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Board meetings Minutes from 2004-10-16 Questions?

Board meeting with the developer liaison, #board.wikimedia, 16 October, 2004

Board of Trustees present: Angela Beesley, Michael Davis, Florence Nibart-Devouard, Tim Shell, Tim Starling, Jimmy Wales.

The agenda for the meeting was published at Meta-Wiki.


The Beck Foundation is granting us US$10k to create a Junior Wikipedia. How the money is spent is open-ended subject to us meeting their requirements. They are awaiting our 501(c)(3) documentation. The 501(c)(3) answer must come from the IRS by the end of March, but it is expected sooner than this.

We have not heard recently from Lounsbury, and no other grants are currently under development by the Foundation


Sales are low and there is a lack of information available about this. Anthere will report on this at a later date and will ask TomK for an update on exact numbers. Jimbo will let Anthere know which people had previously raised issues with this area.

Donations and Benefactors

Jimbo to post details of the hardware donation in September to the Foundation wiki.

There were no objections to the proposed scales at Talk:Benefactors though the name "contributors" should not be used. Those donating over 5000 dollars will have their name and logo listed. Those donating between 500 and 4999, will have only their name listed.

A proposed donation for an Arabic-specific server hosted in Florida but serving only has stalled in negotiations and seems impractical at this point.

French squids

Med has the squids and the RAM and is planning to install them soon. Anthere will sign the standard customer service agreement with the colo. The DNS will be arranged after we get the IPs. The donor has requested not be detailed on the sponsors page. It should be noted that the servers will be owned by the Foundation, not the French chapter. Should donations in future be made directly to chapters, this issue will be discussed then.

Development related matters

Budget needs clarifying. Tim Starling agrees with the Q4 hardware budget.

A potential problem is that MySQL does not scale well to multiple machines, so it may be better to have a small number of large machines than a large number of small machines. The possibility of having a homogeneous database cluster a year from now was discussed. Performance increases will require developer work, not only more hardware. Tim Starling will discuss with the developer committee about whether the main database server should be progressively upgraded and whether a big iron database server would be beneficial.

Michael and Jimbo will investigate setting up a joint developer PayPal account.

Registrations and extensions to domain names will be made following the report which Jason Richey is preparing. Comments on which domains ought to be prioritized are welcome at talk:domain names.

Tim Starling will discuss developer recruitment for the proposed membership task at Developer task/membership, and report to the Board in one week's time the fee that should be associated with this.

French chapter feedback

A meeting is planned for October 23 at which the Board will be elected. The bylaws are almost finalized and will be signed by Jimbo following the meeting. The name "Wikimedia France" has been chosen, although it is noted that not all on fr agreed to this.

Mandrake DVD

The contract will involve allowing Mandrake to use the trademark "Wikipedia" for a year on the DVD they produce. The contract will include an explicit disclaimer of warranty on the copyright and other issues, plus an indemnification clause.

The money that may be given by Mandrake is for the trademark. There is no deal involving the content itself, and creation of a DVD will not be a Foundation affair.

A more clear indemnification clause is needed in the contract, but aside from this, the draft was approved.

Mandrake will be sent the contract before Monday. A meeting may be arranged for Friday if they agree with the contract. Negotiations will be made regarding costs. Proposed minimum levels of fees from Mandrake were discussed.

Legal issues and forks

Feedback from the Japanese, French and German Wikipedias had been received. The recommendation was to ask people to contact the board directly rather than making legal threats on the wiki or mailing lists.

The ongoing Russian fork has moved to www.wikiznanie.ru/. Anthere will enquire with her contact at the Russian Wikipedia about reclaiming the www.wikipedia.ru/ domain for the Foundation.

A possible Polish fork at www.fanzine.pl/ now redirects to www.camel.pl/ and is no longer accessible. It is not known whether it was supposed to be a fork and does not seem to have been the result of any dissatisfaction within the Polish community.

Public relations

Tim Shell will consult with Sj and others regarding a public relations committee to handle public inquiries using the OTRS system, and also to deal with the preparation of fliers, pamphlets, or brochures. The committee will not need to be something which requires specific board approval. Training in handling correspondence may be provided.

The board agreed to obtain a new, non-publicized, board address for internal use, and to redirect board@wikimedia.org to the OTRS system, where it could be easily reassigned to those on the PR committees.


Business cards for board members will be printed, possibly using the designs previously made by James Forrester.

A meeting to discuss membership will be held on October 20. Opt-in versus opt-out was discussed briefly and Jimbo will seek clarification of the objections to opt-out from users who have expressed dissatisfaction with the proposal before Wednesday.

Attempts will be made to hold discussions on the wiki prior to meetings in order to enable faster voting during meetings.

An open meeting will be held at the start of November. If necessary, a Board meeting will be held the 2nd week of November.