Gentoo Archives: gentoo-dev

From: Daniel Ostrow <dostrow@g.o>
To: gentoo-dev@l.g.o
Subject: Re: [gentoo-dev] Democracy: No silver bullet
Date: Thu, 24 Aug 2006 19:51:18
Message-Id: 1156448733.7064.22.camel@edge
1 On Thu, 2006-08-24 at 20:55 +0200, Thierry Carrez wrote:
2 > Lance Albertson wrote:
3 >
4 > > Anyways, I'm not going to take any more flame bait since I'm sick and
5 > > tired of this shit.
6 >
7 > And my intention was not to revive that precise debate. I'm just saying
8 > that for the "leader" (or "strong council") to succeed, everyone has to
9 > follow what he/they decide.
10 >
11 > With the current organization/devsgroup, very often the affected team
12 > will think that the decision is not right or could be improved (and very
13 > often they will be right, as they know better their turf than anyone).
14 > Is *everyone* here prepared to obey to orders they won't like ?
15 >
16 > That's why I agree with you Lance when you say :
17 >
18 > > I'm afraid those days are in the past unless some kind of fork happens
19 > > where the folks who think we need a leader go their way and the folks
20 > > who prefer the leader-by-committee approach go their way. We all hate
21 > > forks, none of us have time for forks, but looking at the dividing line,
22 > > I don't see how we'll be able to compromise with out adding more
23 > > policies and BS.
24 >
25 > I've done my best the last two years trying to change the metastructure
26 > into something more efficient. I guess I failed. A lot of current devs
27 > did not enter Gentoo by signing a "I will obey to the leader" paper, so
28 > they decided noone can rule (or change the system). I see only a fork to
29 > solve the division between those wanting strong leadership/vision and
30 > those wanting gentoo-dev votes for every decision (yes, someone asked
31 > for that not that long ago).
33 The way I look at it is having strong leadership does not mean
34 abdicating your ability to provide quality input in the leadership
35 process. The entire reason for the two aforementioned issues boiled down
36 to a lack of communication. I believe that the job of a good leader is
37 to seek out feedback from those that know better about an issue then
38 they do. Being a good leader *means* understanding your strengths and
39 weaknesses.
41 Taking the email issue previously mentioned as an example. The council
42 was under the impression that since the discussions happened out in the
43 open that any issues anyone had would have been raised in that forum,
44 infra was under the impression that if they were going to be asked to
45 perform a new duty that their opinions would have been actively
46 solicited (and I'm talking more then "Well the meeting agenda was posted
47 and no one from infra showed up ... I guess infra doesn't care.", what I
48 am talking about is "Well this involves infra in a key way, lets get
49 Lance and Kurt in here to discuss this and if we can't find them lets
50 postpone the discussion until we can."), neither happened and what we
51 ended up with was an edict that made no sense. Clearly, although filling
52 this role is less then glamorous, the roll of those in charge has to
53 include actively tracking the involved parties down, quiet acquiescence
54 and silent acceptance can't work when dealing with issues that involve
55 the hard work of other people.
57 When I talk about strong leaders who provide a forward looking vision I
58 am not talking about people who do this in a vacuum, I am talking about
59 people who coalesce the will of the group into a cohesive plan and
60 provide way points along the way to ensure that progress is being made.
61 I am talking about people who build their own vision on top of the ideas
62 of the other groups that make up the community. Sure even in those cases
63 there will be conflicting goals and differing opinions but those in
64 charge should be able to hear those out and try to come to a rational
65 compromise. From there the decision has to stand...I have a feeling that
66 following a plan, even when it doesn't jive with your view, will be an
67 easier pill to swallow if you are sure that your input and concerns were
68 honestly heard and digested as part of the decision making process. I
69 think of the community as a whole as a sort of advisory board to the
70 Council...I dunno, I'm sure there will still be those that are so upset
71 that their choice, opinion, or plan was not heeded 100% that they throw
72 a fit and/or leave but maybe just maybe that is OK, maybe that is just a
73 sign that was they want isn't what Gentoo is. We are trying to make
74 Gentoo everything for everyone and failing...maybe we just need to
75 accept that we are not and cannot be and that people moving on to find
76 what really is what they want is healthy, not only for Gentoo but for
77 Linux and OSS as whole.
79 --Dan


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