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Max Spevack mspevack at redhat.com
Mon Oct 27 16:43:00 UTC 2008


On Mon, 27 Oct 2008, Paul W. Frields wrote:

>> For most packages this is probably fine but for things like the 
>> desktop (and user experience in general) it's a little different.
>>
>> FWIW, I personally don't think any of these are good answers. Often I 
>> think it would be useful if we had a good dictator to tell us what to 
>> do (in the Linus is the dictator of the kernel way).
>
> Who exactly do you believe should be that dictator?

Possible answers (though not necessarily an exhaustive list):

(1) Desktop SIG, which jrb and any number of the folks who work for jrb 
are free to participate in.  Most SIGs have someone who is looked to as 
the leader, and part of that leadership is to make the tough decision.

(2) From the Red Hat side, jrb is the manager of the desktop team, and 
while I have not idea how he runs his team, I would think that if you 
need a dictatorial-type of decision to be made, you could always just 
ask your boss to make it.

(3) Ultimately for anything involving Fedora, it is in the job 
description of the Fedora Project Leader to be the benevolent dictator. 
This responsibility is delegated down to the Fedora Board (and in the 
cases relevant to this list) also to the Desktop SIG and Artwork Team. 
But none of that changes the fact that *Red Hat* pays the Fedora Project 
Leader to be the benevolent dictator for anything that carries the 
Fedora brand.

(4) Package maintainers, as already stated, who can choose to default to 
upstream if they so desire.

The key to successfully managing the many parallel and overlapping 
threads of Fedora is not to have DEMOCRACY -- with a few exceptions, I 
generally agree with davidz's general theme of "voting on stuff isn't 
the right way to make a decision" -- but to have a decision-making 
process and chain of command identified so that decisions ultimately do 
get made.

Then if a certain person dislikes a decision, they should know (a) WHY 
that decision was made, and (b) WHO made that decision.

Bonus points for the decision makers stating their rationale in public, 
and for having open discussions leading up to the decision, depending on 
how important or complicated the decision is.

--Max




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