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To: Ned Ludd <solar@g.o>
From: Doug Goldstein <cardoe@g.o>
Subject: Re: A Little Council Reform Anyone?
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 2009 23:39:20 -0500
On Wed, Jul 1, 2009 at 9:33 PM, Ned Ludd<solar@g.o> wrote:
> The dev population is quite a strange beast. I never expected to win.
> Why would you vote for somebody who did not even publish a manifesto?
> I don't know but I love you for it. My only intention was to help offset
> dev-zero being able force the will of outside forces upon us.
> Well that has been accomplished for now (w00t). But I
> never ever expected to be ranked so high. "/me blushes" So that means you
> guys/gals expect stuff from me. Well as I never wrote a manifesto but
> you still voted for me, I guess I should share some of my ideas on what
> I'd like to see happen over the following year.
> The devs have a voice one time of the year: when it comes time to vote.
> But what about the rest of the year? What happens when the person you
> voted for sucks? You are mostly powerless to do anything other than be
> really vocal in what seems like a never ending battle. That needs to
> change. I'm not quite sure how. But I'd like to see the dev body have a
> year-round voice in the council. Either via quick votes year-round
> on topics or simply by having discussion in the channel. Devs should have
> a right to voice their concerns to the council and engage in interactive
> conversations without being labeled troll.
> Another one of the things I'd like to see and help reform with the
> council. First off it spends way too much time on EAPI/PMS. There is no
> reason to make the council an extension of the portage team. Portage is
> still the official package manager of Gentoo. Granted it's good to
> accommodate others to an extent and I've always kept an open mind on other tools.
> Alternatives are good as there is always the right tool for the task at hand. But
> the council really should not be getting involved most of the time unless there
> is a conflict which can't be worked out among the masses and those trying to get
> portage to adopt new features. If the dev body wants it otherwise then
> I'd like to turn my vote over to you the devs. Each and every time the
> council wants/has to vote on an EAPI/PMS feature then I'll happily put my
> vote in your hands. You fire up that old votify system and use my vote
> as yours. Note however that zmedico is not in favor of his time being
> wasted on deciding what PMS/EAPI features are good. He simply likes bugs
> and solving those. He likes giving us new features and tends to be more in
> favor of the devs and community figuring out what is best for us.
> An EAPI review committee could work well also. As long as we could get
> non bias people in there.

Thank you. This was one thing I had said time and time again over the
past year. I long ago advocated for the EAPI/PMS crap to be sorted out
by the right people and the council was there to work out any
technical issues. We got the pms ML created and before I officially
joined the council while I was still proxying for Diego, we did handle
one such instance where the PMS people and zmedico had a disagreement.
All of a sudden the next round of EAPI/PMS debates became the complete
mess they are today. Thank you for having the energy to clean this up
again because I know I don't.

> The council should be more about community vs technical issues only.
> We have lots of top level projects within Gentoo which have simply given
> up on the council as being an outlet to accomplish anything useful.
> It should be our job to look at the projects in Gentoo. Look at the ones
> that have a healthy community and encourage and promote them in ways.

Bingo. That's exactly the point of the council.

> For example prefix comes to mind. It was a project I did not like at
> first. I'm not even a user. And there are things I surely don't like
> about it as is. But there is community support and it's the icing on the
> cake for some. So I'll back the fsck up and give credit where it's due.
> This is a perfectly good example of a project/fork that needs to come
> back home. Perhaps it's time to cherry pick some more stuff/people out
> of Sunrise?
> desultory points out any two council members can decide to approve anything,
> and that decision is considered to be equivalent to a full council vote
> until the next meeting. I vaguely recall that rule. I'm not sure about you,
> but I think that is a little to much power to put in the hands of a few.
> Any dev mind if we dump that power?

This should have been dumped a while ago. I believe Halcy0n and I had
issue with it and got a vote to dump it a while back.

> Meetings will likely go back to one time per month and be +m with +v be
> handed out per request with open chat pre/post meetings.  The reason for
> this is to keep the meetings on-track. I won't engage in endless
> discussions. Facts can be presented. They will be reviewed on merit,
> technical and social.

Thank you again. I tried the +m/+v thing a year ago and received a few
pieces of hate e-mail from mostly non-developer people. I'll let them
read this on the -dev ML and again let them remind themselves of the
fools they make of themselves on the ML. Recently I tried to introduce
this again but it quickly drained my energy when dealing with council
members in fighting over little rules and tweaks here and there which
then resulted in people saying they weren't for it anymore and it
never happened for the last 2 meetings. I just didn't have the energy
to deal with the bickering between council members over it. I applaud
you for having it.

> The reason the meetings should go back to monthly is to allow those who
> are council members in Gentoo to accomplish things other than the
> council only. We all have personal lives and we all have our respective
> roles we play outside of the council. Another note on meetings. The time
> they are held currently don't fit well with my work schedule.

Another HUGE reason why I didn't run again for the council. It simply
took up too much time and took away too much from development. As
everyone noticed for 2009, the meeting times worked horrible for my
work schedule. They in fact worked really bad for most US Gentoo
developer's work schedules and was a huge contributing factor to some
of our better council members resigning. Good luck trying to get the
meetings to be changed. Last time we discussed it, 3 council members
said the meeting times didn't work for them and the other 4 said it
was the only time good for them and it just resulted in a back and

> I'm not subscribed directly to the gentoo-dev mailing list anymore
> outside of post-only. And I don't plan to re-subscribe. I do browse
> the archives regularly however. If there is some topic that should
> be brought to my attention please point it out to me directly on irc
> or CC: me.
> Thank you all and I will try not to let you down. Unless you were one of
> the ones who wanted to me lose. Then sorry, but I'm going to have fun
> disappointing you, by doing what is best for Gentoo.
> If you have any ideas on how you think the council should function or
> reform itself. Please start a new thread or email those who think will
> listen to those ideas. I'm open for some real change as long as it's
> for the the positive.

Oh how we could talk for hours.... assuming you've got the energy were
mine was burnt out on all the pointless in fighting.

> So lets have some damn fun again !@#$
> Thanks.

This is why you got my vote... cause I knew while you and I haven't
gotten along in the past. You feel the same way about Gentoo as I do.

Doug Goldstein

A Little Council Reform Anyone?
-- Ned Ludd
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