The Inquirier on F17

inode0 inode0 at
Mon Jun 4 19:03:31 UTC 2012

On Mon, Jun 4, 2012 at 12:53 PM, "Jóhann B. Guðmundsson"
<johannbg at> wrote:
> On 06/04/2012 02:51 PM, Paul W. Frields wrote:
>> This is a good explanation.  I'd also reiterate that "against the
>> community" is not supported by the fact that (1), and (2) the FPL
>> continues to appoint quite a few non-Red Hat employees, over the
>> Board's history.
> Well the FPL is not elected by the community but is hired by Red Hat through
> some internal process they have that we ( the community ) know nothing about
> and Red Hat has a track record of inventing position within the community
> then more often then not hire people outside the community to fill those
> positions. ( Even thou the company has been getting better at rephrasing
> these job positions and choosing people within the community rather than
> outside in more recent times).
> Arguably an better approach to choose an FPL is for the community to
> nominate individuals which then would be subjected to whatever process Red
> Hat uses internally to filter out and eventually get on it's payroll.

Arguably that is a worse approach too.

> At least to me that's the only compromising solution that I can see working
> between both parties involved without one ruling over the other.

I think you give the FPL more power than the position really has now.
While the position has great responsibilities both to the Fedora
community and to Red Hat, aside from the unused veto power over Board
decisions the FPL's "power" comes from doing good work and persuading
others by argument and more often by example that something is
valuable. Without community buy-in I don't see much power there.

> With regards to "the Fedora community has chosen to elect quite a few Red
> Hat employees" which I can certainly agree to since I my self have voted Red
> Hat employees over community candidates since I base my voting more on the
> individual work and technical knowledge rather than on some popularity
> contest.
> But I still think that this is one thing that is wrong with our election
> process as in I feel that corporate entity's or individual from there in may
> not be allowed to hold majority of seats neither on the board nor in any of
> the committees within the community to prevent that corporates interest
> influence either directly or indirectly the projects direction and resources
> and that view of mine is not limited to Red Hat but to all sponsor,
> sponsoring the project ( if and then when Red Hat *decides* some other
> corporate can sponsor the project).

Don't you think the power to influence the project's direction is
coming from the work being done more than from participation on a
governance body?

> And here are few I think is wrong with election process and is needed to
> ensure fairness through out the community
> 1.
> The same election process should be used through out the whole project so
> famsco/fesco should follow the same process as do everyone else.

I'm not sure what you mean here. The process is almost identical for
FAmSCo and FESCo with minor details that differ like FAmSCo does not
require members to be in the packager group. :)

I am interested in understanding what you mean though as I am also
very interested in an election process that the community believes in.
So please tell us in more detail where you think the problem lies now
in this case.

> 2.
> Individual may not serve on more then one committee at a time.

This one I have pretty strong sympathy for since in general I think
participating in multiple governance bodies tends to have more
negative consequences than positive. But there are always exceptions
and off the top of my head today the only person falling into this
category now is a volunteer community member elected to two of them.
And as far as I can tell he is doing a fine job on both.

> 3.
> There needs to be a limit on how many release cycles or "terms" individuals
> may serve on the board/committees to ensure rotation and enough "fresh"
> ideas/approaches to any given task at hand.

I have some sympathy for this too. Getting new ideas into the
governance/steering discussion is a positive thing from my
perspective. Each governance body can choose now to create such
limits, has discussed them in the past, and seems to have always
rejected them. I think the usual arguments against imposing limits are
(1) voters can enforce any limits they choose by their actions voting
and (2) there have been periods where even getting enough people to
run to hold an election has been challenging without telling others
they can't run.

I'll point out that this is one place where the history of the FPL
might help inform the governance bodies of the value of new ideas and
fresh enthusiasm.

> 4.
> Nominees cant change their "Introduction" once the nomination period has
> ended.

This is something we could just do. I'm not sure I see very much value
in doing it though.

> 5.
> Nominees that seek re-elections should clearly state what work they did when
> serving their last election period.

Did you ask them to do that on the questionnaire or at a townhall? We
can ask the candidates whatever we want to ask them, someone just has
to take a few minutes and ask the question.


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