By Luca Marzo on 2021-10-28 15:03 in Board of Directors

Open Source Matters, Inc.
Semi-Annual Members Meeting

Date: October 14, 2021
Time: 17:00 UTC
Total time of meeting: 55 minutes

Attendees:

Board Representatives: Robert Deutz (President), Radek Suski (Treasurer), Luca Marzo (Secretary), Jaz Parkyn (Director), Philip Walton (Director), David Aswani (Director)

Attendees: Jenn Gress, Anja de Crom, Laura Gordon, Niels Braczek, Anibal Sanchez, Andrea Gentil, Benjamin Trenkle, Richard Fath,  Hans van der Meer, Chris Keen, Dénes Székely, Harald Leithner, Alison Meeks, Jeroen Moolenschot, Oh Martin, SD Williams, Giovanni Genovino, Llewellyn van der Merwe.

Apologies: Nicola Galgano (Vice President), Wilco Alsemgeest (Director), Patrick Jackson.

Discussion outline

Introduction

Speaker: Luca Marzo (Secretary)

  • Luca Marzo welcomed all the participants and shared the instructions to properly attend the meeting.

Semi-Annual Report from the President

Speaker: Robert Deutz (President)

  • Robert Deutz welcomed all the participants and shared the Semi-Annual Report from the participants.

President

Since the 7th August 2021 I have been serving as President of OSM, so I just finished 66 days in office. While I am for a long time part of the project I am still trying to get a solid overview. I didn't have the chance yet to speak with all department coordinators, I am hoping to talk to the missing ones soon.

As a community we are facing a lot of smaller and some bigger problems. The biggest one, is from my point of view, that we have so many vacant positions at all levels. We need to spend all our energy to get more people on board. Working in this community was always fun for me and I have made a lot of friends all over the world. I will join next week the VET meeting to see what are the plans and ideas to get more people involved in the Joomla! community.

We also have some organisational problems, one of them is that we don't have full access to our bank accounts. Here we need a solid solution that allows us to handle access to bank accounts  without traveling around the world to sign a document.

We are also in two legal disputes that will take time to resolve.

Having listed all these problems I still believe that Joomla! has a good future. With Joomla4 we have built a great piece of software and are the leading CMS from a technical view point in many areas. If we are able to make the benefits of Joomla4 clear and understandable to the public, I have no doubts that we will remain a big player in the Web.

Vice President

1st i would like to apologize, cause i cannot attend this meeting, i will be busy in a work travel, 2nd i would like to enlighten that now we finally have a channel open to everyone: https://github.com/open-source-matters/contact-us , and i would like to emphasize, that this is a BIG signal, for openness and transparency, i cannot have said it better, than the President, we now have Joomla 4, and we should not lose this BIG opportunity. What can I add from my 2 weeks in  charge?... I will continue to strive for openness and transparency. In detail i will push as much as i can, to have clear and frequent updates about the finance, hum...but this is only an half of the apple, or something like  that, what i want to achieve with my mandate, is a more broad participation, from who it's outside  "glip", and i will spend a lot of my energy on that. Wish me good luck and possibly help me with that.  "All together as a one"

Treasurer

Given the extremely difficult situation the OSM treasury is in today after serious irregularities have been discovered I mostly tried to carry out day to day operations and ensure as much as possible that the situation does not cause disruption of the project activities.  For each meeting I am taking part of, all accounts balances are being reported to the entire board. All expenses are being controlled by me at least once within 48 hours to prevent further irregularities. At the beginning of my terms I’ve been one after one given access to different tools we are using to have a good oversight over our finances. Unfortunately during this process also Brian Mitchell, who was always very helpful and supportive, has been removed from his position as the OSM president which additionally complicated our situation and further progress.  

Unfortunately as for today the complete handout could not have been completed. Mainly due to travel restrictions caused by a pandemic thus the board and myself are looking for the most painless possible solution. 

On the bright side we have a very competent bookkeeper and accountant both of whom are extremely helpful and dutiful.

I am looking forward to the future when the formal issues are entirely solved so I can focus more on improving all processes and providing more transparency to the entire community. 

For now I would like to thank Brian Mitchell for his ongoing support and cooperation to this day as well as to Luca Marzo and the entire board of OSM for their constant support.

Secretary

It has been a very important and busy year, given the recent happenings. I’ve worked towards the improvement of the corporate rules to increase the level of financial transparency (internal and external) and introduce additional business controls to prevent misuse of corporate funds.

I’ve also worked to obtain several grants for OSM, to mitigate the low income due to the global pandemic that hit many companies in the industry, some of which were our sponsors. 

Within these initiatives, I was able to get a 20’000 USD grant from the AWS Open Source initiative of Amazon, used to reduce the infrastructure expenses and to have OSM selected to participate in the pilot round of FUNDOSS, a funding initiative from Open Collective aimed to support Open Source Projects and Communities. This brought to OSM roughly 4’000 USD that were allocated to the Production Department budget.

I worked closely with Wilco Alsemgeest and Jaz Parkyn, supporting their action to improve the global infrastructure of OSM and implementing security measures and defining the best practices for onboarding and offboarding procedures. I’m glad for having the opportunity to work with both of them.

Elections have a central place in my duties, with the regular cycle of elections and two replacement elections: Marketing DC and President.

Recently I proposed also to open a public repository to serve as a platform to reach out to the board, propose and discuss new ideas and improvements: https://github.com/open-source-matters/contact-us 

I worked on several proposals to improve the governance structure, reduce the number of Board members and review the Officer removal procedure.

I also spent a considerable amount of time working on the appeal process to IRS for the Joomla Foundation, which has been finally won and having the organization receiving the 501(c)(3) status.

Departments

Additional Reports from the departments

Operations Department (Not in the meeting)

A lot (improvements & changes on infrastructure, websites and other things) has happened the past year. We could name a list, but everything is available within all the department, team and Board reports. It would be a waste of everybody's valuable time.

Many already know I stepped down, but will temporarily stay around until somebody else steps up, unless this takes too long. The few teams in the department are self-maintaining and doing great work on the systems they are responsible for.

The Webmasters working group work together from various departments on the multitude of systems, to keep everyone apprised and on the same level.

Marketing & Communications Department

With the release of Joomla 4 and Joomla 3.10 the year has been very busy especially for my tenure. Voted in a month before the release, take on the departments, learn the job, launch J4 and 3.10 as well as Joomla Birthday and then re-election all in 4 months!

All done with a massive amount of help from those in the departments and others outside.

The departments have in those 4 months:

  • Produced 4 main videos (RC, Launch and 2 Birthday)

  • Restarted the newsletter, 6 editions since June. 

  • Made the brochure and translated into 15 languages

  • Started individual videos for marketing campaign

  • Sent several press releases

  • Members took part in webinars, online interview

  • Many articles for magazine written

  • Birthday celebrations and the organising of a day of events for birthday

  • Launch events and marketing to introduce the public to the people responsible for 3.10/4.0

The next quarter will focus on the shop and a google campaign now the release has settled and extensions are being migrated to J4 at a good rate.

With the outcome of the https://github.com/open-source-matters/contact-us/discussions/3

The department structure will hopefully be simplified and more will be in a voting position.

Programs Department

The Certification Team has been focussing on the preparation of the Joomla! 4 Administrator Exam with the help of exam question maintainers. They are successfully using the Workflows feature of J4 to assist them with the question and answer review process. The team hopes to have the new exam available for candidates within 6 months of the J4 stable release.

The Volunteer Engagement Team has been working on updates to the contribute to Joomla page on the Volunteers Portal, which they are hoping to finalise shortly. The onboarding team is regaining momentum on setting up some onboarding activities.

The Translations Program Team has been reworking many of the Docs pages relating to translations. Recently, they have welcomed new translators, proof-readers and language coordinators to the team. A number of improvements has also been made to the Crowdin platform to better streamline the translation processes.

Questions & Comments

  • Benjamin Trenkle requested information about the status of the open legal cases.
    Robert provided updates: 

    • For the financial investigation we are still working on to get to a final number, honestly speaking over the last weeks we didn’t make progress in this.

    • The trademark legal case is at the moment in the hands of the lawyers. The ball is in the field of the counterpart lawyers and we are waiting for their response. 

  • Benjamin Trenkle requested if the President is doing something to increase the activity level of some Board members which didn’t report much activity.
    Robert stated that it is a misinterpretation of the president's job and the power the president has that he can tell other board members what to do. So there is not so much to do besides talking with people and asking how to help when needed. 

  • Laura Gordon requested the President to share a more detailed report on the current status of the organization at the next Semi-Annual Members Meeting.

Semi-Annual Report from the Treasurer

Speaker: Radek Suski (Treasurer)

  • Radek Suski reported that, as Treasurer, he’s continuing to ensure that the Board is aware of the financial status. Account details are shared on a bi-weekly basis in the Board Meeting Minutes.

Questions from the previous sessions

Speaker: Board of Directors.

  • Benjamin Trenkle requested which activities are being done to increase the income flow of the organization. Robert Deutz and Philip Walton reported that they are working on closing several sponsorship opportunities. 

  • Philip Walton reported that several former volunteers would like to come back contributing to Joomla.

  • Philip reported that the Marketing initiatives about Joomla 4 are ongoing, including press releases. 

Updates from the Secretary

Speaker: Luca Marzo (Secretary)

The meeting has been adjourned at 17:55 UTC.