What would you like TPF to do?
As a response to my grant request there were several comments pointing out that it is unclear to some people what TPF does and what it should do. So while I am not a representative of TPF let me ask this question. What would you like The Perl Foundation to do?
I hope that the responses to this question will allow the board of TPF to form their own strategy or at least to ask a better question.
Membership and board:
Currently the bylaws of TPF do not allow membership. Therefore the board is a self-elected group of people. I am not sure if they have a well defined process on how people can get in the board and how board members can get out. (eg. Is there a time limit for being a board member? How can one apply to become a board member?)
Would it be better if TPF was open for membership? Who could be a member?
Anyone? People who are approved by the board?
Would it be better if the board members were then elected for 1 or 2 years by the members?
Should TPF create a sort of (non-voting) Advisory board and invite specific companies to be on that board and ask an annual fee for that? Should it allow anyone who pays the fee on the Advisory board or be very selective?
Currently TPF helps with moving the money of YAPC::NA, it allocates a few development grants every quarter (up to 3,000 USD each), provides grants for Rakudo, provides a framework to participate in GSOC and I think that's it.
Should TPF be involved in actively promoting Perl? (e.g. Press Releases, sponsoring the presence on non-Perl events)
Should TPF try to help businesses using Perl? For example by helping Perl developers and contractors to connect with potential employers similar to job fairs on YAPCs but in other ways as well. Maybe by improving the brand name of Perl so companies will have an advantage showing they are using such and advanced tool? ("Perl Inside")
Maybe by creating co-marketing opportunities. (e.g. going to fairs and conferences and setting up a booth that includes both open source projects and companies selling services using those projects.)
Should TPF try to connect companies to CPAN authors (or perl5porters) to contract them to implement specific features?
Should TPF provide a forum for business using Perl to better communicate with each other and with the open source Perl community?
Help directing money from companies to local Perl Monger groups?
Promote Perl in areas in the world where there are almost no Perl Mongers (e.g. Africa?).
Be in touch with vendors to make sure Perl works well with their systems?
Eg. getting hardware and software from HP or IBM. Talking to Google to make sure Perl is available on App Engine and runs well on Android. Get licenses of software so they can be used to improve perl or the CPAN modules. Get companies to help building modules implementing their API.
Paid employees or all volunteers?
Should TPF have paid employees as well? E.g. an executive director who will run the daily business of TPF? Make sure things start moving. Make sure things keep moving. Someone who will make sure the objectives of TPF are met. Be in contact with vendors, sponsors and other partners. Raise money.
Should TPF seek ongoing financing to itself and provide larger development grants for various projects? (e.g. in the range of 10-15,000 USD that can be a reasonable salary for 3 months)
How would you like TPF board to report its activity? Is what we have now OK? If not, what would you expect?
If you are interested, I wrote a couple of blog entries about how other foundations work.