The Inquirier on F17

inode0 inode0 at
Tue Jun 5 00:04:46 UTC 2012

On Mon, Jun 4, 2012 at 6:01 PM, "Jóhann B. Guðmundsson"
<johannbg at> wrote:
> On 06/04/2012 07:03 PM, inode0 wrote:
>> 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.
> What are the downside you see to this approach?

Well, any process like this done by Fedora will be done in public. So
let's imagine somehow we get 12 potential FPL candidates into our pool
of candidates to consider. We cut that down to a reasonable number of
3-4 to pass on to Red Hat for further vetting. We have just said that
8-9 of the candidates weren't good enough in our estimation. What
would that be based on? The public nature of this vetting likely would
make people shy away from the process, being told you don't cut it is
hard enough to deal with privately. Now let's imagine Red Hat is
thrilled with one of our candidates and picks that person. Red Hat is
put in the position of in public rejecting the other two or three
candidates. Do you suppose this would lead to more or less second
guessing than we have now when we mostly have no idea who was

So I suspect this might limit the pool of people who are even willing
to consider being the FPL, I suspect it would lead to a nightmare in
Fedora of trying to decide who and by what method we would vet
potential FPLs, and I think Red Hat's final decision would be
questioned more when we know who they rejected.

>>> 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.
>  This is about transparency, community's participation and independence in
> the process in choosing our own leader instead of having it chosen *for* us.

I won't argue that point with you. If you want Fedora to select the
FPL because you think Fedora should that is fine. I can imagine
getting there at some point.

>>> 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?
> Not with regards to FESCO no I cant say I can.
> More often than not decisions that have been made there appear to me being
> more beneficial to RHEL than it actually does the project even more so do
> the action of FPC.

Well, I have no objection with things being beneficial to RHEL. I
would argue that Fedora providing technology desired by RHEL and other
downstream consumers is as important for Fedora as anything else we do
that is motivated by a target audience.

>>> 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.
> Look at fairly reason events in FamSCO...

I am very familiar with recent events in FAmSCo. They changed their
election procedures to be very similar to FESCo's. Now can you tell me
what specifically about the FAmSCo election policies you do not
approve of?

>>> 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.
> I'm not that entirely convinced that Christoph being on the both sides of
> the table in recent FamSCo event was a "positive" thing.

Both sides of what table? The Board had nothing to do with the
reorganization of FAmSCo as far as I know. Well, aside from ignoring
the call to disband FAmSCo. :)

>>> 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
> Not when there is a whole corporation voting for their *coworkers* in the
> elections which they either do so because of their own free will or because
> their manager might have put them up to it.

Please. So few people vote if you could just get 100 people to vote
for candidate X that candidate would win. Hardly anyone from Red Hat
votes, hardly anyone from the community votes.

> I know for a fact after being responded by one maintainer in the project
> who's name I'll leave out for his own sake that he could not update his
> package until his *manager* gave him permission to do so.
> If you need another example which is publicly available in the projects
> archives is when an Red Hat employee proposed that all conflicts between Red
> Hat employee and community members would be handled internally with the
> relevant persons manager.
> Fortunately I manage to attend the meeting share my views on that subject
> and the discrimination that would take place both against the Red Hat
> employees and the community in whole if that proposal would have been
> approved.
>>  (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.
> There already exist an rule to deal with that should that be the case which
> just needs to be extended to all governing body's within the project.

Yes, and in the case of the Board the rule is that the FPL appoints
all the seats that the community failed to field candidates for - bet
you don't like that rule.

In the other cases the elections are delayed hoping more candidates
will show up. Neither of these is a good thing.

>> 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.
> This prevents people from altering their introduction, mission statements
> etc after the nomination period has ended and if people really have not
> bothered to take the time to properly fill these out before the nomination
> period has ended they should be disqualified from the election.
> Ask you self these do we really want persons in a governing body that cant
> even do that simple thing?
> To me this is pure common sense...

I just don't think this small thing is important. I doubt anyone
voting remembers anything from that introduction when they vote.
Certainly it isn't nearly as important as their contributions and
standing in the community. It isn't as important as their answers to
community posed questions. It is about the least important thing they
do in the election process. And the rules governing the introductions
are set by each governance body. The Board doesn't make anything more
than your name mandatory, FAmSCo has rejected nominations for not
filling out the information in the past.

As with most election details, I think the governance bodies can set
their own rules.

>>> 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.
> Townhall meetings are failures from my point of view due to various reasons.

They are failures from my point of view too, at least I see the
possibility for them to be far more informative than they are today.
But they will always fall short so long as contributors don't come and
participate in them.


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