Gentoo Archives: gentoo-project

From: "Michał Górny" <mgorny@g.o>
To: gentoo-project <gentoo-project@l.g.o>
Subject: [gentoo-project] Concerns about low Council member involvement outside meetings
Date: Mon, 15 Apr 2019 13:56:24
1 Hello,
3 I'd like to discuss a problem I've been noticing for quite some time
4 already. I've expressed it during yesterday's meeting open floor,
5 and I'd like to expand on it here. I figure that most of the voters may
6 be unaware of it simply because they recognize Council members for
7 effects of their actions, and possibly from meetings summaries, while
8 the problem becomes visible if you end up participating frequently or
9 reading logs.
11 I don't want to generalize or blame specific Council members but I am
12 repeatedly getting the feeling that some of them fail to find time to
13 fulfill their duties outside of monthly meetings. The degree
14 of the problem differs but it ranges from delaying feedback on proposals
15 until the actual meeting to -- in extreme cases -- coming completely
16 unprepared and reading all the proposals during the meeting.
18 I believe Council should work (whenever possible) in a transparent way.
19 The procedure is somewhat built upon that concept -- you are expected to
20 publicly discuss your proposals first, then ask for them to be included
21 in the agenda and the agenda is sent a week before the meeting.
22 Ideally, this should provide enough time for everyone involved to review
23 the proposals, provide feedback and answer feedback. Then Council
24 should have all the data it needs for the meeting, and should be able to
25 quickly decide. Sadly, this isn't always the case. I will provide
26 a few examples now.
28 The most recent example is GLEP 80. The pre-GLEP was submitted for ml
29 review on 2019-03-04 [1], the GLEP was sent for the agenda on 2019-04-02
30 [2] and the agenda was sent a week later [3]. So in the best case,
31 Council members had almost 6 weeks to review it. In the worst case, one
32 week. Nevertheless, during the yesterday's meeting one of the Council
33 members has provided new feedback, and indicated that he didn't have
34 time to send it earlier [log not yet uploaded].
36 I probably wouldn't mention it if I hadn't hit a similar problem with
37 earlier GLEP 63 update (to v2). In this case, once again a significant
38 amount of new feedback was presented during the meeting. It felt as if
39 Council members had reviewed the GLEP earlier but instead of submitting
40 the feedback right away, they saved it for the meeting. [4]
42 This is problem not only because it can prolong the GLEP progress by one
43 month or even more. This is a problem because instead of having
44 a transparent discussion with everyone involved prior to the meeting,
45 the problems are discussed at the last minute.
47 However, the problem is not limited to GLEPs. Let's take a look
48 at 'Forums (specifically OTW)' item from Feb 2019 meeting [5].
49 The Council has decided to 'defer discussion to mailing lists'.
50 However, for two months now Council members have failed to actually
51 start this discussion, whatever its purpose was supposed to be.
53 If I go back even further, to the time when I was on the Council,
54 I recall people asking for time to read the agenda items. I can
55 understand that things like that can happen once but I feel like they're
56 more common than that.
58 I understand that people may not have a lot of time to spend on Gentoo.
59 However, I believe that if one stands for the Council, one simply must
60 be able to find necessary time to put more time than 1-2 hours a month
61 during the meeting. Or -- to put it bluntly -- if you don't have time
62 to be on the Council, please don't stand for the Council.
64 As I said before, I believe the main purpose of the Council is to
65 encourage and facilitate feedback from the community, and make decisions
66 based on that feedback. If Council members fail to participate
67 in Community discussion phase, and instead express their feedback during
68 the meeting and vote based on that data, they take unfair advantage over
69 other community members who are prevented from being able to freely
70 address the new comments.
72 [1]
73 [2]
74 [3]
75 [4]
76 [5]
78 --
79 Best regards,
80 Michał Górny


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