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To: gentoo-project@g.o
From: Rich Freeman <rich0@g.o>
Subject: Re: Should DevRel members be in Council?
Date: Sun, 14 Aug 2011 07:50:07 -0400
On Sun, Aug 14, 2011 at 7:31 AM, Markos Chandras <hwoarang@g.o> wrote:
> On 08/14/2011 12:27 PM, Fabian Groffen wrote:
>>
>> Perhaps the Council should be released from this task at all, and
>> instead should be given the job to assemble a jury out of the dev
>> community (with non-involvement in DevRel) that is to examine the
>> case, and make a final verdict that the Council will accept/act
>> upon.
>>
> Same problem as before. You need to make sure that the jury will not be
> biased. This introduces another layer of bureaucracy. We have enough of
> them already
>

I'm not sure we want an "unbiased" jury (as if such a thing could ever
exist).  We want a jury that is biased to agree with the majority of
the Dev community.  I'd suggest that one already exists - the council.

It seems to me that there is some kind of concern about "fairness" and
that begs the question "what is fair?"  Gentoo is a community-driven
distro, and we all have to live with each other.  We should try to
foster a diversity of ideas, but when somebody is acting like a jerk,
then we're allowed to call them on that.  Ultimately if they don't
want to cooperate we're not required to let them disrupt the project.
Nobody has a right to be an asshole, and when they're prevented from
being such it isn't "unfair."

So, what is fair?  I'd say that fair is whatever a majority of the
community wants it to be.  It is in our interests to not turn away
help, and to seek contribution from wherever it is offered.  So, we
already have incentive to bear with productive people who sometimes
behave poorly.  We don't need to find some kind of arbitrator who will
force us to bear with a problem longer than we wish to.

Now, having a team that specializes in dealing with problems just
makes sense, just like it makes sense to have people who love PERL
maintain the PERL herd.  The only reason PERL issues should go before
the Council is if a PERL problem causes trouble for everybody else.
If that happens then the council should do its job - figure out what
the community needs and make it happen.  Devrel decisions are no
different.

I think the only cause for a council or trustee member to recuse
themselves is a personal conflict of interest.  If I propose some
great way to spend foundation funds, I'm not going to recuse myself
from the vote just because it was my idea.  On the other hand, if I
propose that a company I own shares in do some job for the foundation
then I'm going to disclose that conflict of interest up-front, and
more than likely I would recuse myself.  Having an educated opinion
isn't a conflict of interest, but having a specific and personal
relationship to the matter being discussed is.  My feeling is that
Council members should only recuse themselves from Devrel actions if
they're very personally involved - such as being a very close personal
friend or relative of the "accused," or if they were personally
heavily involved in the complaint itself.  Even that is a gray area -
just because a council member points out that somebody is behaving
badly doesn't make them personally involved - the problem needs to
strongly impact them in a personal way that it doesn't impact the
community at large.

Rich


References:
Should DevRel members be in Council?
-- Markos Chandras
Re: Should DevRel members be in Council?
-- Fabian Groffen
Re: Should DevRel members be in Council?
-- Markos Chandras
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