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Old 01-20-2012, 05:00 PM
Toshio Kuratomi
 
Default FUDcon Board Meeting

On Fri, Jan 20, 2012 at 11:24:47AM -0500, Máirín Duffy wrote:
> On Fri, 2012-01-20 at 08:19 -0800, Toshio Kuratomi wrote:
> > If you can give me something like that then either I'll have missed that in
> > evaluating whether the Board should take an active role and I might
> > re-evaluate whether the Board should do more. Or I may have already been
> > aware of it and evaluated it when the Board made its decision but didn't
> > consider it worthwhile for the Board to interfere at the package level. In
> > either case, I can give you an explanation of why I do or don't see that as
> > reason for the Board to step in and we can either move forward to changing
> > the Board's decision or agree to disagree.
>
> The reason I initially raised the question to the board was because
> there was a long-running board discussion either when I was on the board
> or just before involving switching out the search engine on start.fpo
> because using google was undesirable. So it had been a board-level issue
> before.
>
<nod> If I'm thinking of the correct discussion, though, that discussion
was open source vs closed source. On that criteria, google and duckduckgo
appear to be on an equal footing?

> We're still using google though, and while ddg isn't perfect, it's
> better because of the privacy policy Rahul cited as well as their
> donations to open source projects. It also provides choice to the end
> user (so if you like google results, you can use ddg as a google
> gateway) but it's a less direct / specific endorsement of any one search
> engine.

So ddg advantages:
* published privacy policy (note, they appear to be keeping some information
on user search patterns. for instance -- the bang search functionality
keeps information on what search engines/sites you are using. So the
privacy policy is a list of information they don't keep; not a promise
that they don't keep anything at all.) If someone can make it clear how
the duckduckgo privacy policy relates to the goals of the Fedora Project,
that would be a great next step for evaluating this aspect.
* donations to open source -- this one, I'm not so sure is a clear
advantage. What makes duckduckgo's donations to open source better than
google's donations to open source?
* End user choice -- Is choice a good thing? I may have gotten the wrong
message from the website redesign discussion but I thought that the idea
was end users want to achieve a task; they don't care to know that
multiple ways exist of achieving it?

I also have a question that I think was lurking in the backs of many Board
Members minds -- what have the websites team and the maintainers of the
various apps that support searching the web said about switching to
duckduckgo? The Board is a big, precedent setting stick that I think we'd
like to avoid using if the involved parties don't need the Board to give
them permission. By that I mean something like this scenario:

The Board considers and finds that duckduckgo is superior to google. It
therefore says "when web searching within Fedora is configurable or
controlled by Fedora, it should default to using duckduckgo". In a year,
a new, powerful, featureful search engine appears on the internet that is
open source. Instead of people being able to immediately switch their
software and start.fp.o over to it, they have to make a proposal to the
Board to change the duckduckgo-centric project-wide policy. As usual, the
Board takes input from the involved parties, debates it over the course of
several meetings, and finally issues a revised default.

Why did we need to spend all that extra time when the involved people
already knew what the right course of action was?

-Toshio
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Old 01-20-2012, 11:10 PM
Rahul Sundaram
 
Default FUDcon Board Meeting

On 01/20/2012 11:30 PM, Toshio Kuratomi wrote:
>
> The Board considers and finds that duckduckgo is superior to google. It
> therefore says "when web searching within Fedora is configurable or
> controlled by Fedora, it should default to using duckduckgo".

The board doesn't have to pass a edict. Instead, board can pass a
recommendation to consider it. Discuss it with the involved people if
necessary. Maintainers can always take decisions. The purpose of the
board is to consider decisions for Fedora on the whole instead of every
maintainer of every browser in Fedora doing it as per their choice. It
isn't about asking for permission really. It is about having a place to
decide project wide things that aren't within FESCo's domain.

As far as setting precedent, the board has made decisions which have
turned out to be unpopular ( ex: codec buddy ). I rather have a board
that makes decisions even if they are wrong at times rather than one
afraid to be decisive at all.

Rahul


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Old 01-21-2012, 01:03 AM
Toshio Kuratomi
 
Default FUDcon Board Meeting

On Sat, Jan 21, 2012 at 05:40:51AM +0530, Rahul Sundaram wrote:
> On 01/20/2012 11:30 PM, Toshio Kuratomi wrote:
> >
> > The Board considers and finds that duckduckgo is superior to google. It
> > therefore says "when web searching within Fedora is configurable or
> > controlled by Fedora, it should default to using duckduckgo".
>
> The board doesn't have to pass a edict. Instead, board can pass a
> recommendation to consider it. Discuss it with the involved people if
> necessary. Maintainers can always take decisions. The purpose of the
> board is to consider decisions for Fedora on the whole instead of every
> maintainer of every browser in Fedora doing it as per their choice. It
> isn't about asking for permission really. It is about having a place to
> decide project wide things that aren't within FESCo's domain.
>
A couple things:

1) There's no need to involve the Board if all you want is for the
maintainers and website team to consider it. Cut out the middle man unless
you think that you and the maintainer are having difficulties communicating.

2) For technical decisions, fesco is the proper domain... I'm having a hard
time seeing how choice of default search engine inside of packages that
Fedora ships

Is it that you think that the browsers within Fedora and the websites should
use the same search engine and in that case, the Board is the lowest common
denominator with power to try to make everyone do that? I do not believe
the case has been made strongly enough for the Board to agree with you that
that is a goal worth the Board making a decision for the maintainers and
websites team at this point (if there were a search service which was free
software, then I think the Board might change their minds but that's not the
case here.) If you feel this is your position and you can make your case
better, then by all means, please do.

> As far as setting precedent, the board has made decisions which have
> turned out to be unpopular ( ex: codec buddy ). I rather have a board
> that makes decisions even if they are wrong at times rather than one
> afraid to be decisive at all.
>
Sure. And I was thinking of just that example when I said that I would
rather the opposite. codec buddy was not just unpopular. It also wasn't
just wrong. It was the Board acting in an area that rightly belonged to
FESCo.

As I said, I think that in this area we're going to have to agree that we
disagree on the relative merits of the Board taking action all the time.

-Toshio
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Old 01-21-2012, 04:27 PM
Rahul Sundaram
 
Default FUDcon Board Meeting

On 01/21/2012 07:33 AM, Toshio Kuratomi wrote:

>
> Is it that you think that the browsers within Fedora and the websites should
> use the same search engine and in that case, the Board is the lowest common
> denominator with power to try to make everyone do that? I do not believe
> the case has been made strongly enough for the Board to agree with you that
> that is a goal worth the Board making a decision for the maintainers and
> websites team at this point (if there were a search service which was free
> software, then I think the Board might change their minds but that's not the
> case here.)

This issue keeps coming up the board because there is a number of people
who believe it is within the board's purview. If the board doesn't want
to take the responsibility, noone can force it and I am not going to try.

I think I have made my case already and I wanted the board to consider
not merely the search engine issue but in general consider how much
responsibility it wants to take up, be it lead, manage or something
else. Currently it seems not much more than a administrative body
rubber stamping community domains names, spins etc.

If the board is shy to take up issues, the net result is that fewer
people will consider bringing up the something to the board and I would
argue that it is already the case (see the traffic trends in this
mailing list from a few years back to now) and that reduces the overall
effectiveness of the board as a governing body. The problem is in part
because the scope of the board doesn't seem to have defined clearly. We
don't seem to have a written constitution or charter yet. That needs to
be fixed.

Rahul
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Old 01-21-2012, 05:04 PM
inode0
 
Default FUDcon Board Meeting

On Sat, Jan 21, 2012 at 11:27 AM, Rahul Sundaram <metherid@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 01/21/2012 07:33 AM, Toshio Kuratomi wrote:
>
>>
>> Is it that you think that the browsers within Fedora and the websites should
>> use the same search engine and in that case, the Board is the lowest common
>> denominator with power to try to make everyone do that? *I do not believe
>> the case has been made strongly enough for the Board to agree with you that
>> that is a goal worth the Board making a decision for the maintainers and
>> websites team at this point (if there were a search service which was free
>> software, then I think the Board might change their minds but that's not the
>> case here.)
>
> This issue keeps coming up the board because there is a number of people
> who believe it is within the board's purview. *If the board doesn't want
> to take the responsibility, noone can force it and I am not going to try.

It seems to me the board has addressed this issue now and if the
people who want to make this change really want to do it they have
received the board's blessing to proceed. Short of a board mandate it
isn't clear to me what more you want from the board on this.

> I think I have made my case already and I wanted the board to consider
> not merely the search engine issue but in general consider how much
> responsibility it wants to take up, be it lead, manage or something
> else. *Currently it seems not much more than a administrative body
> rubber stamping community domains names, spins etc.

My view of the recent board activity suggests that they have taken up
one responsibility that I thoroughly appreciate. That is accepting
responsibility to instill in the members of the project the sense that
they are empowered by the project to make decisions, take initiative
without asking for permission in a wider scope of activities, and act
on behalf of the project using their reasoned judgment.

> If the board is shy to take up issues, the net result is that fewer
> people will consider bringing up the something to the board and I would
> argue that it is already the case (see the traffic trends in this
> mailing list from a few years back to now) and that reduces the overall
> effectiveness of the board as a governing body. *The problem is in part
> because the scope of the board doesn't seem to have defined clearly. *We
> don't seem to have a written constitution or charter yet. *That needs to
> be fixed.

One might also conclude from a different perspective that the board is
succeeding in empowering other members of our community to act without
involving the board in as many issues and a reduction in the number of
issues brought before the board simply reflects that.

You seem to see this as an example of the board being shy to take up
this issue but I see it as the board being aggressive about empowering
the community to act on its own. Not that it matters but I completely
approve of the board's handling of this issue and of its work over the
past months both in public and in private to encourage and empower the
Fedora community.

John
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Old 01-21-2012, 07:48 PM
Jon Stanley
 
Default FUDcon Board Meeting

On Sat, Jan 21, 2012 at 12:27 PM, Rahul Sundaram <metherid@gmail.com> wrote:

> This issue keeps coming up the board because there is a number of people
> who believe it is within the board's purview. *If the board doesn't want
> to take the responsibility, noone can force it and I am not going to try.

The board *has* taken responsibility here. That responsibility was to
empower the rest of the community to do what it feels right. If I told
you, coming from the Board, that you had to do something in one of
your packages that you may or may not want to do, that would probably
go over like a lead balloon, and you'd be crying foul that the board
was too activist. As mentioned earlier in the thread, reference codec
buddy for something that I view to be an abject failure of the board
(and apologies to people that were on the board at the time - I
wasn't) meddling in technical issues where they had no business
meddling.

What the board has said with regard to this particular issue is that
*if* the maintainer of a particular browser wants to switch to using
DDG by default (as Midori has already done long ago, without asking
any sort of permission), then that is their prerogative to do so.
Moreover, if someone *else* wants to package the search plugin, and
possibly even include it in default comps groups, they're welcome to
do that as well.

In short, I view this as the Board getting out of the way of the
community, as it should be.
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Old 01-23-2012, 03:43 PM
Rahul Sundaram
 
Default FUDcon Board Meeting

On 01/21/2012 11:34 PM, inode0 wrote:
>
>> If the board is shy to take up issues, the net result is that fewer
>> people will consider bringing up the something to the board and I would
>> argue that it is already the case (see the traffic trends in this
>> mailing list from a few years back to now) and that reduces the overall
>> effectiveness of the board as a governing body. The problem is in part
>> because the scope of the board doesn't seem to have defined clearly. We
>> don't seem to have a written constitution or charter yet. That needs to
>> be fixed.
>
> One might also conclude from a different perspective that the board is
> succeeding in empowering other members of our community to act without
> involving the board in as many issues and a reduction in the number of
> issues brought before the board simply reflects that.

That's why the board needs a charter to define its scope and document it
so that the difference is expectations isn't merely a matter of
perspectives.

Rahul
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