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Old 04-21-2008, 09:53 PM
"Jonathan Roberts"
 
Default Elected/Appointed Board

> It is also used as a tie-breaker. We had a tie a few weeks ago over
> (*holds breath*) Codeina/Codec Buddy, right there live in IRC, and Paul
> had to make the decision. Not sure how often this happens. Was his
> decision the will of the community just because it potentially aligned
> with a portion of them? Jon is arguing, aiui, "No."

Maybe I should try and re-phrase as it usually takes me a few tries to
figure out what I'm actually trying to say!

Simply: is the current system in the spirit of the project? I think
that, possibly, it isn't.

Thanks for your responses so far though, they've certainly helped my
appreciate aspects of the project that I didn't get before

Jon

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Old 04-21-2008, 10:08 PM
"Paul W. Frields"
 
Default Elected/Appointed Board

On Mon, 2008-04-21 at 22:53 +0100, Jonathan Roberts wrote:
> > It is also used as a tie-breaker. We had a tie a few weeks ago over
> > (*holds breath*) Codeina/Codec Buddy, right there live in IRC, and Paul
> > had to make the decision. Not sure how often this happens. Was his
> > decision the will of the community just because it potentially aligned
> > with a portion of them? Jon is arguing, aiui, "No."
>
> Maybe I should try and re-phrase as it usually takes me a few tries to
> figure out what I'm actually trying to say!
>
> Simply: is the current system in the spirit of the project? I think
> that, possibly, it isn't.
>
> Thanks for your responses so far though, they've certainly helped my
> appreciate aspects of the project that I didn't get before

I think other people have explained those aspects well, so there's no
need for me to reiterate here, other than to say that we should always
be willing to question our governance model to make sure that we're
proceeding in the best tradition of open source.

I find it really hilarious that this issue came up while I had been
working on this very issue over the last few weeks. That's what I
really *LOVE* about our community though -- there is always someone
around to watch over important issues. Hopefully you'll appreciate the
announcement that I had been preparing for today. :-) I think it's a
nice step forward in the evolution of Fedora's governance.

--
Paul W. Frields http://paul.frields.org/
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Old 04-22-2008, 12:35 AM
Christopher Aillon
 
Default Elected/Appointed Board

On 04/21/2008 05:48 AM, Jonathan Roberts wrote:

I trust Red Hat based on their previous actions, and I trust the
members of the board as a result of the work that I've done with you
and all that I've read. Should these matters be left entirely to
trust, however?


You cannot force anyone, elected or appointed, to act in a specific
fashion. When you elect or appoint someone, you are trusting them to
act in a manner you approve of. There is no way too 100% guarantee this
will happen. If you move members from appointed to elected, you're
simply moving who is investing trust from Red Hat to the small
percentage of the community that actually votes.


While I am indifferent as to who has 5 vs 4 since I don't think the
spirit is harmed in either way if RHT can and will appoint non-RHT
employees and the community can and will appoint RHT employees, I think
the bigger issue to address is the voter turnout, or lack thereof.
Having 10 or so Red Hat people decide things isn't that much worse than
having only 10 or so community members decide things.[*]

[*] Okay it's not _that_ bad but IIRC we only had about 100 voters last
election. That's a worse turnout than the U.S. presidential elections.


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Old 04-22-2008, 02:17 AM
Max Spevack
 
Default Elected/Appointed Board

On Mon, 21 Apr 2008, Jesse Keating wrote:

Actually we have FESCo, the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee,
which is wholly elected, and often the place where real decisions get
made. The Fedora board is good at setting high level goals and
desires, but it really comes down to FESCo and the other committees
(like releng, packaging, spins, etc...) to turn that high level ideal
into tangible decisions and direction.


+1 -- in fact, after we merged Core and Extras together during the F7
timeframe, a lot of people were asking "well, what happens to the Fedora
Extras Steering Committee". I, knowing myself well enough to know that
the best thing I could do for Fedora was *not* pretend to be an
engineering manager, was one of the people who advocated for morphing
FESCo into the body that could handle the day to day engineering actions
of Fedora, and that FESCo was also the body *best qualified* to handle
it, and trusting that FESCo would elect the *right people* to the
positions, regardless of where they worked.


Not suggesting that it's all been a trivially easy process, but we
definitely have a track record of trying to push decision making power
into the hands of the community as much as possible.


One of the things that I told Paul when he took over from me as FPL was
that still undone on my List of Goals was giving the various VIPs within
Red Hat one last explanation of why the Right Thing To Do with Fedora is
to turn the board over into a 5-elected/4-appointed configuration.


In my mind, at least, it was always the plan that we'd end up there
eventually.


Paul's running with that ball now, so I'll leave further updates to him.

--Max

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Old 04-22-2008, 02:24 AM
Max Spevack
 
Default Elected/Appointed Board

On Mon, 21 Apr 2008, Jon Stanley wrote:

There however is, and should be, a requirement that the chair be
employed by Red Hat (and have veto power). This is an emergency
override, like Rahul said, the plane is crashing and calling
'Mayday!'. Not that I think that it ever has been nor ever will be
utilized, it's something that's important to have in the back pocket.
As a real world analogy, when I go bicycling, I wear a helmet. I
really hope it never will be necessary, but you get piece of mind from
knowing that it's there in case you need it.


If I did back far enough into the archives, back when we first announced
the Board in April 2006, I remember saying something like "even though I
have veto power as the FPL, if I ever have to use it, then it means that
there has already been a colossal failure at some earlier point in our
processes".


--Max

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Old 04-22-2008, 02:26 AM
Max Spevack
 
Default Elected/Appointed Board

On Mon, 21 Apr 2008, Karsten 'quaid' Wade wrote:

It is also used as a tie-breaker. We had a tie a few weeks ago over
(*holds breath*) Codeina/Codec Buddy, right there live in IRC, and
Paul had to make the decision. Not sure how often this happens. Was
his decision the will of the community just because it potentially
aligned with a portion of them? Jon is arguing, aiui, "No."


We only had a tie because the meeting was on IRC, not all Board members
were present, and the Board specifically wanted to make a decision AT
THAT TIME and not put it off until the missing member was present.


With 9 "voting members", there will never be a tie if everyone is there.

--Max

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Old 04-22-2008, 02:31 AM
Max Spevack
 
Default Elected/Appointed Board

On Mon, 21 Apr 2008, Christopher Aillon wrote:
[*] Okay it's not _that_ bad but IIRC we only had about 100 voters
last election. That's a worse turnout than the U.S. presidential
elections.


For comparison:

Debian Project Leader 2008 election

Total unique votes cast: 401, which is 37.302% of all possible votes

I would also like to see more people voting in Fedora's elections,
especially since we don't really do official votes on all that many
things. But at the same time, I think that all the various elections
that we've had have produced excellent candidates and "winners".


I'm interested to see what the next round of Board elections brings.
While it's true that the Board position is more strategic than it is
tactical, it definitely gives people a new, unique view on the day to
day operations of Fedora.


I'll have to throw it out to the various Board members we've had --
is/was it an interesting addition to the overall Fedora Contributor
Experience?


--Max

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Old 04-22-2008, 02:36 AM
Josh Boyer
 
Default Elected/Appointed Board

On Mon, 2008-04-21 at 22:26 -0400, Max Spevack wrote:
> On Mon, 21 Apr 2008, Karsten 'quaid' Wade wrote:
>
> > It is also used as a tie-breaker. We had a tie a few weeks ago over
> > (*holds breath*) Codeina/Codec Buddy, right there live in IRC, and
> > Paul had to make the decision. Not sure how often this happens. Was
> > his decision the will of the community just because it potentially
> > aligned with a portion of them? Jon is arguing, aiui, "No."
>
> We only had a tie because the meeting was on IRC, not all Board members
> were present, and the Board specifically wanted to make a decision AT
> THAT TIME and not put it off until the missing member was present.
>
> With 9 "voting members", there will never be a tie if everyone is there.

"Abstain" votes are not allowed?

josh

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Old 04-22-2008, 02:49 AM
"Paul W. Frields"
 
Default Elected/Appointed Board

On Mon, 2008-04-21 at 22:24 -0400, Max Spevack wrote:
> On Mon, 21 Apr 2008, Jon Stanley wrote:
>
> > There however is, and should be, a requirement that the chair be
> > employed by Red Hat (and have veto power). This is an emergency
> > override, like Rahul said, the plane is crashing and calling
> > 'Mayday!'. Not that I think that it ever has been nor ever will be
> > utilized, it's something that's important to have in the back pocket.
> > As a real world analogy, when I go bicycling, I wear a helmet. I
> > really hope it never will be necessary, but you get piece of mind from
> > knowing that it's there in case you need it.
>
> If I did back far enough into the archives, back when we first announced
> the Board in April 2006, I remember saying something like "even though I
> have veto power as the FPL, if I ever have to use it, then it means that
> there has already been a colossal failure at some earlier point in our
> processes".

+2. It's an excellent statement on the quality of our Board members
(historically and currently) and the strength of our community that
neither of us can imagine actually having to confront that situation.

--
Paul W. Frields http://paul.frields.org/
gpg fingerprint: 3DA6 A0AC 6D58 FEC4 0233 5906 ACDB C937 BD11 3717
http://redhat.com/ - - - - http://pfrields.fedorapeople.org/
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Old 04-22-2008, 03:29 AM
John Poelstra
 
Default Elected/Appointed Board

Josh Boyer said the following on 04/21/2008 07:36 PM Pacific Time:

On Mon, 2008-04-21 at 22:26 -0400, Max Spevack wrote:

On Mon, 21 Apr 2008, Karsten 'quaid' Wade wrote:

It is also used as a tie-breaker. We had a tie a few weeks ago over
(*holds breath*) Codeina/Codec Buddy, right there live in IRC, and
Paul had to make the decision. Not sure how often this happens. Was
his decision the will of the community just because it potentially
aligned with a portion of them? Jon is arguing, aiui, "No."
We only had a tie because the meeting was on IRC, not all Board members
were present, and the Board specifically wanted to make a decision AT
THAT TIME and not put it off until the missing member was present.


With 9 "voting members", there will never be a tie if everyone is there.


"Abstain" votes are not allowed?



That is something I've been thinking about recently.

I think we should remove the option for an elected member of FESCo or
the Board to 'abstain' or vote '+0' unless there is a legitimate
conflict of interest or reason with merit such as complete unfamiliarity
with an area. It seems to me that voting '+0' is really voting '-1'
without conviction and that dilutes the process... something along the
lines of 'if you chose not to decide you still have made a choice'.


I think voting in FESCo and the Board should be straight 'for||opposed'
votes. We are electing these people to represent us and at times, work
through hard, uninteresting issues that affect the present and future of
Fedora.


John

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