November 20, 2002

Mitch(ell) to Mitch: I'll get the word out on your Outlook Killer

- by Tina Gasperson -
Mitchell Baker, the top chameleon ranch-hand, is now becoming the chief Chandler communication facilitator, the Open Source Application Foundation announced Monday.In an announcement posted to the OSAF site, Baker listed a whole lot of things she wants to get done for OSAF and its first project, Chandler, which is not an Outlook Killer (contrary to popular belief) according to Mitch Kapor, the chief Chandler top guy in charge of everything.

Baker's coming on with OSAF to "guide relations with the Open Source Community and Partners," according to the announcement. She'll be working part time for OSAF while maintaing her staff position with Mozilla. Baker says she was looking for something new and exciting to do, and this gig with Kapor, (the same Kapor who created Lotus Development Corporation and Lotus 1-2-3) fit the bill.

Baker, who wrote the Netscape and Mozilla Public Licenses, is an attorney who apparently has a vocal public relations maven living inside her. That long list of ways she plans to help OSAF : guide OSAF's relations with its growing community, develop a work style that allows the entire community to participate, get information dispersed as quickly and effectively as possible, develop good feedback channels, etc., etc.; all boils down to one thing: communication with the community.

"I want to try and set some expectations about communications back and forth. There have been many postings back and forth on the mailing list, and OSAF has been trying to respond when they can.

"I'm saying, let's set some expectations for the kind of responses there might be. I don't think any project can respond to every piece of information, but let's organize it."

Her bio at says she spends time "driving consensus" about how the Mozilla project ought to be managed. Common sense points out that OSAF may have gotten itself a one-woman steering committee in Baker. Not that Kapor didn't expect that.

"Mitch and I have been in contact for a long time. We talked about the Mozilla project and how I ran it - we've always been in touch," says Baker. "It was time."

"The most important task is to find effective ways to integrate people - but more concretely, the most important thing is to constantly improve the way the project gets information out to the community.

"Communication is a very high priority."


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