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List Archive: gentoo-devrel
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To: gentoo-devrel@g.o, gentoo-dev@g.o, gentoo-core@g.o
From: Bryan Østergaard <kloeri@g.o>
Subject: Changes in Developer Relations and log of devrel meeting
Date: Wed, 4 Oct 2006 06:41:52 +0000
Hi all.

Jon Portnoy (avenj) recently resigned from Developer Relations. In that
regard we had a meeting yesterday discussing the various issues from

The (very) short summary is:
1. We've decided that I'm going to remain as the single devrel lead and
that I will appoint assistants if and when needed.
2. There's been some concern that things said in private has been
leaked. There's no proof of this happening but everybody was reminded
that things said in private really needs to remain private - no matter
how innocent it might seem.

Entire meeting log is attached to this mail.

Bryan Østergaard
20:07 <@kloeri> k, everybody seen the agenda? otherwise I've linked to it in /topic
20:08 <@fmccor> got it
20:08 <@kloeri> I've called the meeting mostly because of avenj stepping down as devrel lead and the reasons behind that
20:09  * kingtaco|laptop gets popcorn
20:09 <@kingtaco|laptop> kloeri, btw, when will you retire him?
20:09 <@kloeri> so the first item is whether we should elect a new lead or just let me stay as the only lead
20:09 <@kloeri> kingtaco|laptop: who?
20:09 <@kingtaco|laptop> avenj
20:10 <@kloeri> when he's been inactive long enough according to policy or if he announces his retirement himself..
20:11 <@christel> to my knowledge he's not resigning from gentoo, just stepping down as devrel lead no?
20:11 <@kloeri> he's stepping down as devrel lead, not retiring :)
20:11 <@kloeri> right
20:11 <@kloeri> so no plans to retire him unless one of the above conditions suddenly happens
20:11 <@kloeri> anyway, back to item 1.
20:12 <@kingtaco|laptop> he does something else?
20:12 <@kloeri> yes, he's maintaining some packages
20:12 <@fmccor> What are your preferences --- how are you most comfortable working?
20:12 <@kingtaco|laptop> oh
20:12 <@kingtaco|laptop> didn't know that
20:13 <@kloeri> actually, I've been doing most of the 'leading' and will quite likely continue to do so no matter what we decide to do
20:13 <@ribosome> I'm back.
20:14 <@hparker> kloeri: And a mighty fine job of it you do
20:14 <@kloeri> I don't think it's going to change anything appointing another lead besides me tbh
20:15 <@kingtaco|laptop> I don't think we need another lead
20:15 <@kloeri> there's some areas we need to do a better job in (recruiting and being proactive about conflict resolution comes to mind) but none of that is going to be any better from having two leads imo
20:15 <@kloeri> the simplest solution is just having one lead imo
20:15 <@kloeri> then you guys always know who to blame for sure :)
20:16 <@fmccor> Well, it's more effective if we want to get anything done.
20:16 <@amne> mooooo
20:16 <@amne> just to let you guys know i'm here, and reading up on the backlog
20:16 <@kloeri> not really - I'm always trying to involve people in decisions and I don't think I've ever held anything back unless there was a good reason to do so
20:17 <@kloeri> and if I'm gone for some days and there's some kind of emergency I'd expect the rest of you to act on it anyway
20:17 <@kingtaco|laptop> make this easy, anyone feel having another lead is a good thing?
20:17 <@fmccor> No, I mean there has to be someone actually to make the decision.
20:17 <@fmccor> Not I
20:18 <@hparker> Not I
20:18 <@kloeri> well, looking back to when anarchy blew up decisions was made even though I was sleeping at the time
20:18 <@ribosome> kloeri: The only positive point I can think of would be if one lead is MIA.
20:18 <@kloeri> so devrel is perfectly capable of at least containing situations like that without me around
20:19 <@kingtaco|laptop> sure it is
20:19 <@kloeri> ribosome: right, but if I'm not around I'd expect whoevers around to make a reasonable decision
20:19 <@kingtaco|laptop> someone just has to do it
20:19 <@fmccor> Rather than selecting a second lead, I'd prefer to leave it that kloeri appoint assistants when and if he sees the need.
20:20 <@kloeri> I don't think that's a problem at all and we could just as easily have that problem with two leads
20:20 <@kloeri> fmccor: yeah, I think that's going to work better
20:21 <@kloeri> k, that makes the decision pretty easy I think as nobody seems to object
20:21 <@kloeri> so what we're going to do is:
20:22 <@kloeri> 1. I stay as sole lead
20:22 <@kloeri> 2. I'll appoint assistants whenever I need them
20:22 <@kloeri> 3. we agree that devrel needs to be agile and act quickly when needed - even if I'm not around
20:23 <@amne> 1++ 2++ 3++
20:23 <@kloeri> that should cover it I think and matches the way things have worked fairly well
20:23 <@fmccor> There are issues --- the proactiveness you mentioned, but as someone --- christel? , seemant? --- noted, that is something of a communications problem.
20:23  * hparker likes it
20:24 <@kloeri> and I'm still serious about devrel being able to overrule my decisions in case I go completely insane
20:24 <@fmccor> We know that can be done. :)
20:24 <@kloeri> proactiveness is something the council have been discussing a bit lately
20:24 <@kloeri> we'll officially discuss it on next council meeting 19th oct.
20:25 <@kloeri> but from devrels side I've argued that we need to know that council backs us up on being more proactive instead of just reactionary
20:25 <@fmccor> Well, within devrel, we are more focused.
20:25 <@kloeri> and all the council members that have been involved in that discussion so far completely agrees that we need to be much more proactive and completely backs us up
20:25 <@seemant> hi guys
20:25 <@kloeri> hiya seemant 
20:26 <@seemant> my irssi session is so laggy and sucky toay
20:26 <@hparker> kloeri: Good to hear
20:26 <@fmccor> kloeri, I don't think council has much to do with whether or not we are proactive in some areas.
20:26 <@kloeri> anyway, I think we need to discuss how we're going to be proactive on another meeting some time after next council meeting
20:27 <@kloeri> fmccor: they don't except if we somehow overstep the invisible line and council overturns some of our decisions
20:27 <@fmccor> Well, I'd like to address one point.
20:27 <@kloeri> my worry is that we'd end up losing credibility if that happened
20:28 <@fmccor> As christel mentioned, several of us try to kill conflicts early.
20:28 <@amne> otoh we can gain credibility by showing we do stuff
20:28 <@kloeri> and we all know how quickly things can turn into a discussion about devrel not being legitimate etc.
20:29 <@fmccor> This is, I think, within our charter, and I think we do it fairly well when we get into it.
20:29 <@kloeri> amne: I just want to know that council agrees that's the right thing to do (and they've confirmed this alreday)
20:29 <@kloeri> fmccor: agreed
20:29 <@amne> kloeri: yeah
20:29 <@kloeri> nobody is discussing whether it's in our charter or not
20:29 <@fmccor> Now, I know I hesitate to do much right now for fear of stepping on one of the others she mentioned.
20:30 <@fmccor> So, I'd suggest that if any of us sees such a situation and wants it, just drop a note to devrel "I've got XX v YY in hand"
20:30 <@kloeri> but if we're going to be more proactive and actively contact people doing somewhat bad things we need to have some kind of certainty that we're not just going to be accused of making up new policy and having our work reversed
20:30 <@amne> kloeri: even if we overstep the invisible line some day and look silly, it's better than (to quote the man on the street) "doing nothing against all the evildoers"
20:31 <@kloeri> amne: I think that depends on the situation tbh
20:32 <@amne> kloeri: sure, but just because doing something may fail we shouldn't resort to not doing anything ;-)
20:32 <@kloeri> in any case it's not going to be a problem at all, quite the contrary as the council wants all the small problems between devs solved as badly as we do
20:32 <@kloeri> depends how bad it fails :)
20:32 <@amne> hehe
20:33 <@fmccor> Sure.  That's where christel 's communications issue comes in.
20:33 <@kloeri> I'd still like to wait for the council meeting before discussing this much further though - partly because I want to know what the councils thougts on the subject are and partly because we have enough on the agenda already today and nobody have had a chance to do any serious thinking about this
20:34 <@fmccor> We can't do it at all unless we know who is handling any specific situation..
20:34 <@fmccor> Oh, sorry. :)
20:34 <@kloeri> as in "I haven't kicked anybody in the teeth to force them to think about this"
20:35 <@fmccor> Well, I don't think council determines our procedures, but maybe that's just me.
20:35 <@kloeri> so lets have a meeting about this in a month or so where all the interested devrel members can have their say (hopefully all of us)
20:35 <@kloeri> they don't but I still like to hear whatever their thoughts on the subject are
20:35 <@fmccor> Why?
20:36  * fmccor is just being contrary.
20:36 <@kloeri> because they might have some good ideas and even though we decide procedures, policies etc. ourselves we still have to act somewhat within their boundaries
20:36 <@christel> hrm
20:37 <@fmccor> christel, could you expand on that? :)
20:38 <@kloeri> and the second point about giving ourselves a chance to think about what's needed to be more proactive, what areas we want to attack etc. also means we need a meeting at a later date imo
20:38 <@christel> (sorry, just trying to catch up on backlog, i was distracted by my mother who insisted i had exactly 30seconds to book my plane tickets for christmas)
20:38 <@kloeri> haha
20:39 <@amne> christel: if you had only 30 seconds, you only missed 30 seconds of the meeting... so this is the lamest excuse ever :-P
20:39 <@christel> mind, when i caved in and bought tickets she informed me that i had to tell her what they cost so she could pay me back as she suddenly felt bad for being a pita and wanted to treat me to them :p
20:39 <@kloeri> maybe christel doesn't read very fast.. :)
20:39 <@christel> indeed :P
20:40 <@christel> but yes, i agree, we need to try keep eachother somewhat in the loop
20:40 <@fmccor> kloeri, sure, as long as we are not paralyzed in the mean time.  (Yes, I'm exaggerating for effect. :)  Lawyers like worst case hypotheticals. :) )
20:40 <@amne> kloeri: hahaha
20:41 <@kloeri> anyway, lets continue doing what we're already doing and then have a meeting later where he can further polish whatever needs polishing
20:41 <@kloeri> fmccor: I don't expect you to stop giving people good advice or anything like that :)
20:41 <@fmccor> Please, though, let's tell each other what we ARE doing.
20:42 <@kloeri> agreed
20:42 <@fmccor> kloeri, No, I thought not.  It's just easier if I know that christel, say, isn't working on the same situation.
20:42 <@kloeri> k, I believe we've covered item 1 (and whatever was left of 2) now
20:42 <@kloeri> fmccor: indeed
20:43 <@kloeri> lets move on to item 3
20:44 <@kloeri> as I'm sure you all know avenj stepped down because of the continuing problem of leaks from devrel
20:45 <@ribosome> Is it possible to have a quick summary of these recent events? There was next to no discussion about it on the alias.
20:45 <@kloeri> more precisely he decided to leave devrel completely but that doesn't really matter much
20:45 <@kloeri> ribosome: avenj thinks some comments from #-private was leaked to ciaranm
20:45 <@ribosome> And I haven't been on IRC much lately...
20:45 <@kingtaco|laptop> kloeri, I'd argue that's a fact
20:46 <@kloeri> some people agrees that it most likely was a leak and others don't think so
20:46 <@ribosome> brb: Phone
20:46 <@christel> iirc plasmaroo resigned over it too, no?
20:46 <@fmccor> yes, he did.
20:46 <@kloeri> I don't think we can positively identify who leaked those comments or even guarantee that there was a leak and it wasn't just some freak occurence
20:47 <@kloeri> christel: yes
20:47 <@ribosome> I'm back.
20:47 <@amne> what, plasmaroo resigned?
20:47 <@kloeri> from devrel
20:47 <@christel> amne: just from devrel
20:47 <@fmccor> from devrel
20:48 <@amne> *cough* internal communication problem *cough*
20:48 <@kloeri> heh
20:48 <@kloeri> need to scare you a bit to keep you awake :)
20:48 <@ribosome> I'm surprised none of these resignations made it to the alias. Or am I having mail problems?
20:48 <@kloeri> anyway, no matter if comments was actually leaked or not we have a serious problem
20:49 <@christel> ribosome: irc only afaik
20:49 <@amne> ribosome: avenj's was sent to the alias in the agenda of today's meeting
20:49 <@kloeri> I mentioned avenj in my meeting mail and plasmaroo finally resigned a couple days ago
20:49 <@kloeri> in /msg to me
20:50 <@kloeri> he said he was going to retire from devrel at the same time avenj did but in reality I don't think he was entirely decided until a couple days ago when he asked me to remove him from the alias
20:50 <@kloeri> back to the problem at hand
20:50 <@ribosome> Yes, but neither avenj nor plasmaroo mailed anything themselves.
20:51 <@kloeri> I'd like to remind everybody that leaks *absolutely* positively just can't happen
20:51 <@kloeri> nod
20:52 <@kloeri> it can be quite tempting pasting some joke or whatever from #-private but we can never know when something like that is going to hurt devrel or some devs we're helping one way or another
20:52 <@christel> so, we have a "major problem with leaks" based on an alleged one line paste?
20:52 <@christel> that seems really rather paranoid to me
20:52 <@christel> unless people care to ellaborate
20:52 <@kloeri> christel: the problem is as much about trusting each other
20:53 <@kloeri> if I can't trust that what I'm saying in here stays in here we might as well close this channel
20:53 <@christel> (pardon my ignorance but i remember being rather ignored when people were forwarding devrel@ emails) :p
20:53 <@fmccor> christel, I know of one instance when something I said in private was sent to someone I really didn't want to see it.  But I myself have not seen a pattern.
20:54 <@kloeri> we absolutely need to be able to trust each other on this issue
20:54 <@christel> the problem is, there is no trust
20:54 <@amne> christel: while i doubt 99% of the lines in here could do much harm when pasted, i think recent events have shown how much distrust a single line at the right time can do (e.g. the incident when avenj resigned)
20:54 <@christel> as in, that wont change by someone shouting "trust eachother and dont pass crap on"
20:54 <@kloeri> christel: yes, that sorta blew over before I got to do anything about it unfortunately - my fault entirely
20:55 <@christel> amne: well, i still dont know that it happened
20:55 <@kloeri> no, there's a few things we can do about the leaks (real or not)
20:55 <@fmccor> amne, I am certain he misread that situation.
20:55 <@kloeri> 1. remind everybody that it's really bad behaviour and could possibly harm devrel / others quite a bit
20:56 <@kloeri> 2. start removing people from devrel until I'm convinced the problem is solved
20:56 <@christel> theres no doubt about that
20:56 <@Astinus> hey folks
20:56 <@amne> christel: it's hard to say it did or didn't, but as a matter of fact he resigned over it, so whatever the problem is, we have one ;-)
20:56 <@kloeri> 3. close #-private and take everything to /msg instead of keeping it openly in #-private
20:56 <@kingtaco|laptop> I hate 3
20:56 <@kingtaco|laptop> the latter part anyway
20:57 <@ribosome> One problem I can see is that this channel is used for many things that are not private at all. I suggest we try to restrict the usage of #gentoo-devrel-private to things that really should remain between ourselves.
20:57 <@kloeri> now, 2 and 3 have some pretty bad consequences and I'm not going to do anything like that unless absolutely forced to
20:57 <@christel> i think the bigger problem is that unless we can trust eachother and work together we will get more problems, leaks or not
20:57 <@fmccor> amne, both christel and I talked to ciaranm about it, ciaranm denied it, and take ciaranm as you will, he has never lied to me.
20:57 <@kingtaco|laptop> all that nonsense -private-private shit when we were firing ciaranm wasn't very good
20:57 <@Astinus> Since things are moving fast, I probably won't catch up backlog for ages. Anyone mind giving me a 2 sentence summary why shit is flying in the direction of that there fan  ------>>  INDUSTRIAL FAN
20:57 <@christel> indeed, he's never lied to me either (to my knowledge anyhow)
20:57  * Astinus grins
20:57 <@kloeri> ribosome: agreed - we've tried to move non-private stuff to #-devrel before and it worked for a while
20:58 <@kloeri> I think it would be good to remind ourselves that keeping things in the open is a good thing when possible
20:58 <@ribosome> Meetings, for instance, are done in open channels for all other projects I participate in. ;)
20:58 <@Astinus> We still have a 'leak problem'?
20:58 <@christel> im not denying that there are leaks, but i guess im reluctant to believe its still a problem
20:58 <@kloeri> we're supposed to work with the dev community, not behind it's back after all :)
20:58 <@fmccor> Astinus, not known.
20:58 <@christel> s/are/were/
20:58 <@Astinus> I uh, note the person responsible for most leaks isn't here right now.
20:58 <@christel> Astinus: quite...
20:59 <@Astinus> christel: splended :P
20:59 <@fmccor> Astinus, not in my opinion, either.
20:59 <@kloeri> I have no idea who's responsible for leaks and I can't prove anything anyway so that's not really helpful
20:59 <@Astinus> kloeri: I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you :P
20:59  * Astinus hides
20:59 <@christel> haha
20:59 <@Astinus> bad pun
21:00 <@fmccor> kloeri, Well, you presented an escalating program to address it, so why not pursue just that as three increasingly steps?
21:00 <@kloeri> Astinus: while you're out killing I have a few other names I'd like to pass your way :)
21:00 <@Astinus> It is my understanding that most of the leaks happen to #gentoo-uk (and other UK people/developers)
21:01 <@kloeri> fmccor: that's what's going to happen if the problem persists
21:01 <@fmccor> kloeri, 1 is probably appropriate in any case, and if there are no leaks after that, there's nothing more to worry about.
21:01 <@kloeri> I'm hoping that this discussion is going to remind everybody of the ethics etc. that we always needs to keep in mind
21:02 <@christel> maybe the fact that you feel we need to be reminded is a sign we need to be replaced
21:02 <@christel> as well, you obviously dont trust the people in here if you feel you need to install ethics into us
21:02 <@kloeri> I'll be sending this entire log to devrel@ after the meeting + a mail about keeping stuff said in private to ourselves
21:02 <@fmccor> Not to -core?
21:02 <@Astinus> christel # emerge -atv sys-apps/ethics
21:03 <@kloeri> I think we have a problem when people resign from devrel due to lack of trust
21:03 <@kloeri> fmccor: I was going to send a summary to -dev and -devrel
21:03 <@Astinus> Damnit, I always arrive late to these meetings and thus look like a total slackbum in the logs :(
21:03 <@christel> theres no doubt about there being problems, but i cant see how basically saying "okay guys, i dont trust you" is going to cause anything but more distrust among us
21:04 <@kloeri> I'm not sure it's such a great idea to let the world know that we have some trust issues tbh
21:04 <@amne> Astinus: since you arrived almost an hour late you look only too stupid to work with time zones and not like a lazy bum :-)
21:04 <@Astinus> amne: Ah, excellent cover!
21:05 <@ribosome> kloeri: If a project within Gentoo has important problems, these should not be hidden, in my opinion.
21:05 <@amne> christel: i think there's a difference between "i don't trust you guys" and "there have been incidents creating a general atmosphere of mistrust"
21:05 <@fmccor> ribosome, agreed.
21:05 <@kloeri> christel: I'm not saying I don't trust everybody - I'm reminding people that keeping some things confidential is very important and that even silly jokes should be kept private to avoid any accidental leaks of important stuff
21:05  * ribosome thinks devrel is a lot too private...
21:06 <@christel> i agree with ribosome and fmccor on that one
21:06 <@kloeri> I'm not really opposed to posting the log to -core btw
21:06 <@christel> kloeri: yeah, but that should be common sense
21:06 <@kloeri> I've just been thinking about -dev and -devrel where I think a summary is a lot more appropiate tbh
21:07 <@ribosome> And I think a better separation between open and private discussions might help here.
21:07 <@fmccor> Please do; posting a summary makes sure people know we have something to hide.
21:07 <@christel> mind, i guess having been on the other side of this whole leaks and devrel thing i have a different view on things a bit
21:07 <@fmccor> Almost everything should be open, ribosome
21:08 <@fmccor> ribosome, I prefer to use /query if I really really want privacy.
21:08 <@amne> /query is even worse than a private channel imo
21:08 <@christel> i prefer summaries to logs, but that i guess is because the latter is messier :p
21:09 <@fmccor> amne, some conversations have to be private; not on a private channel.
21:09 <@kloeri> ok, so what are you guys thoughts on this? log to all lists or log to devrel@ + -core and summary to -devrel + -dev? summary would probably more likely just be an announcement of the changes in lead
21:10 <@fmccor> ++
21:10 <@amne> summary, and to -dev+devrel because of lead changes
21:10 <@kloeri> I have been much more occupied with the meeting itself so I haven't given it much thought at all
21:10 <@ribosome> Summary+log everywhere is less work. :)
21:10 <@fmccor> summary to everyone; log to -core
21:11  * hparker agrees with fmccor 
21:11 <@kloeri> right, I think log to -core and summary to public lists would work best
21:11 <@ribosome> I don't like this. If we can provide an unbiased summary, then providing the log should make not difference for us.
21:12 <@christel> i agree with ribosome on that one
21:12 <@ribosome> Doing otherwise means we clearly are selective on what end ups in the summary...
21:12 <@amne> i don't quite see why should we send a log to -core?
21:12 <@ribosome> *ends up
21:12 <@ribosome> amne: Because some developers might be interested in reading it to keep up with devrel's work.
21:13 <@fmccor> amne, everyone else makes logs available one way or another; we don't want to go out of our way to look secretive.
21:13 <@hparker> amne: For the new flamefest, why else? ;)
21:13 <@kloeri> ribosome: I think my choice of words was a little bad.. by summary I was more thinking of announcing any decisions made in this meeting (which would amount to changes in lead roles)
21:15 <@amne> i find it kind of strange, on the one hand we seem to have trust issues to work out and next thing we send a complete log to -core, and while some stuff may or may not have been leaked, that log surely will be
21:15 <@hparker> My thoughts on my decision.. Keeps devs informed without airing our laundry to the world
21:15 <@kloeri> in any case, if it ends up on -core it's very likely to end up elsewhere as well so might not make a big difference in any case
21:15 <@amne> i want to say hi to my mom and dad and ciaran
21:16 <@kloeri> heh
21:16  * hparker thwaps amne 
21:16 <@kingtaco|laptop> hahah
21:16 <@kingtaco|laptop> amne, you're so right
21:16 <@kingtaco|laptop> I think every single item of -core is leaked
21:17 <@hparker> kloeri: I'm sure of that.. Unfortunatly
21:17 <@fmccor> Do it anyway.
21:18 <@kloeri> right, so the question is whether we should be airing our dirty laundry to the world or not (without even being sure there's some real laundry here :)
21:20 <@amne> imo starting a meeting in #-private and then sending a log to -core doesn't make sense
21:20 <@hparker> kloeri: Only laundry I've seen is our undecisiveness<sp?> in posting what where
21:20 <@kloeri> k, lets just send the log to all the lists and avoid any secrecy + preempt silly -core leaks
21:20 <@hparker> Oh, and the supposed leaks
21:20 <@amne> we can switch over to #-devrel and post, but that way it's just silly
21:20 <@fmccor> In this case, my recommendation is the same.  Of course, the log looks worse the longer this discussion goes on.
21:21 <@kloeri> k, any other items that we need to discuss?
21:21 <@fmccor> Not I
21:22  * hparker has nothing
21:22 <@kloeri> ok, I think that's it then
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