Xubuntu team direction

Pasi Lallinaho open at knome.fi
Fri Jan 1 20:31:05 UTC 2010

Cody A.W. Somerville wrote:
> Hello,
> Sorry for taking so long to reply. I've been thinking quite a bit
> about this and have been waiting for the appropriate time to jump in.
> *General gist*: I think a council *could* be good for Xubuntu.
> However, its membership should be limited to 3 people due to the small
> size of our community (if we can't find consensus now, putting us all
> on a council isn't going to give us consensus either); it can grow
> later as necessary. Ultimately, this change should be mostly a
> transparent one and not a harbinger of great change or divergence from
> the Ubuntu community and processes. In fact, I feel this change should
> instead aim to bring greater consistency, stability, and most
> importantly longevity to our project.
I must disagree with this, although I see the point of only having 3
members. From our experiences from the two last releases, my feeling is
that the problem hasn't been finding consensus.

The problem has been, as I see it (and I hate to bring this up again),
that the one-leader approach has given problems on (mostly artwork)
issues when you and I have disagreed. We have fortunately always found a
compromise, but I really feel that I should have had the power to decide
(against you), especially the rest of the developer community agreed
with me. Just as I think Lionel should make any decisions on technical
side or Jim on the documentation team, even if the leader or a single
developer disagreed.

The advantage with a bigger council, I think, is that it really involves
people more. If we only choose three members to the council, the rest
are unheard and the council can just overrule their thoughts. If they
participate in the council, they have a better chance to be heard.

I understand that a complete consensus (and pleasing everyone) might not
be something we can achieve with 3+ members (either), but it really
gives me a more community-based feeling. And in the end, I'm only
proposing 4 members, and there's not really a decent way of determining
which team (leader) should not be in the council. If you have an idea
which team/who should NOT be in the council, please point your finger on
the team.
> On Wed, Dec 30, 2009 at 10:12 PM, Pasi Lallinaho <open at knome.fi
> <mailto:open at knome.fi>> wrote:
>     Jim Campbell wrote:
>>     On Mon, Dec 21, 2009 at 2:46 AM, Pasi Lallinaho <open at knome.fi
>>     <mailto:open at knome.fi>> wrote:
>>         Now, where did this discussion go?
>>     It appears as though it went on vacation.  It has to come back to
>>     work eventually, though!
>>         People seemed to like the council-type approach; what's next? 
>>     I think it would be a good idea to revisit the document that Cody
>>     put together and see how it would need to be modified to suit a
>>     council-type approach.  I can give this a try.  I'll let the
>>     group know if I have questions as I put things together.
>     Yeah, this sounds good. Maybe we should also briefly revise the
>     general direction stuff and make any modifications to those as
>     well if we feel they need to be changed.
> Agreed. The document is indeed in need of an update.
>>         Anybody
>>         has obejctions? Should we first propose this to the Community
>>         Council
>>         (or some place else) or just take the new governance into use? 
>>     Once that is done, I think we should have a meeting to approve
>>     it.  We could at least have that as an agenda item for our
>>     meeting (which we need to have anyway).  I think that there is a
>>     general consensus around this for now, but we should formalize it.
> I share this feeling of consensus. Whats left to do is to determine if
> we're truly ready for this step and to what degree.
> Once we formalize our intent as a community to move in this direction,
> we will need to go before the community council to have our updated
> strategy document ratified. 
>>         Cody, can
>>         you be our link to the other councils or whatever, as you
>>         seem to know
>>         them best?
>>     If we all approve of the change as a group, I think we could
>>     forward it on to the council so that they know what we're doing,
>>     but I am not so sure it would require their seal of approval.  As
>>     long as we are comfortable with what we're doing, I think the
>>     community council would be ok with it.  Ultimately, I don't think
>>     it will make a huge difference in how we operate as long as
>>     things get done.
>     I could think so as well, but you never know... :)
> We are a Ubuntu project and to be fully recognized as a council with
> delegated authority from the community council we will require the
> community council's approval. However, thats the easy part. Coming up
> with a structure that will ultimately provide healthy leadership and
> have any sort of longevity will require careful planning and
> discussion between key stakeholders first.
I'm not completely sure what/who you mean with "key stakeholders", but
during the change to a (seemingly) different governance, everybody's
opinion should weigh equally.
>>         What's the situation with the technical team leadership?
>>         Cody, Lionel?
>>     I think we still need to address this.
>     Definitely!
> The intention of the community leadership page was to give
> recognizability to the individuals who have organically grown into
> different leadership roles within the Xubuntu community. Its the
> person and not the title that permits these individuals to influence
> the project in the ways that they do. If anything, Lionel has only
> been increasingly more and more involved with the technical direction
> and operations of Xubuntu and so IMHO is the tech lead for Xubuntu
> regardless if we says so or not :-).
> If Lionel wishes to continue in this capacity, he is more than welcome
> to recognized as such IMHO.
>>         What's the situation with Michael? Can we remove Joszef's
>>         name from the
>>         leaders list - he's still not appeared from the mist.
>>     I don't know what the situation is with Michael.  As for Joszef,
>>     I am of the opinion that we could remove his name from the
>>     leaders list.  If he wanted to come back and contribute more, he
>>     would be welcome to do so.
>     Okay. Let's do this parallel to the next meeting. Maybe we should
>     also remove Michael from the leaders list or at least put his name
>     on parenthesis if he doesn't show up in the meeting or before it?
> Joszef has made his intentions clear that he has left Xubuntu for
> other endeavors.
I've removed Joszef from the team leaders wikipage.
> Michael should be contacted to gauge his interest.
>>         To make Lucid be as good and stable as possible, I think we
>>         also should
>>         have a developer meeting soonish. If we can get the
>>         governance things
>>         sorted before or while the meeting, GREAT!
>>     I agree!  I've put together a doodle poll to check everyone's
>>     availability for a team meeting.  Please record what times will
>>     work for you using the link below.  Hopefully the times will work
>>     for people, but I can set up new times if I've picked times that
>>     don't work for your corner of the world.  Keep in mind that this
>>     will be the best Xubuntu team meeting ever.
>>     http://www.doodle.com/6stt9n2q7t9467q5
>>     Jim
> Voted. :)
>     What I gathered from this mail we need to cover at least the
>     following topics (read: AGENDA):
>     1) Review the Xubuntu strategy document
>     - Modify to suit the council-type approach (Jim will look into
>     this before the meeting)
>     - Briefly revise the overall strategy and modify if needed
>     2) Approve (and forward) the new Xubuntu governancy
>     - See 1), will need to have the final form ready in the document
>     so we can approve it!
> I don't think we'll be able to come to a final draft ready to begin
> the ratification process after just one meeting. However, I'm sure
> we'll be able to make good progress.
Agreed. We can just push the agenda item into the next meeting as well.
> Its important that whatever we come up with conforms to
> https://wiki.ubuntu.com/CommunityCouncil/Delegation or a really good
> reason why it shouldn't.
>     3) Review the leaders list
>     4) Other topics
>     - Artwork for Lucid (Shimmer/polish Albatross)?
>     - Default applications for Lucid?
>     - [Insert your "other topic" here]
> Happy New Years!
> Cheers,
> -- 
> Cody A.W. Somerville
> Software Systems Release Engineer
> Foundations Team
> Custom Engineering Solutions Group
> Canonical OEM Services
> Phone: +1-781-850-2087
> Cell: +1-613-401-5141
> Email: cody.somerville at canonical.com
> <mailto:cody.somerville at canonical.com>
Happy 2010.

Pasi Lallinaho
Xubuntu Marketing Lead
Web-designer, graphic artist
IRC: knome @ freenode

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