Future of MOTU

Michael Bienia michael at bienia.de
Tue Mar 2 11:08:55 GMT 2010

On 2010-03-02 12:55:00 +0900, Emmet Hikory wrote:
> Michael Bienia wrote:
> > On 2010-02-22 12:53:09 +0900, Emmet Hikory wrote:

[MOTU Leaders]
>     My main rationale for retaining it was in hopes that new folk
> would step forward to lead various aspects of what we do and help
> shape best practices and clear documentation in those areas.  I
> suppose this could be left to the several MOTU, but I think having the
> means to honor those who step forward helps provide tangible
> representation of our only currency: respect.

I fully understand that but do you have an idea how to keep this list of
Leaders open so that no impression of a "fixed" list of Leader
(positions) arises and nobody dares to propose a new Leader (position)?

We should respect each others independent of holding any Leader position
or not. Some get more respected because of their expierence and
expertise and this shouldn't be traded for respecting them because they
are Leaders (who they become because of their expierence and expertise).

But a list of persons with their field of expierence and expertise would
be helpful to be able to know who to ask about certain problems. But I
wouldn't call them Leaders.

[MOTU meetings]
> > While I'd would like to see regular MOTU meetings happen again, I also
> > see that it's will be a hard task (sorry for sounding pessimistic).
> > Without much to discuss I assume only a few people will attending a
> > meeting (and stay up late or wake up early) just to hear status reports
> > and prefer to read those status reports in the minutes.
>     Are there any other strategies that you could suggest that would
> help to improve communication and accountability within the team?  My
> experience with other teams is that when meetings aren't being held,
> growth and activity slow.

Sorry no other ideas. And didn't want to stop you (or anybody else) from
reviving the MOTU meetings.
We should also try to get the ubuntu-motu ML more active again e.g. with
those status reports (transitions: active, finished, planned; QA
efforts; current "health" of universe; etc). When I look at my
ubuntu-motu mailbox I mostly see only request originated from MOTU being
set as the maintainer in packages.

> > Have we a rough number of how many "active" MOTUs we currently have?
> > (with a loose definition of "active" as at least one upload/merge/sync
> > for lucid)
>     We can certainly parse -changes to see who uploaded and who
> didn't.  We can even cross-check this to see where uploads happened to
> unseeded packages.  I'm not at all convinced this measures activity as
> MOTU rather than just uploads.  I know that most of what I personally
> do doesn't result in me uploading something (but rather someone else
> uploading something, sometimes to Debian).  I suspect similar is true
> for others active in new developer training or developer support.  I
> also think this poorty serves those who spend lots of time on the hard
> stuff, and unfairly encourages those who have 1000 trivial uploads
> (e.g. I don't want to wait for it to reach Debian testing).  We can
> measure mailing list and IRC traffic, but that's also not necessarily
> a good indicator.
>     I think we'd have to deinfe "active MOTU" in some objective way
> prior to being able to get a count.  That said, we *can* discover
> which MOTU have no mailing list posts, no IRC traffic, no uploads, no
> REVU comments, etc. during a given cycle.  Depending on whether we
> account for package sets, this list will either be skewed to imply
> many active MOTU who have done nothing in target packages or
> artifically suggest that most developers are inactive in MOTU (even if
> they are active in other areas).

I don't want hard numbers (e.g. 42 MOTUs were active during the karmic
cycle) or even a list of names. I'm just interested in a rough estimate
of which percentage from those over 100 direct members LP lists seems to
be active in "universe" (what ever active might actually means being it
direct or indirect (e.g. through Debian)). As this might explain why
there is only few communication. 20 active MOTUs have much less to
discuss than 80 active MOTUs (in which case I'd wonder myself why there
is nothing to discuss).
Something like "we have around 30-40 active MOTUs" or "we have around
70-90 active MOTUs" would be fully sufficient for me as I don't have an
idea how big MOTU actually is we try here to reform.


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