2007 has been a year of change for Haiku. None of it has been quite like this, however. Haiku, as an organization, is reinventing itself. First of all, on Aug. 31, Michael Phipps announced to the Haiku admin team that he intended to move on. Here are some of his words on the subject:
"... I think that it is time that I move on. Haiku has become something that I do because I have to. ... I am *NOT* in any way angry or bitter. I WANT Haiku to succeed. I still love it. ... This has been a great run and I am phenomenally proud of what we have accomplished here. I am very sad to be leaving, but I think that it is the right decision both for Haiku and for me personally."
Michael has written an article, in which he reflects on his departure. There is no doubt that Michael will be dearly missed by all of us as a visionary, leader, and friend. Michael, should you ever feel like it, you are most welcome to rejoin our efforts!
Following Michael's announcement to the team, everyone felt that this would be the right time to put into place some fundamental restructuring of our organization which had been discussed at length for some weeks. This reorganization's purpose is to better fit Haiku's needs, such as current developers needing to be able to focus on development and matching non-development needs with members of the community who wish to meet them.
One persisting problem with the current admin team is that most of its members don't have enough time to do non-development work for the project or simply aren't interested, and those who do could need more help. In order to address this problem, we have decided to take the following steps to transition to a new and hopefully more effective structure.
First, we will unify all contributors with commit access to the Haiku source tree into a single Developer Team, which will be exclusively focused on development and all technical and development-related decisions, including the creation of one or more eventual Haiku distributions. Membership to this team is automatic through gaining commit access. The rules for gaining or losing commit access will be simple and announced separately.
In parallel, we are setting up a "Transition Steering Committee" consisting of developers, admins and a few trusted community members who will be tasked with the mission of creating a body designed to effectively manage the assets and resources of the project, and support its growth through activities such as funding, marketing, business relations and others. The ultimate goal of this committee is to setup a Haiku Inc. on steroids with a new president, a functional BOD, a charter, more transparency and some form of representation from the community. The transition process to this beefed up Haiku Inc. is expected to take several months, during which the community will be consulted from time to time for input on various matters. After the transition period, the people involved can be ratified in their positions or replaced by some form of representative vote.
We are hoping that by having two bodies with clearly defined and distinct roles, everyone will be able to focus on what they do best, making the individuals more productive and the organization as a whole more effective. Needless to say, both groups will work synergistically, and will consult each other when either side deems it necessary.
We think that this restructuring will be positive for Haiku in the long run. But as they say, "the devil is in the details". :) So we will keep the community posted as we figure out the details along the way. In the meantime, if you have any comments or input, feel free to post a message to the Haiku mailing list. We want to know what you think.