questions about governance

Paul W. Frields stickster at
Thu Jun 17 16:24:57 UTC 2010

On Thu, Jun 17, 2010 at 01:18:09PM +0200, Sascha Thomas Spreitzer wrote:
> Hello friends,
> i was having an overview over the CLA, which i signed in the past, and
> the foundations and the governance descriptions in the wiki.
> I know that I have signed the CLA and i feel tied to it, because I
> gave my will for.
> But;
> What exactly ties me as a fedorian to the governance or governance
> model of fedora?
> I can't find any contract like the CLA which puts the governance into force.
> Can you help me?

Hi Sascha,

This is a simple answer but it's also hopefully a good one.

Like all sizable FOSS communities, Fedora is a social group that
agrees on certain norms.  We have governance mainly because the
community generally agrees, once it's reached a certain size, it's
more efficient to invest a representative group with the ability to
make decisions after building consensus.  There's no official contract
to bind people to this leadership, but rather it's part of the social
fabric of the Fedora community.

Over time, on average, I'd hope that any such decisions with which
someone doesn't agree are outweighed by the many benefits of working
in the Fedora community with great people.  There are plenty of FOSS
communities that don't have the same type of governance model, so
everyone certainly should have the right to choose communities based
on this factor as well as many others.

The Ambassadors team, for example, is made up of people who want to
work together to spread clear messages about the Fedora Project and
the distribution.  To make their work more efficient, the Ambassadors
formed FAmSCo and have a few regional groups to make it easier to
coordinate events, media, and other grassroots work.  A group like
FAmSCo exists through the consensus of the larger Ambassadors team,
but the whole Ambassadors team (many hundreds of individuals) wisely
realizes that making team members sign some sort of contract isn't
necessary to have things work efficiently.

The social ties that bind Ambassadors (or indeed any Fedora Project
team) are strong enough, along with open and transparent dialogue, to
ensure that the governance for the team performs as the team expects.
If that stops being the case, we encourage teams to look for new
methods that help them succeed.

Paul W. Frields                      
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