DMB: Proposal for a different review process

Scott Kitterman ubuntu at
Wed Aug 3 16:15:39 UTC 2011

On Wednesday, August 03, 2011 11:37:54 AM Chase Douglas wrote:
> On 08/02/2011 06:46 PM, Scott Kitterman wrote:
> > On Tuesday, August 02, 2011 04:04:31 PM Chase Douglas wrote:
> >> On 08/02/2011 12:43 PM, Mackenzie Morgan wrote:
> >>> On Tue, Aug 2, 2011 at 3:23 PM, Bryce Harrington <bryce at>
> > 
> > wrote:
> >>>> Sounds like a good idea to me.  It makes it analogous to other
> >>>> processes such as the sponsorship, MIR, SRU, etc. processes that
> >>>> applicants may already be familiar with.
> >>> 
> >>> And drastically different from the other team membership processes
> >>> (Ubuntu Membership, Kubuntu Membership, etc.) that applicants may
> >>> already be familiar with.
> >> 
> >> True, but progress sometimes means change. I think this system would
> >> work better, and if proven right it could be a model for other boards to
> >> adopt. If it's worse, then the DMB can easily switch back. I would also
> >> be happy to be a guinea pig for any process changes.
> > 
> > Speaking as someone who considers Kubuntu membership (as part of Kubuntu
> > Council) and developer (as part of kubuntu-dev), I don't think this is a
> > good idea.  As difficult as finding a good time for a meeting can be, I
> > think the interactive discussion is an important part of it.  I would
> > hate to change the process into just a review of static content.  I
> > believe this proposed change would be a step backwards.  Membership
> > boards already use email voting on a case by case basis to address
> > problems with sync when needed.  I think that's sufficient.
> I thought about this aspect some, but then I remembered what it was like
> when I've gone before the DMB before. What I remember is getting a
> question, me answering it within 30 seconds, and then waiting a few
> minutes for another question. Loop this around for 15 minutes or more
> per person. There was a lot of dead time that could have been chopped
> out, and I don't think there was really a feeling of a dynamic
> conversation.

I agree it's slow, but unless we use some kind of audio conference I don't 
know how to make it faster.  I do find it valuable and would not want to do 
away with it.

> There's also an issue with applicants who aren't native english
> speakers. It can be unsettling for anyone to go in front of a board, and
> to do it in realtime as a non-native speaker of the language. It can
> make things bad enough that it deters people from trying. AFAIK (and
> I've been proven wrong many times recently :), the DMB is the only way
> to get upload rights like Core Dev and MOTU and to handle package sets.

English is the language of the project, so to be able to participate, people 
have to be able to use it.  I can see how it would be unsettling, but I think 
the board would be understanding that answers might come a bit slow and ask 
for clarification rather than assume problems if there are concerns about an 
answer.  These applications will be even slower and less dynamic, but I still 
think it's important.  The only case I know of where someone was overly 
unsettled during questioning they were a native English speaker.  In that case 
it was the board being rushed since they were about out of time and it might 
have been better to defer the application than squeeze it in.

Other membership boards might not find the in meeting conversation useful.  I 
certainly do.  It's not just about approval/not approval.  For developer 
applications I generally learn about a weak spot we need to work with them on 
after they are approved.

Scott K

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