Søren Hansen and Michael Bienia

Mark Shuttleworth mark at ubuntu.com
Mon Nov 2 14:42:18 GMT 2009

Scott Kitterman wrote:
> On Mon, 02 Nov 2009 10:00:57 +0000 Mark Shuttleworth <mark at ubuntu.com> 
> wrote:
>> If the CC need to,
>> we can make direct appointments and replacements on any structure in
>> Ubuntu, and will do so.
> Certainly the CC can (and if they can't you, as SABDFL, can).  That doesn't 
> mean you should.
> While the outcome in this case is clearly reasonable, I think some push 
> back about how the decision was taken is also reasonable.  As nearly as I 
> can determine, the discussion that led to this decision was all, or nearly 
> all, non-public.  I understand that there was some sense of urgency, but 
> I'm not aware of any actual need for privacy.
> Transparency in governance is an essential thing for Ubuntu (IMO).  
> Personally, I find the lack of transparency (and the negative reaction to 
> calls for transparency) unfortunate at best.  Many of the people involved 
> in Ubuntu believe that working in an open and collaborative manner to 
> produce software (and a Linux dostribution) is the best, most effective way 
> to do it.  It shouldn't be suprising to find that perspective generalized 
> to other aspects of the project.

"Information is a substitute for trust".

In other words, in environments where people don't trust each other,
they tend to demand more and more information. "Who took this decision?
Why did they take this decision? What was considered in taking the
decision?" etc.

In really sick communities you will observe endless discussions about
how a decision should be taken, followed by demands that the decision be
reconsidered because someone who wasn't paying attention at the time now
feels that they were excluded from a decision. That's a sign of a
community with low trust levels, and poor ability to delegate.

Remember, governance in the Ubuntu community is delegated from the CC
(and ultimately me). We believe in having a broad strong base of talent
to handle the huge scale of Ubuntu, but that's not the same as believing
that every decision should be taken in a completely consultative and
transparent manner. Don't confuse those two! That's as bad as confusing
Ubuntu and democracy - this is an appointed meritocracy.

We try to nominate the most competent people to the right positions and
then trust them to make decisions which bind all of us. We DON'T second
guess those decisions except in extreme cases. The various teams lead
because we trust them to lead.

This thread was a clear example of a lack of trust. My point was that in
your positions you either trust the CC, and work with it, even in cases
where it is moving faster than you, or you step aside. If you don't
trust the CC, you won't get anything done in Ubuntu.

In any event, look at the scale of the decision taken. It was about
extending *delegated authority* to two people for a short period of
time. That does not warrant an extended conversation by all the people
cc'd. Be respectful of people's time. Trust decision makers to take
decisions, and focus on the things you can do in the area of your
responsibility and competence.

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