Brainstorm proposal

Matt Zimmerman mdz at
Mon Sep 6 17:46:58 BST 2010

Executive summary

Every 3 months, the Technical Board would review a selection of the most
popular items on, and arrange for project
representatives to comment on them.


Brainstorm reviews would take place twice per release cycle.  One of these
should be aligned with an appropriate stage of planning for the subsequent
release (perhaps near beta?), so that Brainstorm content can be factored
into that process.  The other would happen in the month following UDS, so
that the latest ideas and plans from Ubuntu developers can be shared.
Having a regular quarterly pulse will help to keep us focused on feedback
from the user community, and let users know that their feedback is heard and

When review time comes, the Technical Board will take a snapshot of the
highest voted items on  For each of these items, they

- Identify an appropriate spokesperson to respond to it.  This may or may not
  be a member of the TB, and may or may not be a subject matter expert in
  this area.  All that matters is that they be able to do the work required
  to write an effective response.

  In some cases, there may be differing opinions on how to respond.
  Wherever possible, the nominated spokesperson should aim to summarize the
  different viewpoints rather than simply stating their own.  As such,
  spokespeople are encouraged to seek input from their peers when developing
  their responses.

- Contact that person (or people) and ask them to formulate a response.  The
  expectation is that this should not require more than 2 hours of work, and
  may take the form of an email or blog post.

- Review the response and help the author to evaluate and improve it.  The
  goal of the response is to summarize the Ubuntu project's views and
  actions related to the topic.  Examples of good response forms:

  + Acknowledge the problem, and explain what is being done about it (links
    to work completed and in progress are especially valued)

  + Acknowledge the problem, and explain how a motivated contributor could
    help to resolve it (offers of mentorship are especially valued)

  + Explain why we believe the status quo is the best thing for users at
    present (evidence to this effect is especially valued)

- Publish the response, together with the others from this batch, in an
  article to be widely published (The Fridge, UWN, etc.).  The author of the
  response may also choose to publish it independently, e.g. on their own

Open questions

- The voting on appears to be organized by "solution"
  (comments) rather than by "idea" (the original problem statement)

- Should we review the most popular items across all categories, or some
  from each of several categories?  Should the categories be adjusted in
  any way?

Implementation notes

- Seek support from Ubuntu technical leaders for this plan

- Add this to the list of recurring events for each release cycle (Fridge?)
  to remind us

- Revise to explain the process

 - mdz

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