MC Discussion Topic: MOTU Release Team Charter

Emmet Hikory persia at
Thu Mar 19 15:16:59 GMT 2009

Scott Kitterman wrote:
> On Thu, 19 Mar 2009 13:23:32 +0100 Soren Hansen <soren at> wrote:
>> On Wed, Mar 18, 2009 at 12:21:36PM -0500, Richard A. Johnson wrote:
>>> Please disregard prior email at this time due to conflicts and ongoing 
>>> discussion in #ubuntu-motu right now.
>> I've read the IRC logs, and I really don't see the problem.
>> The MOTU Release team was asked to come up with a schedule by March
>> 18th, 1200 UTC.  That's it. Just a schedule. Not a final charter
>> proposal. A simple schedule for the proposal, discussion, and
>> ratification of the charter. Failing to do so, the MC saw no other way
>> than to simply set a schedule. I think this falls neatly under "[The
>> MOTU council] will supervise policy decisions done by the MOTU team."
>> Policy decisions were failing to be made, so the MC supervised a tiny
>> bit and set a schedule. We're not trying to impose on the contents of
>> the schedule (indeed, that is a decision for the MOTU team at large),
>> just trying to make sure that decisions are actually made.
> Motu-release and motu-uvf before it existed for years with no charter.  The 
> only need for a schedule is based on some arbtrary feelings of some MC 
> members.  
> There is no legitimate basis for the MC to impose anything here.  

    Yes, the team existed for some time without a charter, but during
debate about MOTU Release actions in the Intrepid cycle, a charter was
requested, and the need for a charter apparently agreed by MOTU Release
both by lack of objection at the time of the request, and preparation of
an initial draft prior to the MOTU Release organisational meeting for
the Jaunty cycle.

    I'm very much in agreement with Søren that MOTU Council does have
the responsibility to ensure that discussion continues on an issue when
it's not resolved for some time.  Despite that, it may be that
imposition of a schedule whilst the team responsible for working on it
is still actively working on it is inappropriate, simply because it
doesn't seem appropriate for *anyone* in Ubuntu to declare that someone
else must perform some action within some time without having discussed
it informally beforehand (although there may be consequences of not
doing so: e.g. release freezes).

    Further, despite the specific language in the MOTU Council Charter,
any MOTU has the right to start discussion on any topic at any time:
that the MOTU Council may delegate a member to initiate discussion on a
topic at some date, and notify other interested parties that they are
doing so doesn't seem entirely unreasonable, although it does remain the
responsibility of MOTU Council to ensure that these things are presented
in a calm and productive atmosphere (which may not have been done as
well as it could have been in this case).

Luca Falavigna wrote:
> Also, we didn't write drafts internally, but we reported our progress to
> MOTU community. Announcements of motu-release charter drafts were
> publicly made (IRC discussions and some mailing list posts, I can sort
> them out if needed) and we always looked for community input.

    Indeed.  This was apparently missed: apparently discussions began on
11th February (1), and are underway.  Given IRC discussions and wiki
edit history, it seems that it is nearing a final review version.  As
our processes have generally encouraged the preparation of such a final
review version before starting the decision process, it may make sense
to continue discussions, and be premature to schedule a MOTU meeting to
address the final decision.

    So, I'd like to apologize for the implicit criticism in my request
for a schedule (2) (as well as getting the dates wrong), and apologise
on behalf of all of MOTU Council for the strong response to the
incorrectly perceived lack of progress.  Given that the discussion phase
is underway, I'd still like to encourage MOTU Release to present
something for formal decision soon, and perhaps send another update to
the MOTU mailing list reminding MOTU about the discussions (I didn't
find another mail in the archive, but I may have made another mistake).
 Once the rate of change to the draft charter slows again, I'd also like
to encourage the scheduling of a MOTU Meeting for final debate and
assignment of someone to determine consensus.



More information about the Motu-council mailing list