Re: [Ksummit-discuss] Linux Foundation Technical Advisory Board Elections and Nomination process

From: Grant Likely
Date: Sat Oct 24 2015 - 06:28:45 EST

[Including Rafael who also asked about what being a TAB member means]

On Thu, Oct 22, 2015 at 10:03 PM, Darren Hart <dvhart@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> On Tue, Oct 06, 2015 at 11:06:47AM +0100, Grant Likely wrote:
> Is there a good description of what is expected of a TAB member? How much time
> is involved? What makes a great TAB member?
> I've found:
> I've read the charter and scanned some of the minutes, but I'd still like to
> hear from some of the "incumbants". Specifically, what makes you successful as a
> member of the TAB?

I've been asked several versions of the same question, and also the
annual "what does the TAB actually do?" question, so I'm going to try
and answer them all in one email:

As the name implies, the primary job of the TAB is to advise the Linux
Foundation board of directors on technical, social and political
issues regarding Linux and Open Source. Our job is to represent the
views of Linux developers and to foster constructive communication
between the Linux Foundation leadership and our community.

A natural by-product of this is that the TAB also acts in the
background to identify and resolve issues for the Linux community
before they become a problem. The TAB tends to be composed of well
respected individuals with good connections throughout our community,
and so we're in a good place to recognize who to talk to when an issue
is raised.

Finally, there are a few projects that the TAB is directly responsible
for. We make sure there is a planning committee for the Linux Plumbers
conference every year. We run a 'buddy' program to help new Linux
Foundation member companies learn how to be fine upstanding Linux
citizens. We are the response team for any issues of harassment or
abuse within the kernel community. In past years we coordinated the
response to UEFI Secure Boot to ensure that Linux would not be locked
out of the consumer PC market, and been active in helping member
companies understand and be comfortable with the licencing obligations
associated with Linux.

A good TAB member is well respected by the community, is a ready
listener, is comfortable discussing both technical and social issues,
and has a good understanding of how the Linux community works. Since
the TAB deals with a wide range of issues, the ideal TAB candidate
should be prepared to consider issues outside of their own area of
expertise. Sometime the most important characteristic of a TAB member
is recognizing when an issue is beyond their depth and go looking for
the right person to consult.

Time commitment wise, The TAB meets once a month for a conference
call, plus any additional time required to deal with TAB business.
Once a year (6 months after the TAB general election) the TAB elects
one member to serve as the chair, and the chair of the TAB is proposed
to the Linux Foundation to serve as a Linux Foundation Director which
has additional time requirements.

One last point, some issues addressed by the TAB are highly sensitive
and any member can request a topic to be kept strictly confidential.
We do this to protect the working relationship we have with industry
bodies, and to protect the companies and individuals involved. Any
prospective TAB member must be comfortable abiding by our
confidentiality rules.

I hope this answers your questions.

To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in
the body of a message to majordomo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
More majordomo info at
Please read the FAQ at