As the NetBeans community votes for candidates to serve for the
20th cycle of the NetBeans Governance Board
we look at what the
outgoing board has accomplished in its term.
The NetBeans Governance Board
exists to resolve community disputes
and consists of three people--two of whom are appointed by the
community in a general election, and the third, an Oracle
appointee. Zoran Sevarac and Sven Reimers, along with NetBeans
Senior Engineering Director John Ceccarelli have been at the helm
as "Board #19
" for the past year.
However, disputes to arbitrate have always been hard to come by in
the NetBeans Community--everyone plays nice!--and many boards have
had to expand their roles and take on other responsibilities of
interest or as needed. The current board has been no exception.
"We didn't have any community issues to resolve," reports Sevarac.
"So our meetings focused on sharing ideas about various parts of
the NetBeans ecosystem that could be improved."
A common complaint by past board members was the lack of time in a
given term to define, plan and carry out initiatives. The standard
board term length was six months. Board #19 made the decision
(approved by the community) to extend its own and future board
terms to 12 months, allowing more time for a board to find its
feet and be effective in the governance process.
The board also examined ways to enhance community involvement
through trainings and plugin contributions.
"We were involved in the new version of the NetBeans Plugin
," says Reimers. "We discussed ideas around how to get
people more involved, which led to enhancements in the usability
of the Plugin Portal. We co-ordinated our efforts with the
NetBeans web staff who were working on a new version of the Plugin
Portal at the same time."
Sevarac also worked at trying to include NetBeans trainings within
the official Oracle Academy program, to have NetBeans reach more
of the academic community via Oracle channels. However, the
initiative turned out to be more complex than expected for a host
of reasons. One of which, according to Sevarac, was the difficulty
in aligning the trainings with the Academy's roadmap.
With day jobs and other obligations calling, few boards get
everything on their to-do lists done, and the work of improving
the NetBeans project is a continuous process that doesn't end in a
term. So, what will be on the list for Board #20
The existence of the NetBeans Governance Board matters beyond its
stated objective, as it oversees multiple projects and addresses
trends and issues of interest within the NetBeans community.
Equally important is that the NetBeans community take an active
role in maintaining the board by nominating and voting for diverse
and enthusiastic candidates every year. Whatever each board
accomplishes--big and small--benefits everyone. So, participate in the governance process each year and help keep the NetBeans project moving forward.