums, wiki and bug tracker, no need for anybody to be elected in whatever way to be able to contribute to those efforts. Even Charlie would welcome and agree on that.

You keep referring to your 'Open Source loving' resume, but you haven't been 'popular' from that specific community for a long time, or am I mistaking here? Why should this community take a 'known risk' instead of going forward with a 'virgin' good soul?

NOT trying to start a flame here, simply being open and open minded.

Thanks,
guest





ncg

Re: Time for an election / The status of SME Server Inc.
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2008, 02:26:42 AM »
Many of the posters in this thread are the key movers and shakers of the SME Server community or the open source world, whereas I haven't posted for so long that my account has vanished...

Nevertheless I've been an SME Server user for 5 years - and I think pretty much a target user: smart, but not a computer professional, in need of the guidance the developers build in to the system, and grateful for the web based front end.  I would love to see this distribution on a stable footing, with an expanding userbase, and recognised by people who don't understand the term "distribution" for being the groundbreaking distribution it is.

Mr Morrell's previous work includes founding Smoothwall - a project which created the leading product in its sector for all the reasons we aspire to: it was good technology with a clear web interface, easy to use by novices, but quick and flexible for professionals.

SME Server has a strong sense of community but gives less impression of momentum or progress (or ego) than Smoothwall did.  I suspect that an amount of Smoothwall's integrated technology, UI, web presence and nose for PR were driven by force of one character alone, and I think a little of such focus might go a long way.

If Richard Morrell is seriously interested in active participation and if the existing team like the idea it could offer a strong platform for the future.

HF - you ask why SME Server should take a known risk.  There are very few people who have the proven capability of creating a branded phenomenon from open source software, and the distribution we have here is capable of being that.  Richard Morrell is one of those people.  As I understand it the team is very keen to generate funds to remunerate the developers, and who would be better capable of structuring arrangements to achieve that?  But here it would be different to Smoothwall, because it's a community project already sailing in its own direction, with a crew looking to elect a helmsman for a limited shift.

PS.  Having strongly supported Richard Morrell's case I should add that five years ago I chose to move from being a Smoothwall user to an IPCop one after a forum posting prompted an abusive email from him.  But we all mature with time.  Or don't we?  You know best.


Offline raem

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Re: Time for an election / The status of SME Server Inc.
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2008, 03:07:36 AM »
Dick

Quote
I would love to have some sort of involvement even if it was just to prove to Charlie Brady that my heart is in the right place and he's actually right up there on a pedestal once I've worked out how to feed him indigestion tablets.

We (the community) want & need motivated people to get the commercial side of this distro moving. Whatever the background and expertise of applicants, we certainly don't want them coming into the role with attitudes like you expressed, that's a very wrong reason to want the job.
Dick, please drop the attitude & negativity & be more professional.
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