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To: gentoo-project@g.o
From: Steve Long <slong@...>
Subject: Re: Re: A proposal to get out of this mess
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2008 14:02:50 +0000
Dominik Riva wrote:
> On Jan 15, 2008 11:02 AM, Steve Long <slong@...> wrote:
>> George Prowse wrote:
>> > Dominik Riva wrote:
>> >> Let the community vote on a constitution for the council. (One from
>> >> the developers and as much others that have a substancial backing from
>> >> the community. In Switzerland we normally can vote for 2 to 3 versions
>> >> of a "hot iron" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Referendum#Switzerland)
>> >>
>> OK I think we're mixing terminology here, which could get confusing:
>> there already is a Council, and it's the ultimate decision-making body on
>> technical matters.
> 
> I was referring to exactly that Council. I would like to see it
> rebuild stronger then ever by being voted by the community at large
> (including developers).
Oh man, so we've gone from discussing the composition of the trustees to how
the Dev Council is elected? That's nuts imo. Keeping the technical and
support stuff separate is vital: it's like a company[1] focussing on it's
core duties (via the Executives) and ancillary services (other Directors,
eg Finance or Legal.) The separation of concerns allows both to focus
effectively without having to worry about the other side of it.

Yes that other side hasn't happened, since all the trustees were devs. (And
this was discussed and acknowledged *openly* on the nfp list.) The devs
appreciate that, and aren't about to volunteer to become trustees: they're
just 1) calming down from the shock I imagine, since most of them paid as
little attention to that list as the average user, and 2) taking some time
to think over the options.

There's zero benefit in users voting for technical leads: the devs wouldn't
buy it and I hope nor would most of the users (when they think about it.)
It would just be a popularity contest. While there's always an element of
that, these guys know each other on a day-in, day-out basis,
personality-wise and technically. Let them make their own minds up about
who they want to lead them. We don't need politicians.

We had userreps: I'm all for that idea, and for giving them some kind of
influence, however that's best achieved (be it voice in #gentoo-foo, a
gentoo.org address, assign ability on bugzilla or w/e I don't care: it's
something we can discuss since we're not rushing to meet some artificial
deadline.) They withered simply because they were seen as toothless.

Yes there needs to be a new understanding between users and devs; hopefully
the devs are seeing they can't just run everything on their own, and maybe
they'll be a little less arrogant in the future (we can dream, eh? ;) They
might even start to listen to some of their users who work in the
real-world and use computers to make a living, not just at Uni, and see
that massive, loyal and committed user base has a wealth of talent in all
kinds of areas they know nothing about.

PR, Legal & Admin spring to mind ;-)

[1] OFC Gentoo is not a company: I'm just trying to make an analogy to show
the separation; call it executive, legislature and judiciary if you prefer.
> But it will in its new incarnation handling all matters Gentoo, that
> needs a decision made by some sort of a lead.
>
I don't agree with merging the legal/admin side with the technical Council.
It's a complete dead-end. Maybe having some sort of overall community
meeting of Council, user-reps and staff/infra would be good. But at no
point should that *ever* encroach on the technical decisions. That's what
people go through the training for, and why we trust them to install our
software: because they make the best technical decisions, irrespective of
other concerns.

Lose that and you lose what makes Gentoo so special, for me at least.

<snip> 
>> *GENTOO STILL ROCKS!*
> 
> But for how long if some big problems don't get addressed because they
> are not technical by nature?
> 
Well the main bugbear has been the dev m-l. NotTheProctors will be dealing
with that at some point: watch the gentoo-council m-l for detailed
proposals (not for a week or two at least, I'd imagine, given all this
hullabaloo.) But that's been ongoing for at least 3 years afaict.

Apart from that, loads of devs are working away on the software which is why
it still rocks. Imagine how much quicker it would go if we could lose all
the dramas/flamewars/noise and just get on with enjoying our software and
our community.


-- 
gentoo-project@g.o mailing list


References:
A proposal to get out of this mess
-- Dominik Riva
Re: A proposal to get out of this mess
-- George Prowse
Re: A proposal to get out of this mess
-- Steve Long
Re: Re: A proposal to get out of this mess
-- Dominik Riva
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