Gentoo Archives: gentoo-project

From: "Michał Górny" <mgorny@g.o>
To: gentoo-project <gentoo-project@l.g.o>
Subject: [gentoo-project] [RFC] Triumvirate in Gentoo
Date: Thu, 04 Jun 2020 07:30:00
1 Hello, everyone.
3 This is something I wanted to discuss back in April but due to the peak
4 of covid pandemic I've delayed it. Today things seem to be improving
5 a bit, at least in Europe, so I'd like to bring it up now, especially
6 with the elections coming soon.
9 Gentoo is technically led by two bodies -- the Council and the Trustees.
10 While this somewhat works for many years, people have repeatedly pointed
11 out that it's far from perfect and that it is preventing Gentoo from
12 gaining more popularity. Some of them are looking into the times of
13 BDFL with longing, others are considering it the worst thing ever.
14 Nevertheless, there are problems with the current state of things.
16 Firstly, we have two leading bodies and still no clear distinction
17 between their roles. Some developers agree on split being here, some
18 developers put it elsewhere but in the end, nothing has been really
19 decided. From time to time one of the bodies tries to push their border
20 forward, then backs down and we're back where we started.
22 Secondly, for historical reasons the both bodies are elected by two
23 electorates that only partially overlap. Surely, today the overlap is
24 reasonable but is there any real reason for different people to elect
25 both bodies? In the end, it is entirely possible for one body to
26 arbitrarily change their electorate and made it completely disjoint.
28 Thirdly, large governing bodies don't really work. Instead of having
29 one consistent vision of Gentoo, we have 12. What we get is a semi-
30 random combination of parts of their visions that just happened to hit
31 majority in their votes. It gets absurd to the point that a body can
32 make half-way decisions just because first half passed vote
33 and the second didn't (remember closing -dev but leaving -project
34 open?).
36 Compromises are sometimes good and sometimes horrible. If one dev wants
37 to paint the bikeshed red and another one blue, mixings the two colors
38 doesn't really get either what he wants. You just get a third color
39 that nobody is happy with, and in the best case you could say that
40 neither of them got what he wanted.
43 BDFL is not a perfect solution either. While having one has the obvious
44 advantage of having a single consistent vision for the distribution,
45 giving absolute power to a single person creates a fair risk of abuse.
46 This is not something most of Gentoo devs would agree to.
49 All that said, I'd propose to meet in the middle -- following
50 the ancient tradition, establish a triumvirate in Gentoo. It would be:
52 1. Technical lead -- a person with exceptional technical talents that
53 would build the vision of Gentoo from technical perspective, i.e. make
54 a distribution that people would love using. Initially, this role could
55 be taken by the QA lead.
57 2. Social lead -- a person with exceptional social skills that would
58 build the vision of Gentoo from community perspective, i.e. make
59 a distribution that people would love contributing to. Initially, this
60 role would taken by the ComRel lead.
62 3. Organization lead -- a person with (exceptional) business skills that
63 would take care of all the financial and organizational aspects of
64 Gentoo, i.e. make a distribution that sustains. Initially, this role
65 would be taken by the Foundation president.
67 Three seems to be a very good number -- on one hand, it's more than one,
68 so the others can stop any single one from getting absolute power.
69 On the other, it's small enough for them to be able to actively work
70 together and directly establish a common set of goals (i.e. via
71 an agreement rather than a majority vote).
74 WDYT?
76 --
77 Best regards,
78 Michał Górny


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Subject Author
Re: [gentoo-project] [RFC] Triumvirate in Gentoo "Haelwenn (lanodan) Monnier" <contact@×××××××××.me>
Re: [gentoo-project] [RFC] Triumvirate in Gentoo Rich Freeman <rich0@g.o>
Re: [gentoo-project] [RFC] Triumvirate in Gentoo Adam Feldman <NP-Hardass@g.o>
Re: [gentoo-project] [RFC] Triumvirate in Gentoo Aaron Bauman <bman@g.o>
Re: [gentoo-project] [RFC] Triumvirate in Gentoo Alec Warner <antarus@g.o>
Re: [gentoo-project] [RFC] Triumvirate in Gentoo "Michał Górny" <mgorny@g.o>