bex added a new comment to an issue you are following:
I do not seem to have been clear in my communication. I am going to try to be more clear
in my responses this time.
> @robyduck I realize that we are a volunteer organization,
however volunteering comes with some responsibility. The volunteer gets to decide what
they are going to do but is also making a promise to the rest of us to do it.
No, sorry, a volunteer is not making any promise, neither to you
neither to the project, your interns do. It seems to me you are putting all in the same
boat. Volunteers offer their spare time to commit something they do to the Project, and
even if this is just a few lines of code or an event per year, we should appreciate that
and don't close them out of the door.
When someone claims an issue and says they'll write the patch or offers to write a
chapter in the documentation, I consider them to have made a promise to do that task. As
a volunteer no one can compel them to do it. I think it is reasonable for the rest of us
to assume good intent and believe it will be done and to ask periodically how it is going.
If they stop responding we may choose to mark that task available again. I don't see
ambassadors as any different. If someone promises to hold an event or to help at an
online session or to serve as a point of contact for their country, then I think we are
reasonable in assuming they will do it. I also don't see a problem with asking them
to make the task available if they can't do it. With something like being a point of
contact, that means marking themselves as no longer being a point of contact. All
contributions are appreciated and all contributors deserve support and thanks. They also
deserve the right to decide to not do something and support in undoing their requests.
This is not about kicking people out, but everyone understanding what people are offering
to do. This is why I wrote later that I am not concerned about FAS membership.
Membership in a FAS group does not inherently mean someone has promised to do something
for most groups. Maybe it does for Ambassadors, if so I cannot find that documented. It
seems that Ambassadors, unlike many groups, has an activity requirement, therefore we need
to measure that in a meaningful way. It sounds you believe that fedmsg is not a good way
to measure activity for Ambassadors, yet it is the standard you seem to be advocating.
This is confusing.
I am not sure what interns you are talking about as I haven't mentioned any. If you
mean GSoC or Outreachy students, then I would say that they are in a program where they
are more than volunteering as their programs require them to participate. If for some
reason you mean interns who work for companies, like Red Hat, then I believe that anything
they are doing as part of their internship may be either volunteer oriented (not required
by their employer) or required by their employer and therefore more than volunteering. If
you mean Fedora Interns working with the Ambassadors, I am not aware of these people and
would like to meet them.
> It seems like with ambassadors we don't have a willingness
to define what we want from people. The current guidelines are apparently so flexible we
are willing to consider the person who is inactive for 17 of every 18 months equivalent to
the person who answers emails daily.
This applies not only to ambassadors, but to all groups.
I don't know that this is the case. I am not aware of other groups that have
requirements for continued membership. The groups I am most familiar with have only
considered cleaning up the FAS lists when it grants permissions to systems and then only
seem to do so infrequently and on an ad-hoc basis.
> To be more specific, we seem to consider all of the following
people Ambassadors (non-exhaustive list):
> Someone who helps with one event per year (the three month active person mentioned
> Someone who answers emails sent from new people
> Someone who serves in an elected position
> Someone who does things but never reports them
> Someone who has been inactive in all ways for a period of less than 18 months
> Someone who has done one of the above at least once in their life
Correct, and we can continue with lists like that even for websites,
design, docs, marketing and and and....
Just go to a repository and type:
git shortlog -s -n
I am not aware of other groups in Fedora that produce pages like
This page implies more than just membership in the FAS group, otherwise why would it
> Because we have no way of differentiating in these people we run
into problems where we simultaneously have a large number of contributors and not enough
to do what we want to do.
> I honestly have no opinion on how the title is managed and how the FAS group is
The ambassador program specifically has a long history and many
topics came up already in the past.
Just because something has come up in the past does not mean we shouldn't revisit it
as the project changes and the world changes.
It is a bit superficial to say we don't want them anymore if
people don't reply immediately to an email or organize at least 2 events per year.
I don't believe it is unreasonable to ask someone to no longer serve as an email point
of contact if they don't answer email. I don't think it is unreasonable to ask
someone how we can help them if they keep promising to do events that never happen.
This isn't about creating a standard to judge people by, this is about making sure
that we know what people want to be doing so we can help them be successful in their
And you admit you don't even know much about mentoring and the
FAS group. Ambassadors actually are the only group which still has a mentoring period,
that's something other groups don't do anymore.
Actually, I had an interview and it was decided that I didn't need hands on mentoring.
I was only recently made a member of the Ambassadors FAS group at Flock and am now listed
on the Membership verification page. Additionally, you personally know I am answering the
email sent to me, as I recently CC'ed you on one as I am worried we will get no
response from anyone in Uruguay.
Also, I believe that Fedora Infra has a very good mentoring program, albeit titled as an
apprenticeship. The goals seem to be the same.
Because of this, in the past people wanted to set the ambassadors
title even for life...(which also is not correct IMHO)
Being listed as a point of contact for the project for life is what I disagree with.
Someone can stay in the FAS group for as long as they want, barring it creating permission
or other problems. I don't want them being forced to be a point of contact when they
don't want to be or blocking things from happening because people assume they are
going to do what they have always done, despite their having decided not too.
> What does bother me is that we can't effectively handle some
things because we can't figure out who is doing what, if anything. This is even more
terrible of an experience for people trying to figure out how to work with Fedora. As an
example, I have had a reason to send 24 ambassadors across 4 countries email over the last
6 weeks. I've received exactly 2 responses. This is a horrible response rate.
> We can't fix this without identifying people who are
actually willing to answer email. However, there seems to be unwillingness to even ask
people what they are doing. Where is the evidence that so much is happening from people
who will be so offended by us asking what they did that they will leave?
> I suspect we are actually scared to find out exactly how many of the 500+
ambassadors are actually active. However, without this data we won't know where the
holes are. Right now several regions have been struggling with quorums at meetings.
Wouldn't it be better to know that 85% of the active people were present, rather than
Yes, that's true. Personally I don't care if we have a rate
of 3% or 85%. How would the rate be in a websites meeting? Or how much is it in a design
meeting? It is the same, that's why I don't agree if we point fingers just to the
group we really need out there, because they help us more than others to gather new
I was trying to refer to the idea of false active Ambassadors becoming a blocker. If 4
people in a region feel like they can't do anything because they don't have quorum
this is a problem. The problem could be that of the 100 Ambassadors in the region, a
quorum of 10 is reasonable and those 4 people really don't have quorum. Or the
problem could be that of the 100 Ambassadors listed as active in the region only 6 are
actually active. That means that not only is the 10 person quorum requirement a problem,
but that as a group of 4 they definitely have quorum.
Other groups in Fedora seem to operate the same way. They know who their active members
are and adjust their processes accordingly. In Ambassadors we seem to not know who our
active members are.
> @robyduck I agree with you that we want to tread lightly and to
move in a way that is cautious and assumes good intent. However, I don't see how
asking someone "Hey, we know you've been doing good things over the last few
months. We'd like to help increase the effectiveness of your efforts by letting the
world know about them. What have you been up to?" is a horrible request.
> Your point about scaring people away from becoming Ambassadors if they see lots of
rules or requirements is appropriate. However, we are also demotivating those we have
when they see that everyone is treated the same without regard to their actually activity,
if any. I haven't seen any serious proposals that would add a ton of requirements. I
think the most strenuous might be my suggestion that every so often we just ask people to
tell us what they are doing so we can both know what it is and figure out if it is
something we can somehow hook up to fedmsg.
As I said above, if you want fedmsg to measure ambassador's
activity you will likely fail. We cannot measure that. Before you understand my reply
wrong, I agree we need to compact our ambassadors group to work better and with more
active people, but we cannot achieve this if we say we would drop people from the group if
they don't do xyz within a year. I totally disagree with this hardliner requests.
I am not aware of any hardliner proposals for membership. I believe that I have never
advocated for one, and if I have I rescind it. I am suggesting that we should ask people
what they do. I think this has a lot of value to Ambassadors and the project. It would
identify who is active, allow us to know what people are doing and to get better publicity
for it both to praise them and to amplify their work by promoting it, it would allow us to
connect like minded ambassadors together and it would allow us to direct people to the
right ambassadors for the right reasons.
I do not believe I have ever specified any criteria to judge the responses by. I am of
the opinion that we should start by fully accepting anything that we receive in
As far as fedmsg goes, we may discover that we can award badges for certain kinds of
highly repeated Ambassador activity which would give us something to search on, if we
chose to do it. We won't know what we could do, if we don't start asking. Fedmsg
is not required here, but it seems that adding some output to that bus could produce value
Speaking about promises: It is true, I am probably one of those who
reply to emails and also does much more stuff than others. But remember that I do that
because I know I have the possibility to say: "Sorry, I will go out with my family
and do a lot of sports in the next months rather than doing anything on Fedora. I am not
obliged to do anything, that's why I like to contribute. Probably, if I would be
obliged by a rule which says I have to commit at least 20 commits a year (even if I
normally do at least 500), I would not like what I am doing that much, unless I am paid
for it. Yes, returning to the first line now, I am doing this in my spare time and
therefore I can do with my time whatever I like.
I agree 100% with this. The key here is that you agreed to do it and then you said you
couldn't continue for some period of time. I am 100% in favor of this kind of a
system. We don't seem to be getting the "I am busy" messages from
ambassadors and instead are trying to make membership decisions based on fedmsg events.
That isn't a good way to handle this today (see above).
All this said, and I know you understand my strict answer to your
strict statement, I still agree we need to improve a lot of things in the ambassadors
group, but we can do that with other actions rather than pointing out how many minutes
everyone of us is contributing.
This thread started with a question about what we expect for responses to emails. This is
because we have a list of people by country who are presumably listed as points of
contact. If no one is supposed to email those people, we need to clarify why we list them
and why we put their email addresses next to their names.
I continue to believe it is not unreasonable to ask people who want to be points of
contact to respond to requests in a timely manner. I also think it is reasonable to
remove the names and addresses of those who don't want to be points of contact.
I don't want to count minutes, I don't have time for that (:P). But, I do have a
very serious need to be able to know if we have people on the ground in a country who want
to be contacted.
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