DMB: Proposal for a different review process

Scott Kitterman ubuntu at
Wed Aug 3 21:05:02 UTC 2011

On Wednesday, August 03, 2011 04:06:26 PM Chase Douglas wrote:
> On 08/03/2011 12:44 PM, Scott Kitterman wrote:
> > On Wednesday, August 03, 2011 03:04:14 PM Chase Douglas wrote:
> >> On 08/02/2011 09:33 AM, Chase Douglas wrote:
> >>> My proposal would be to do away with formal meetings, at least for
> >>> evaluating typical applications, and move them to Launchpad. Create a
> >>> project (maybe "ubuntu-developer-membership") and then have people open
> >>> bugs when they have something to bring up before the board.
> >> 
> >> There seem to be people who are in favor of this and people who are
> >> sceptical. That's fine for now, but I think it would be worthwhile to
> >> explore this option. This could also be used to supplement rather than
> >> replace the current mechanism in cases where timezones don't line up or
> >> at the applicants preference.
> Sure, all I'm doing is providing an option and following through by
> starting a foundation so it can be evaluated. I'm not on the board, and
> I realize I don't have a vote in this manner.
> > I think it's really up to the DMB to decide how they want to run their
> > application process.  I think you should let them figure it out with our
> > input. There appeared to me to be a very different ratio of
> > liking/not-liking your proposal based on if someone was employed by
> > Canonical or not.  I would suggest that given the current level of
> > pressure on the membership boards by various Canonical people that this
> > would be a particularly good time NOT to be pushing about trying to
> > force a process change on them.
> Please, stop assuming input here has anything to do with Canonical. I
> can state unequivocally that my input has nothing to do with who I work
> for. I am but an Ubuntu developer here. If it helps, I've used my
> email address to make it even more clear :).
> I also do not believe anyone is trying to whitewash things for
> Canonical. I want to point out a few things:
> 1. Many Canonical employees started out as Ubuntu members before they
> were employees. I doubt they are now trying to subvert a community they
> were and currently are a part of.
> 2. I have not seen anyone at Canonical apply for membership levels that
> did not make sense for that individual. I am unaware of anyone being
> granted membership based even in part on their status as a Canonical
> employee.
> 3. There are many Canonical employees who do not participate in Ubuntu.
> I have not seen any of them try to subvert the Ubuntu community.
> 4. I have no numbers here, but I believe if you look at the percentage
> of top Ubuntu contributors you will find that many also happen to be
> Canonical employees. If you filter them out, you may be forsaking
> valuable input from a large portion of the community.
> Every once in a while there may be a case where an individual Canonical
> employee has stepped out of bounds. I feel I can guarantee that it was
> not done to harm the Ubuntu project or community, but the end result may
> have been just that. Where I have seen that happen, I believe the
> parties have taken responsibility and corrected their actions. However,
> I see no reason to believe there is a systemic problem.
> If you believe there is a problem, please bring it up in whole in a
> separate thread. Comments like this do nothing but poison the
> conversation. Please judge things on their merits, not on who the
> contributor is employed by.

Much of this entire discussion was started by Canonical employees wanting 
special case treatment for upstream work sponsored by Canonical.  It was a 
Canonical employee that proposed to the Tech Board, without even consulting 
with the DMB first, to change how the DMB could assess applications and 
restrict their ability to deny applications.  Multiple members of multiple 
boards have complained they feel like they are subject to harrassment from 
Canonical managers if they don't approve a Canonical applicant.  The 
agree/disagree ratio on your proposed change in how to change the application 
process was roughly reversed depending on if someone was employed by Canonical 
or not.

I think there is a serious split between the Canonical and non-Canonical parts 
of the community right now and trying to pretend it doesn't exist doesn't 
help.  I think it is broad and systematic.  I don't believe it's intentional.  
I do believe it's a problem.

Scott K

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