Time To Change the Eclipse Board Nomination Process?


“Committer Members who are employed by the same organization shall have only one (1) collective vote with respect to election of the Committer Directors…” reads the Bylaws of Eclipse Foundation Inc.

Bjorn Freeman-Benson has a bone to pick with this. As a single, self-confessed small-time contributor, his vote potentially carries more weight than those who contribute more to the Eclipse foundation, but are employed by an organisation that compromises of many Eclipse members. By his own calculations, a Director can actually be elected with less than 10% of the popular vote.

He acknowledges that this stipulation does prevent one large organisation from unfairly influencing the Committer Director vote, but proposes an alternative way to safe-guard against this eventuality. In his opinion, every committer should be given one vote, but it should be specified that only one victor from each company can sit on the Eclipse Board.

Freeman-Benson follows this up with a very controversial suggestion: that the voting process should be completely open, right down to revealing who voted for who. This idea has sparked some debate at his blog, with Ian Bull asking “if I work at ABC Corp and didn’t vote for the committer at my company, is my job in jeopardy?” It is very easy to imagine that making the voting completely open, would inhibit certain members of the community. Surely, if your employer can find out how you’d cast your vote, you’re more likely to vote in accordance with your employer’s wishes, in the interest of job preservation?

Mike Milinkovich points out that only allowing one member from each organisation, to assume a role at the Board, is just “a different form of discrimination.” The point that needs to be considered is, is it the lesser of two evils?

Meanwhile, Ed Perks points out that changing the Bylaws in the way Freeman-Benson is suggesting, would require a massive amount of work.

The voting for the 2010 Eclipse Board elections is now closed. The new representatives will be announced at the Membership Meeting at EclipseCon 2010.

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