Gentoo Archives: gentoo-dev

From: Daniel Robbins <drobbins@g.o>
To: gentoo-dev@g.o
Subject: [gentoo-dev] [ Re: [gentoo-core] *IMPORTANT* top-level management structure!]
Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2003 03:44:27
----- Forwarded message from Daniel Robbins <drobbins@g.o> -----

To: Joshua Brindle <method@g.o>
Cc: gentoo-core@g.o
Organization: Gentoo Technologies, Inc.
Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2003 21:14:19 -0600
From: Daniel Robbins <drobbins@g.o>
Subject: Re: [gentoo-core] *IMPORTANT* top-level management structure!
Lines: 131

On Tue, Jun 24, 2003 at 09:15:00PM -0500, Joshua Brindle wrote:
> 1) I notice you are in many of the subprojects as manager, > will this really solve the problem of all issues going through you?
Yes, the goal is to move me out of day-to-day management and into more of a strategic role so I can focus on stuff like starting the not-for-profit.
> 2) I didn't see not-for-profit mentioned, don't you think this is > essential to the success of gentoo?
Yes, I think it is. Having me move out of the day-to-day management efforts will allow me to focus efforts on getting the not-for-profit started. Right now I am simply too overwhelmed with work.
> 3) is this gentoo-managers list /IRC chat meant to be a non-public > list, that is, not readable by the public (or other devs), that > doesn't seem appropriate to me
The gentoo-managers list is intended for "meetings." I fully support having the weekly manager status updates posted publicly on project pages as part of our accountability to our users. I think the meetings themselves should be private though. But each project's and subproject's weekly status should be public information.
> 4) gentoo-linux apparently (as currently) is being represented > by 2-3 people, this is the same sort of bureaucracy that is hindering > it now, could there be a group of people who have absolute authority > by vote? <-- this is a big deal to me, and should be to everyone on > this list
OK, lots of questions here and I'll try to address them one by one. First, Gentoo doesn't have a bureaucracy. It's an unorganized mess. :) Next: we will have a process for new top-level managers to be added, and this process will need to begin immediately. The current top-level project assignments in some cases model the current situation today; they are certainly *not* all ideal. The top managers have too much work even after this organization. But at least we have an *official procedure* in place to start delegating work and responsibilities. That's the real focus of this proposal. So, yes, the goal is to quickly yet responsibly "grow" our top managers, and officially delegate responsibilities to sub-project managers, and at the same time clearly document everything and establish regular meetings and accountability to one another. That's the recursive nature of this plan. The goal of this proposal is to give everyone the authority, accountability and structure they need to get their relevant work done in a pleasant and efficient way, and for Gentoo as a whole to meet deadlines. As for the progression to the not-for-profit, the top-level managers will likely become the not-for-profit's initial board of directors. At that point, we will have some system in place for electing members of the board. This is all a process, and this proposal is the beginning of this process.
> 8) was this an accident or was I ousted from the gentoo-bsd project?
You weren't ousted; you're still Lead of Gentoo/BSD but this project is now (in this proposal) organized under the gentoo-alt metaproject. The gentoo-alt metaproject will delegate authority to you for Gentoo/BSD. What does this mean? That your Gentoo/BSD status updates will go to the gentoo-alt manager, and that the gentoo-alt manager will be responsible for presenting your status updates at the top-level manager meeting. It's the same thing for the hardened metaproject. Just because you're managing hardened doesn't mean that pebenito isn't working on SELinux. Having a gentoo-alt manager allows there to be someone who is responsible for making sure that the Gentoo/BSD and Gentoo/MacOS projects remain coordinated and in communication, for example, just like you are doing for hardened now. So, top-level "metaproject" managers can also serve as sub-project leads. Also, remember that this a draft and if you still have concerns about this organization, you should talk to me privately about it so that I can resolve the source of your concern. Also, let me expand on this whole project/sub-project concept a bit. The idea is that if the top managers are being regularly informed about what is going on in a project, then they don't need to micro-manage. Once have a system in place for them to get the information they need (status updates,) that means that they *don't need to be directly involved in the work* to know what's going on. Which, actually, is *what they (and I) want* although it often doesn't seem like it. Right now, the only way to know what's going on in a project is to be involved in the work. That is *bad*. That means that right now, when the "top" guys don't know what's going on in a project, they are suddenly interested in micro-managing. Because right now, that is the only way to *get informed!* See how that works? The "top" guy doesn't want to micro-manage, but is forced to so that he can know what is actually going on. That is the vicious cycle that we are trying to stamp out because it gets everyone upset and wastes everyone's time.
> 9) thanks for the props on my project organization :)
What can I say, you did an excellent job. That's what we need to do for all meta-projects. Best Regards, -- Daniel Robbins Chief Architect, Gentoo Linux ----- End forwarded message ----- -- Daniel Robbins Chief Architect, Gentoo Linux