Gentoo Archives: gentoo-project

From: Daniel Robbins <drobbins@××××××.org>
To: gentoo-project@l.g.o
Subject: Re: [gentoo-project] Re: A plan for Gentoo
Date: Wed, 06 Dec 2017 16:53:56
In Reply to: Re: [gentoo-project] Re: A plan for Gentoo by "Andreas K. Huettel"
HI Andreas,

I am guessing the 'oldtimers' where the ones who sort of took control after
I left, in which case, I agree -- Gentoo absolutely needs to be egalitarian
in its approach and consistent in its policies. While the one-BDFL model
*might* be a project structure that can work (it works for Funtoo, but
likely not Gentoo -- certainly not now) -- when you have a horde of "little
BDFLs", they are their own little ruling clique that answers to no one, and
you effectively don't have a functioning internal structure -- just a
divide -- and the resulting angst. It sucks. And I understand how wltjr
mentioning Seemant brings visions of the "old days" (really, Seemant and I
were the 'original dudes' and not the 'oldtimers' you speak of) and that
can get people feeling sketchy about going back to the 'dark ages' or
trying to impose me as BDFL on the project (I know that wltjr has fantasies
of this, and it's something I don't want. But me being more involved with
Gentoo... that's something that is positive and we can discuss.)

As for my involvement, here is what I think makes sense. As Roy points out,
Gentoo is where it is, with the rules it has. These rules must be accepted
and respected. We must build on what currently exists, to respect those who
have invested in and lived within the metastructure. I have sensed a great
deal of goodwill from numerous people on the Gentoo side related to
positive and friendly collaboration. I want to build on that.

I am making myself available to assist in some way. What I think makes
sense is the following (view this as a proposal, expressed in list form...)

  1. The council invites me to participate in all council discussions and
meetings, and effectively treats me as a non-voting member. I'd propose a
council vote to give me a permanent status of a non-voting member, maybe
with some exception that I can be kicked out for a year at a time if a
majority of the council can demonstrate and vote that I am regularly being
disruptive or some such thing. This provides an open invitation from the
council for my positive contribution to the project. We can then
legitimately say that 'Daniel is back and helping out Gentoo!' --
satisfying those who want that (both the BDFL fantasizers and those who are
legitimately just happy that I'm back helping) and gives me the regular
exposure to various issues so I can get familiar with where I can help out
the project most effectively. I am not a magical solution to problems -- I
am making myself available to try to understand and help, and get involved
as it makes sense, and this requires regular exposure to the current
challenges and opportunities. This would make that possible.

  2. I look at running for a seat on the council in the coming elections.
If I run and am elected, I would then of course be a voting member of the
council. The experience gained from item #1 would provide me with enough of
a clue so if I were elected (I figure I have a good shot), I would be
familiar with the existing processes of the council and the current
challenges and thus would be able to be a positive voting contributor to
the council rather than a distraction. Thus, if this were to happen, there
will be much less uncertainty and drama and much more continuity.

  3. I will continue to work with members of the Gentoo dev team on various
development-related projects. If, for running for council, I am required to
be a Gentoo developer, I can go through the recruitment process. However, I
am frankly happy working with Gentoo developers as I am doing now and I
feel like it is less likely to cause problems if I do NOT have direct
commit access to Gentoo repos. So maybe the council could vote an exception
to my need to have access to the Gentoo repos. I think this would make it
easier for everyone -- people would not need to worry that I would subvert
existing processes. And I see no reason why I need direct commit access.
(Side-note: Maybe this is a model for the future -- have the most senior
old-timers 'graduate' to non-direct-commit roles so they cannot subvert the
process and thus are forced to work with existing teams. In effect, a kind
of 'term limit' -- force them spread their wings and use GitHub like
everyone else as they already have enough clout to get people to look at
their code.)

I think the process above would make my re-involvement with the project as
uneventful as possible, and most likely to be perceived as positive by all
stake-holders. (Council, devs, users, BDFL worshippers, etc.) Approached
this way, there isn't any real ambiguity or drama about what my role is and
how that relates to the roles of others, and I am letting people know ahead
of time about my intention to run for council. Then hopefully we can focus
on bigger issues like actually making Gentoo better and more fun :)

Let me know what you think.

Best Regards,


On Wed, Dec 6, 2017 at 2:09 AM, Andreas K. Huettel <dilfridge@g.o>

> Hi Daniel, > > > First, Seemant is a fantastic guy and Gentoo would benefit greatly from > his > > return. He was an incredible asset on the project. > > Sure, sounds like a good idea, if he wants to. > > > I am happy to get more involved with Gentoo. I've actually been working > > with several Gentoo devs on several development-related things and plan > to > > continue to do so informally. > > Sounds also like a good idea. Feel free to get in touch with the > recruiters. > > > I do think Gentoo could benefit from some positive energy and some > > additional support for development. I would like to assist with this > > effort. > > A significant part of the "negative energy" comes from a generation > conflict. > > Strongly simplifying, we had "oldtimers" who were used to organically grown > rules (see games team, which by force of tradition ignored QA and council), > and we had the "new" developers like me, who were recruited over the years > according to developed procedures and were told to stick to rules. That > led to > effectively two classes of developers, with more and more increasing > clashes. > Devrel, mostly consisting of people who were around a long time, was not > helpful. What happened eventually that the oldtimers were so much in the > minority that they got overruled more and more. See games team, which was > dissolved by the council, and see toolchain, which was basically completely > abandoned for a year before re-forming with new people. > > We are finally reaching the point where "new" people have a significant > say in > Gentoo, and where rules apply the same to every dev and there are not a > selected few exempt. Which has already improved the overall mood a lot. > > How do you want to contribute to this improvement? > > > I think we do need to reach out to Google, who seems to have a habit of > > poaching our developers, and work out some kind of arrangement of > > cooperation. The sum total of stuff I've received from Google has been a > > prototype Chromebook, a $50 prepaid VISA card, and a google blanket. No, > I > > am not making this up. I know these items were sent to me with the > > intention of saying thanks, and meant as the kindest of gestures -- but > > certainly, there are better ways for us to support one another? > > I'm seeing this critical. OK I'm probably one of the few persons here who > is > not hoping to get recruited by Google at some point. However... > > One of the side effects of Google poaching our developers was that we > ended up > with some mystery changes in core Gentoo stuff that noone ever explained, > and > that possibly were added to support ChromeOS. Now, there's nothing wrong > with > being cooperative. What is wrong is smuggling stuff in under the radar. > Disclaimer, I can't prove any of this, but a few times I had a rather odd > feeling. > > And please don't listen too much to wltjr. Most of us stop reading a > mailing > list thread as soon as he is involved. > > Cheers, > Andreas > > > -- > Andreas K. Hüttel > dilfridge@g.o > Gentoo Linux developer > (council, toolchain, perl, libreoffice, comrel) > >


Subject Author
Re: [gentoo-project] Re: A plan for Gentoo "Christopher Díaz Riveros" <chrisadr@g.o>
Re: [gentoo-project] Re: A plan for Gentoo Kristian Fiskerstrand <k_f@g.o>
Re: [gentoo-project] Re: A plan for Gentoo "Andreas K. Huettel" <dilfridge@g.o>