FESCo critique

Thorsten Leemhuis fedora at leemhuis.info
Tue Oct 31 13:26:19 UTC 2006

Michael Schwendt schrieb:
> On Tue, 31 Oct 2006 10:17:54 +0100, Thorsten Leemhuis wrote:
>>> Do remember that with
>>> the last FESCo "election" primarily we just filled vacant seats in a very
>>> half-hearted and controversial way.
>> I'm looking forward for the next election and your detailed suggestions
>> what do to better.
> This sounds as if you cannot think of any improvements yourself and as if
> you just want somebody else to do the work.

That might sound like that, but it's in fact more some kind of
resignation on my side because I'd like to get more things done but
don't have enough time to do it.

But on the other hand I got the impresion that the current schematic for
Extras is considered "good enough" for a lot of people.

> [...]
>>> Before the next election a lot must
>>> happen. The FE developer community needs means to measure whether they are
>>> happy with the elected representatives. That is not possible when FESCo's
>>> decision-finding process is not documented, when some FESCo members either
>>> abstain from voting often or always [or because they are absent from a
>>> high number of public meetings], and when this leads to sort of anonymous
>>> FESCo decisions (where only with high effort or luck you find nothing more
>>> than a few +1/-1 votes in meeting-minutes).
>> As I said: If you think something needs to change propose a scheme.
> And you will reject it

I'm not FESCo alone. I can't reject anything alone.

> if you think it creates work and if nobody is
> willing to do that work.

Work for whom? If somebody presents a properly worked out proposal (see
above) to me/FESCo it's nothing more then a "here, foo worked out
proposal bar and discussed it with the community on f-e-l. Looks great,
do we agree to use it, Yes/No please. If somebody dislikes it please
restart the discussion on the list" in the meeting and we'll get back to
it in the next meeting".

> For many decisions, FESCo's +1/-1 style votings are not even needed.
> They just add overhead.

Well, currently a lot of these "+1/-1 style votings" for easy things are
more a "FESCo members, this is your last chance to yell".

> But when FESCo is really needed to decide on something, I'd like the
> official decision to be documented clearly more like this
>   Summary of the proposal: [...]
>   Pro: 10/13
>   Contra: 2/13 (thl, jwb)
>   Absent: 1/13 (awjb)
> plus a summary of how exactly thl and jwb disagreed.

Well, that creates a lot of work for the one who writes the summaries --
and that's a unwelcomed job already, so I don't think we should make it
even harder (sure, if somebody want to do it: great).

Further: I think those informations are in the full IRC log normally,
and if someone is really interested in those details he should read that
section from the log.

> And the whole thing announced via e-mail or on a separate "FESCo
> Announcements" page. It is most interesting to learn what _community
> representatives_ within FESCo think.

Well, I've thought about a "FESCo Announcements" page, too, but had
something slightly different in mind. What you outline sounds more like
a improved variant of the meetings summaries to me.

> Because if any FESCo member disagrees too often with the community and
> with FESCo or abstains from taking part in FESCo decisions, this would be
> a sign that the community may want to vote differently the next time and
> replace the person, because of interest conflicts. And for that to be
> possible, there must be rules for the election.

Yeah, but you'd even have to create stats about the individual votings.
Lot of work...

> What of
>   http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Extras/SteeringCommittee/Meetings
> is still relevant? As a new contributor, how could I learn about past
> FESCo decisions and the decision of the individual members?

Past "FESCo decisions" that are relevant for the future should normally
find their way to the policies or somewhere else in the wiki (that was
not handled to well in the past, but I try to make that happen always
these days; still not perfect, I know). But most stuff are short term
decisions. Sure, it might be nice to have those collected somewhere, but
I consider most of


more important for now.

>>> At the topic of FESCo, just a few days ago I was surprised that I could
>>> not find the FESCo members' mission statements anymore. It turned out the
>>> page was deleted without any (or without an easy-to-find) replacement:
>>> http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Extras/SteeringCommittee/Nominations?action=recall&rev=27
>> Thanks for complaining. But remember: It's a wiki. If you want something
>>  written down there feel free to do it yourself.
> Remember the recent conflict in the Wiki. Without talking about things, we
> would be flipping forth and back changes to the pages and their structure. :)

Well, that might happen now and then, but in this case I think it would
not have happened.

> And why would I dare and touch Wiki pages below the FESCo hierarchy?

Why not? Is it forbidden somewhere? The ACLs allow editing everywhere
below Extras/. And I think that should remain like that. I and several
others watch the wiki and we'll probably jump in to fix stuff if that
might be needed.

There are two areas where editing should be done by FESCo:

- Extras/Policy/* -- those are worked out in a hard process and just
modifying those would be bad. But there are no ACls set in place to
prevent adjustments, so people still can easily fix spelling errors,
formating, clarify wording ...

- Extras/Schedule -- well, that's the document FESCo uses for their
meetings, so it should normally only be touched by FESCo members. Site
note: If anybody wants to present a proposal for FESCo feel free to add
a document Extras/Schedule/FooBar (use Extras/Schedule/TopicTemplate as
template) and tell me when it's ready for FESCo consumption.

  Site note: all FESCo members are subscribed indirectly so all stuff
that happens below Extras/Schedule* . All Extras contributors that are
interested in FESCo's work can do the same. That should give a good idea
of the work that's happening in FESCo-land, because FESCo uses the wiki
as some kind of information exchange.


More information about the Fedora-maintainers mailing list