LLG 2014 Annual Meeting Minutes

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(UNAPPROVED DRAFT)

This is a summary of the 2014 Annual Meeting of the members of the Logical Language Group, as conducted on the llg-members mailing list from November 3, 2014 to April 20, 2015.

Announcement

The 2014 Annual Meeting was announced November 2, 2014, to commence on November 3, 2014.

Call to order

The meeting began on November 3, 2014 with a call to order by president Robert LeChevalier. The agenda was projected to include:

  • clarification of the status of bylaw changes approved at the 2003 Annual Meeting
  • election of a new board of directors, to follow the addition of new members
  • discussion of BPFK the baseline policy, to include at least one IRC session

Roll call

Members

16 of 17 voting members of LLG responded directly to the roll call:

  • Robert LeChevalier
  • Ali Sajid Imami
  • Jorge Llambías
  • John Cowan
  • Theodore Reed
  • Matt Arnold
  • Timo Paulssen
  • Veijo Vilva
  • And Rosta
  • Arnt Richard Johansen
  • Pierre Abbat
  • Craig Daniel
  • TommyLee Whitlock
  • Robin Lee Powell
  • Mark Shoulson
  • Nora LeChevalier

Paul Swift, also a member, sent word via Riley Martinez-Lynch that he was following the meeting but was unable to directly participate due to email problems.

Quorum was established, and the 15 days advance notice for annual meetings required by the bylaws were waived.

Observers

10 non-members indicated their presence at the meeting:

  • Jacob Errington
  • Alex Burka
  • Riley Martinez-Lynch
  • Mitsuko Wate
  • Ozymandias Haynes
  • Arkadii Balandin
  • Miles Forster
  • Adam Lopresto
  • Andrew Browne
  • Curtis Franks

Reading of minutes

The president waived a reading of the minutes, citing the tradition that the logs of the llg-members mailing list have been deemed to satisfy the requirement for formal minutes.

Riley announced that he had, with assistance from Robin and Ali, compiled summaries for five prior annual meetings of the membership, and asked for a motion that they be accepted as minutes:

Ali raised such a motion. It was seconded by Tommy and passed without objection.

Officers' reports

President

I have little to report as President, since I haven't been particularly active in part because of my irregular health problems. I have continued to fill a small number of orders for CLL, as well as attempted to keep amazon.com well-supplied with books. Amazon currently has around 35 books in stock which should last into next year; we have tended to average 6-10 copies per month sold. I have two back-orders at present that I need to fill on my own - one from PayPal, and one received by mail early this year that I rediscovered last week; the money order not having been deposited. There have also been 48 sales of the introductory book through Lightning Source.

Secretary/Treasurer

Riley reported the quarterly finances on behalf of the Secretary/Treasurer. The 2014 Q3 Virginia sales tax report was settled with a $10 penalty. The 2014 Q4 report, to be filed January 20, covered a period with no taxable sales. The balance in LLG's bank account was $13,839.71, and the balance in LLG's PayPal account was $2,966.66.

Committee reports

LBCK (lojbo bangu cipra kamni)

Pierre reported on behalf of the LBCK (language proficiency test committee).

la gleki in September expressed interest in a proficiency test. I mentioned where the mailing list is, but no one's posted anything there since. The project is stalled with some of the rating scales defined and others not. … For now the test is only written, possibly with listening comprehension questions (there is nothing in the database schema yet about audio recordings).

BPFK (baupla fuzykamni)

Robin, chair of BPFK (language planning committee), notified the president that he would not be actively participating in the meeting.

Election of new members

Craig moved that the following observers who had expressed an interest in joining LLG be admitted as members.

  • Arkadii Balandin
  • Alex Burka
  • Sylvain Déjardin
  • Jacob Errington
  • Miles Forster
  • Ozymandias Haynes
  • Adam Lopresto
  • Riley Martinez-Lynch
  • Mitsuko Wate

The motion was seconded by And and Ali, and passed without objection.

Removal of old members

John Cowan and Matt Arnold resigned their memberships during the meeting, as did Ozymandias Haynes, who had joined during the meeting.

Election of the Board

The following members volunteered to stand for election to the Board of Directors:

  • Arkadii Balandin
  • Craig Daniel
  • Ozymandias Haynes
  • Ali Sajid Imami
  • Robert LeChevalier
  • Riley Martinez-Lynch
  • Timo Paulssen
  • And Rosta

Robin Lee Powell was presumed to stand for re-election.

Ahead of the election, Veijo Vilvo submitted his resignation from the board and the office of vice president. Arnt Johansen also resigned from the Board at this time.

There was a discussion of the election procedures: Each member could vote for up to seven candidates; the three candidates who received the most votes would be elected; up to four additional candidates who received a majority of votes would also be elected. The following members were elected:

  • Arkadii Balandin
  • Craig Daniel
  • Ali Sajid Imami
  • Robert LeChevalier
  • Riley Martinez-Lynch
  • Timo Paulssen
  • And Rosta

Old business

Republication of CLL

Bob reported that there are around 100 copies of the original edition of CLL remaining, which at the current rate of sales, is less than a year's supply.

Robin reported progress on preparing CLL for republication: "It needs significant review, but it's definitely reached the *not terrible* stage of things." He reported that LLG has 8 registered ISBNs left:

  • 0-9660283-2-5
  • 0-9660283-3-3
  • 0-9660283-4-1
  • 0-9660283-5-X
  • 0-9660283-6-8
  • 0-9660283-7-6
  • 0-9660283-8-4
  • 0-9660283-9-2

The forthcoming edition of the CLL will be printed via Lightning Source, and will be assigned the first of these ISBNs. The initial test print will cost ~$150, and additional test prints will cost $40. A license for Prince, the printable HTML/CSS publishing software, will cost $500. He indicated that if the republished book is sold for $50 (approximating the industry-standard 55% wholesale discount), each book sold will yield a profit of $7.

The president asked for a motion to acknowledge Robin's report and authorizing a budget for his efforts. Matt proposed a $2,000 budget, which Robin indicated was more than was needed. Nora seconded, and the motion passed without objection.

There was considerable discussion of the question of whether CLL should continue to include the formal grammars in BNF and YACC form, given the number of pages that they require: They add weight and cost to each copy of the book. An informal majority supporting republishing with BNF but leaving out YACC as a downloadable supplement.

There was also discussion of the importance of making CLL available as an e-book.

Alternatives to publication via Lightning Source were discussed, including CreateSpace, which can ship from Europe.

There was limited discussion of the question of the extent of changes in CLL 1.1 relative to the first edition, including whether it would reflect xorlo, or just incorporate errata.

Republication of "What is Lojban?"

Robin suggested that LLG evaluate saving money by republishing "What is Lojban?" as a softcover edition with CreateSpace, Amazon's self-publishing division.

New business

Archgrammarian: John Cowan

The president asked for a motion thanking John Cowan "for his many years as a member and officer, and hoping for his continued involvement in other aspects of the language". Riley moved that a permanent honorary position be created to recognize John Cowan's sustained efforts. Craig seconded. And propoposed the title "archgrammarian", which Pierre lojbanized as {balgenpre}. John indicated that the title was acceptable. The motion passed without objection, granting the position to John, which includes the authorization to sign official LLG communication channels using the new title.

Project manager proposal

Ali proposed that LLG consider hiring a project manager with responsibilities to include:

  • maintaining a list of official projects, with updated status reports
  • maintaining an updated list of lojban-related activities around the world
  • ​administering LLG's social media accounts

He described a particular candidate that he had in mind for the role.

Gleki advocated using a wiki or issue tracker to centralize project tracking information. He also suggested keeping track of contacts with newcomers to the lojban community. Matt questioned whether such a role would in fact address LLG's needs.

No motion was raised or seconded.

BPFK reauthorization

Craig suggested that the ZG (interim baseline) policy, which was intended to provide a way for the membership to ratify BPFK consensus, might need a rewrite.

The president proposed an IRC session to be held January 18, 2015 at 4pm UST to discuss the future of BPFK. A second session was held February 1. Before the initial session, Riley circulated a draft motion to reauthorize BPFK.

There was significant discussion about the question of how to determine the membership of the committee. la selpa'i proposed that upon reauthorization, any previous or current members be removed so as to resolve present ambiguities about who is a voting member. Based on inputs from Bob, la gleki, la selpa'i and la guskant, the reauthorization motion was revised to devolve power to appoint members from the chair to the committee itself.

Another issue of debate was the role of the chair relative to the body of the committee, and the qualifications for the role. Bob and Craig expressed concerns that the character and commitment of the chair may outweigh particular policies in determining the effectiveness of BPFK. la selpa'i suggested that it is important that the chair of BPFK has some facility in the lojban language, as well as a familiarity with the history of problems which have been raised in the language and the solutions which have accumulated.

The amended motion to reauthorize BPFK was passed. Bob announced that a rump committee, headed by Robin Powell, will have the remaining task of producing CLL version 1.1 for publication.

BPFK elections

Following the passage of the BPFK reauthorization, an election for BPFK chair was held. la selpa'i was nominated by la xorxes, seconded by la guskant, and elected by majority vote.

The following slate of members was then elected:

  • Pierre Abbat
  • Arkadii Balandin
  • Alex Burka
  • Sylvain Déjardin
  • Jorge Llambías
  • Adam Lopresto
  • And Rosta
  • Mitsuko Wate

Jbovlaste changes

The role of the LLG in maintaining "official definitions" in jbovlaste was raised in the first IRC session, and again on the mailing list. la durka moved that the newer definitions of {zabna} and {mabla} in jbovlaste be recognized as official. la selpa'i described the harmful effects of propagating definitions as "official" when they no longer correspond to usage.

la guskant proposed that all experimental cmavo and gismu in jbovlaste should require definitions in the lojban language. la durka and la xorxes spoke in support of soliciting, if not requiring, lobjan definitions for new words. Pierre added that words should also be defined in all six of lojban's gismu source languages.

la gleki raised a concern that a substantial discussion on issues of general interest like this one should not be limited to the private llg-members mailing list.

Craig asserted that jbovlaste is not managed by the LLG membership. Bob pointed out that historically, jbovlaste's only relationship with LLG is as an "official project", and opposed granting it further status. No motions were raised or seconded.

Web site issues

la gleki proposed migrating the wiki from Tiki to MediaWiki. Robin objected that this was a technical matter not governed by LLG process.

Robin announced that he would gladly install an SSL certificate if one was to be provided.

Other issues

A motion was raised to recognize Riley's integration of the 2003 Bylaw amendments into the text of the official bylaws. The motion was seconded by Craig. It passed without objection.

la guskant raised a concern about isolation of non-English-speaking lojbanic communities, including two Japanese communities that aren't in contact with each other, and a Chinese community in Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Bob called attention to an organization called Noolearn that is using lojban in its pilot program for an online educational platform.

la selpa'i called attention to a proposal that LLG institute an annual award to recognize achievements in the development, use and propagation of the lojban language. He indicated he would raise the question again after the meeting had concluded.

Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned by the president on April 20, 2015.