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Re: Requests for Advice from the Board



On Tue, Feb 14, 2012 at 06:05:31PM -0600, inode0 wrote:
> On Tue, Feb 14, 2012 at 4:27 PM, David Nalley <david@xxxxxxx> wrote:
> > So you mention delegating authority or power, and I think that the
> > Board actually possesses very little authority inherently, and I think
> > that is a good thing. (But it really makes delegating hard when you
> > have nothing to delegate) The real power and authority is with the
> > people who are doing the work, so there is nothing to delegate in the
> > first place. Yes, as a community we've worked out a number of groups
> > (like FESCo, FAmSCo, FPC, etc) that organize and effectively act as
> > coordinators, but there's still precious little authority from a
> > traditional view point.
> 
> I'm not sure how to say this exactly but I think you are missing out
> on making a bigger contribution to the project by rejecting
> consideration of issues even when they don't fall into some small
> basket of things that you do have power over. I think this part of the
> conversation applies to more than the Board too. I can't count all the
> times I've heard FESCo members say to someone that whatever they are
> inquiring about isn't a FESCo issue too.
> 
> If a contributor or a potential contributor is curtly brushed aside
> they get a message but it isn't always one of empowerment. Often it is
> one of rejection instead. Is it really so hard to say "I/we think this
> is a great/stupid idea for the following reasons but it is something
> that isn't for the Board to decide - you'll need to do X to make it
> happen?"
> 
> > In my opinion, individuals who are doing the work have the ultimate
> > authority in Fedora. They make the decisions, and they are getting
> > things done.
> >
> > What the board, and other groups hopefully do is inspire and lead by
> > consensus. They certainly have no compulsory power. However, weighing
> > in on every decision, or even informing folks we've decided not to
> > issue a writ of certiorari belies the real situation - and that is
> > that the folks doing the work should almost always be the ones making
> > the decisions, and (hopefully this always remains true in Fedora) that
> > we trust that those spending their time, most of them donating their
> > time, to Fedora can make good decisions.
> >
> > I personally think that most of the requests (that aren't trademark
> > related) and to which the Board says 'this is none of our business'
> > fall into one of several categories:
> >
> > 1. People who think they need permission - this is rarely the case -
> > yes you might need to be a packager, or have access to some resource
> > that infrastructure might need to provision, but VERY rarely do folks
> > actually need permission from the board.
> 
> So say your idea is grand or your idea is hogwash or your idea maybe
> could be improved by paying some attention to this thing. Oh, and you
> don't need our permission but thanks for thinking about our feedback
> when you make the decision.
> 
> > 2. People really think that the board is really in charge in a
> > traditional sense - and they seek to have something about/within
> > Fedora changed, and so they have effectively bypassed all of the folks
> > doing the work, and show up on the footsteps of the board asking for
> > some change, a change we are often not in place to mandate.
> 
> Even here I think you should consider the issue and share your
> thoughts about it. If those folks ever do get together to work on this
> issue they will be better off with your contribution to the cesspool
> of ideas floating around in the project.

Ouch, "cesspool"? :-)  (No worries John, I think I knew what you
meant, it just made me chuckle this morning for some reason.)

I think Max also clarified in a way that jibes well with what you
wrote here.  I think what you're suggesting is there should be
followup with the people or team that is responsible (or could be
responsible) for the work in question.  That way, there's not a
misconception that the Board is saying "not our problem," as opposed
to "well, you don't need us to decree this, let's talk together with
these folks over here to see how this could just move forward."

Does that about sum it up?

-- 
Paul W. Frields                                http://paul.frields.org/
  gpg fingerprint: 3DA6 A0AC 6D58 FEC4 0233  5906 ACDB C937 BD11 3717
  http://redhat.com/   -  -  -  -   http://pfrields.fedorapeople.org/
    The open source story continues to grow: http://opensource.com
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