Board efforts: scope, concept, and permission?

inode0 inode0 at
Wed Feb 3 18:54:05 UTC 2010

On Wed, Feb 3, 2010 at 10:26 AM, John Poelstra <poelstra at> wrote:
> Adam Miller said the following on 02/03/2010 08:02 AM Pacific Time:
>> I'm not on some crusade to undermine the Board if that's what you
>> think, I'm honestly looking for clarification but not only from those
>> involved in the Board but the community as well and both are located
>> here on this list. I don't see why it matters where the questions are
>> asked, just so long as they are asked.
> Thanks for your clarification.  I think it is great to ask questions, I
> ask a lot of them myself.  I question how productive it is to all of us
> though, to ask questions if the starting point of those questions is
> incorrect.

While I understand your point I think (reading too much into draft
remarks with possibly not the full context of the surrounding
discussions) I do think after all this time there are still a number
of people in the community (I am one of them) who aren't convinced
that the board isn't going down an unproductive path founded in
assumptions of a community structure that doesn't really exist.

I believe that what fundamentally makes the Fedora Project a great
place to be is that it is an open community where the participants
share a group of core values that guide them both individually and
collectively toward an unwritten end that is worth pursuing and I see
danger ahead in trying to write that ending in advance because that
short-circuits the evolving direction the project gets from the
collective wisdom of its contributors.

I wonder how widely that belief is held in the community?!

> My sense here was that a few words on a wiki page struck you the wrong
> way so instead of going to the people that wrote them by asking, "Hey,
> what do you guys mean?  These _______ things concern me for these
> reasons."  It was first asked instead to a mailing list that didn't
> write them :).

I can't speak for Adam here, but to me it isn't a few words on a wiki
page causing the concern, those words reinforce the concern. The board
has a really difficult task when it comes to its leadership role.
Since it doesn't have much structural authority to impose its will on
contributors it requires that the board make a case that is compelling
to the contributors so that they internalize and adopt it as part of
what they do. If contributors won't do that, then stating our target
audience is X will fall on deaf ears.

While I've not been convinced that defining a target audience is
remotely a good idea, I know from talking to a lot of people in the
community that *they* do think it is. So don't be too discouraged, the
folks with doubts are more likely to jump up and down than the folks
who agree.

> I specifically requested feedback on advisory-board for this very
> purpose and received no responses.  Is there something I could have done
> better on advisory-board list to engage the people that have
> participated so freely here?

Perhaps that indicates that the advisory-board list wasn't the best
place to ask.


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