Chapters meeting 2010/Documentation/Working Groups/Toolserver
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Toolserver working group
- This is not about tools and technical things, but about governance of the Toolserver
- Question on mailing list of chapters about who and how we can as chapters get together to see how we can run the toolserver
- Present Mark Bergsma, WMF, WM NL, WM IT, Daniel, River, WM CH, WM RU, Pavel, WM DE, WM UK, WM SV, WM PL, WM UK, WM FR
- Alessio, Daniel Kinzler, River, Ilario, Vladimir, Pavel, Sebastian, Mike, Lars, Marek, Delphine
Previous Discussion on the mailing list
- Call from pavel to think about a governance structure for the toolserver (legal body that is running the toolserver).
- Purpose of such a body
- Do we need a different legal body
- Sebastian: legal problems, liability reasons, there is WP content on there, so that it might be a problem.
- Reason why this discussion started is more: money, practical, find news ways for participation of other chapters.
- 95000 € in costs
Goals of this meeting
- Timetable (and an aggressive one) - 3 months
- Working group of representative from some chapters, and mandate of working group
- Make sure that we list our non-options/parameters
Mandate of the working group
- Make sure that whatever solution is chosen is an efficient, practical and sustainable technical solution (see parameters)
- Make sure that basic legal requirements are taken care of. The working group will have to explore legal options for a toolserver association (or any other legal option that allows a joint governance and financing of the toolserver)
- The toolserver association (working title)
- Chapters are governing the toolserver, not the Foundation, not any other external organisation
- Single ownership of hardware
- Chapters (toolserver association) will own that hardware (no outsourcing, no rental, no lease)
- Keep the existing rules of the toolserver: Work on the toolserver has to be beneficial to a Wikimedia or an Open Street Map projects (potential partner projects)
- The resulting outcome should provide a strong incentive for chapters to integrate their locally run toolservers in the Toolserver
- Solution has to be agreeable at least to Wikimedia Germany
- One month to decide on what chapters are part of the working group
- End of September there has to be a proposal.
Who is in the working group
- Participating chapters in the working group should commit to invest a minimum of 5000 € into the toolserver in the next 18 months.
- Participating chapters agree to participate in the costs of the working group coming up with a solution. Total=5000 €.
- DK- Think, in the long run, about integration of existing local toolservers (bot management etc)
- Should all toolservers be integrated in one thing?
- If we have an external organisation, does it need to be able to accept donations?
- Does the chosen solution have the power to redefine usage policy and scope of the projet: focus (chapters wikis? sandboxes for medawiki extensions?)
- In the governance structure, should the influence of each financial partner decide who gets to make the decisions?
- Can this happen within an existing organisation? ex. Wikimedia Deutschland
- SM - It's difficult because the risk is born just by one chapter. Whereas if you have another structure, it is born by that structure.
- DM - Not sure it's so difficult to get the chapters to commit to a X per year.
Factors that influence the decision
- Assumption agreed upon: only participating chapters influence the governance.
- Size of community
- Number of people (affiliation to a chapter?) who have an account on the server
- Buying a share into the organisation. The number of shares determines your influence in this organisation (you get to decide who is on the board etc.). (Stock company) - ex. German Top Level Domain Association. Model to look at.
- Membership fee to stay in by every participating chapter. Commitment over several years
- Proportional scheme contribution=influence but there needs to be some kind of commitment in the long term (which probably the share model actually solves)
- Toolserver is run by the chapters? Yes, no? WMDE, WMFR are ok with that especially as a cash outlet
- Good for advertising what the chapters does for the community, nice tool for researchers
- Technical decisions on a day to day can't be done by the board.
- However a strategical technical decision should be taken by the board