Xubuntu team direction

Pasi Lallinaho open at knome.fi
Sat Jan 2 19:04:28 UTC 2010

Charlie Kravetz wrote:
> On Fri, 01 Jan 2010 22:31:05 +0200
> Pasi Lallinaho <open at knome.fi> wrote:
>>> 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.
>>  On Wed, Dec 30, 2009 at 10:12 PM, Pasi Lallinaho <open at knome.fi
>>  <mailto:open at knome.fi>> wrote:
>> 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.
> All that seems to be said is something to the effect of "if I don't get
> to do what I want...". The concept of each person trying to decide for
> themselves what will be in each release is not an answer. Somehow,
> somewhere, someone has to be able to make each of these items work with
> the others. That is the leaders job. No leader, a big council, and each
> person making their own decision as to what is included means nothing
> really works right. 
Compromises are to be done and people will be disappointed, including
me, and that's totally fine.

Experts in their own field should be valued and trusted. I expect
individuals would work per the strategy for a release, as they have used to.
> I don't know what organization runs on the concept of "this is my
> decision, not any one other persons, and not any groups".
> Unfortunately, in my 50+ years of life, the only place that attitude
> ever led to was non-cooperation. Anytime each person thinks they are
> the deciding individual for a part of things, and someone else can
> try to make it work, things will have nowhere to go but down. I can not
> think of any successful project that got there without a leader. Can
> anyone else?
> Basically, this project does need leadership, and a group of
> individuals insisting that it does not will not help it along. The more
> this thread grows, the more it sounds like children fighting to get
> their own way. And yes, that is the only way I can think to word this.
> Watch a group of children trying to make a decision, and each one will
> argue he/she is right and should be the one making the decision. There
> is no consensus when each one has to right to satisfy their own
> thinking.
> Our artwork in Xubuntu 9.10 was good, but not great. There seems to
> something that says if a change might be good, forget it. If you beg
> the right people in the right group, you might get a change. As a whole
> unit, none of this is helping improve things. If a suggestion is made
> that the artwork might not have been great, it is disregarded or the
> person is told they don't have to use it. Where does this make Xubuntu
> a better distribution? If improvements are to be made, there must be a
> consesus from leadership. Without it, one individuals improvements are
> another individuals degradation of the the whole. Leadership by
> separate individuals does not really work, in reality.
> This entire tirade by a couple of individuals against an individual
> needs to stop.
I never meant to express a tirade against anybody.

Things have not worked as smoothly as they could have, and to be honest,
there has been some bigger bumps.

Because of that and Cody's decision to leave his title as the project
leader we are trying to set up a new governance. Also there is no single
person who would be willing or able to take the same role as Cody did.
I'm only trying to get things going forward rather than running headless
with no strategy or governance at all.
> The fact is that Xubuntu is a better distribution
I don't disagree.

I am sorry that I've let more personal feelings and experiences through
than would have been appropriate.

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

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