RFC: FESCo Future

Thorsten Leemhuis fedora at leemhuis.info
Sun Apr 23 18:53:09 UTC 2006

Hi all!

The Fedora Extras Steering Committee (FESCo) is now round about a year
old. I seems to me that the time has come to ask questions like: 

1) Will those people currently in FESCo stay there forever? 
3) Will new members join? 
3) Will existing members step down? 
4) How do we want to proceed with FESCo? 

and (related to that)

5) Did FESCo really work well? Is the Fedora Extras community satisfied
with the Job FESCo did? 
6) How can FESCo be improved?

I would appreciate feedback here on the list for answers to question 5
and 6. My take: FESCo worked okay -- not really good, but also not to
bad. But FESCo (and Fedora Extras) can still (and IMHO should) be
improved a lot. The Schedule
still lists a lot of todo items and the ideas container
even more. FESCo should help drive some things from theses list forward
because it seems some are good ideas, but  nobody did realize them yet.

Okay, back to questions 1-4; those are the real reason for this mail:
No, FESCo membership is no lifetime position. A rotation that brings in
fresh blood and new ideas seems necessary now and then. It seems to me
that we have reached that point now. And some current members want to
step down in any case.

Due to that we probably need to formalize the whole FESCo structure. The
current FESCo-members discussed this a bit on the private
fesco-mailinglist and during the last FESCo-Meeting on IRC. See the
IRC-Log at 
for details. The big questions (and proposed answers) are:

- How many members should FESCo have?

FESCO currently has 17 members. The general consensus is that the number
of members should remain odd. Thrown into the ring during the last
IRC-Meeting were 9, 11, 13, 15 or 17 members. 
Reasons for a smaller group: More people make it harder to make
Reasons for a big group: More people can make more things happen and the
load per member is a bit lower. 

- How to get into FESCo?

The current FESCo-members were simply chosen because they seemed to be
the right people for the job when Fedora Extras/FESCo started/was still
new. This might have the smell of "dictatorship" -- it IMHO was okay for
the start, but we need some form of election in the longer term. Who
elects whom? Good question. 

"Who elects" -- Some people want a public voting by all fedora extras
maintainers. That would be democratic, but running large scale voting
elections takes a lot of effort. Other ideas: old FESCo elects new
FESCo. (there was actually a third option that was mentioned during the
IRC-Meeting: "How about appointment by the benevolent dictator thl?" and
"I move that thl just chooses people to join." -- but I doubt that this
is a good idea)

"Whom"?  --  The current FESCo has the problem that some people are
quite inactive. So I (and some others, too) want to lay the hurdle to
get into FESCo a bit higher to have more active members in the future.
Some quotes from the IRC-Meeting in that context  
- "I think we should have people that 1) show up for meetings 2) are
active leaders in Extras." 
- "I think merit is a good measure of who belongs in FESCO." 
- "if people want to join FESCO, they should write their own mission
statement, goals, objectives, etc."
Current plan to achieve it: Everyone (also current FESCo members!) who
wants to be member of the next FESCo needs to nominate him/herself on
fedora-extras-list; in that self-nomination-mail everyone needs to lay
down some plans what he or she wants to achieve when elected for FESCo.
Of course all fedora extras maintainers are allowed to nominate other
people for FESCo -- but the potential candidates still have to do lay
down their plans own their own.

- For how long are people elected for FESCo?
One year seem reasonable to me. They can be re-elected. To make the
whole process a bit easier: Elect a new FESCo round about four or six
weeks after a odd-numbered Fedora Core (e.g. FC5, FC7, FC9, ...) was

- How is the Chair elected?
We have two options here afaics:
-- the new FESCo elects a (new) chair
-- the one with most votes in the election is nominated as FESCo-Chair;
if he does not want to do the job the one with the seconds most votes
gets the job offered, .... 

- What is expected from FESCo members?
IMHO is something like this: Try to make it to the weekly IRC-Meetings.
Participate in discussions on the mailing lists (especially if you can't
make the meetings). Help out where help is needed, but nobody helps yet.
If there is a boring task that nobody wants to do step up and do it if
it really needs to done. And the IMHO most important thing: Take at
least one task from the long "How Fedora Extras could be improved" list
and help realizing it.

- Anything else
Probably I'm forgetting a lot of things, but I hope I covered all the
important ones for now.

Proposed plan:

- Number of FESCo members in the future: 13

-  Everyone that wants to nominate him/herself for the next FESCo period
needs to write a self-nomination to fedora-extras-list (proposed date:
between 1. and 7. May 2006). It should at least answer this questions:
-- What important things did you do for Fedora in the past (in general
and specific to Extras) 
-- What do you want to achieve during your time in FESCo? Please write a
short mission statement with goals, objectives, etc!

- All people who maintain packages in Extras can vote for as many
members as they want to vote for (proposed date: between 9. and 14 May

- The top (n) vote-getters are in. 

- A new FESCo-chair is elected by the newly elected FESCo on the first
meeting (that would be 20. May 2006)

- Next FESCo election round about four weeks after FC7 was published

Big missing piece in this plan: How to actually vote? Does anyone have
experiences with E-Mail/Web voting system? How fast can such a voting
system be set up? How do we make sure that we can trust the results?

Thorsten Leemhuis <fedora at leemhuis.info>
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