Jun 11th, 2009 Council Meeting Format

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Jun 11th, 2009 Council Meeting Format

Doug Goldstein
All,

The current council meetings have gotten completely out of hand for
weeks meetings have become nothing more then a continuation of the
senseless bicker-fest that have become the e-mail threads on GLEP54,
GLEP55, and EAPI-3 without any real progress or sense coming of them.
It's taken me a little bit to step up and put a stop to it but I fully
intend on putting a stop to it. The point of the council meetings is
to bring up a topic and decide on its merits whether it should be
brought into the Gentoo Project or not. I quote from the first line of
the Gentoo Council website:

"The elected Gentoo Council decides on global issues and policies that
affect multiple projects in Gentoo."

We have all collectively failed the Gentoo Project since we have not
been doing this for the past several weeks. I propose the following
changes be instituted before the meeting and happen through the
meeting:

1) Agenda Topics are posted to the appropriate mailing lists at a
MINIMUM 7 days prior to the meeting. (That means the agenda must be
formed by this Thursday).
1a) Any changes to the agenda should be ACK'd by the council members
(off list via the council alias). Changes can not occur less than 48
hours from the meeting.
2) The #gentoo-council channel become moderated as we had discussed
several times in the past.
2a) Topics will be brought up and people wishing to address the
council and the developer body at large should speak to the day's
appointed moderator. We can take turns or I can do it (maybe it'll
keep my head from banging against the keyboard as it has in the past
watching the various non-council members argue completely non-agenda
items back and forth).
2b) Requests are made in tells and honored in turn. The moderator will
announce to the channel who wishes to speak and the order they are in
and will efficiently work through the list. If you can not remain on
topic, you will lose your voice.
3) Once discussion on the topic has concluded, the council members
will vote on the actions requested by the developer body. That does
not mean it is time for council members to concoct an entirely new
plan by the seat of their pants... which leads me to the next topic.
4) Council members will now be expected to ACK the agenda on the
appropriate mailing lists at least 48 hours prior to the meeting. If
you can't, let the council know. You should be able to do this without
relying on your proxy, but your proxy may do this for you as well if
you have an extended away.
4a) Failure to ACK the agenda will be noted on the meeting minutes.
4b) Council members will be expected to formulate their thoughts in
reply to the agenda items and to research the discussion they wish to
have on the mailing list PRIOR to the meeting and not fly by the seat
of their pants.
4c) "The first I heard of this and I need 4 weeks to research this."
or any variation of the quoted statement is no longer a valid
statement. The point of the meeting is to weigh and debate the items
before us now. Do your research PRIOR to the meeting, not during.

I know this is a sharp pill to swallow and a firm deviation from the
past 2 or 3 months of council meetings but this is something the
council toyed with before and it was successful until we started to
let it slip to the situation we have today.

I look forward to the current council members ack'ing this e-mail
(whether it be in parts or in whole) and I look forward to our Gentoo
developer body ack'ing this e-mail to show support that they want a
"goal oriented action taking" council and not a "delay and talk"
council. This council has only a few short weeks remaining and now is
the time to start reviewing candidates and seeing if they will do for
you in the coming year what you expect a council to do.

If people like this, great. If people don't, then I can feel comforted
that I spoke my piece about what I want to see the council become and
people don't share the same vision as me.

--
Doug Goldstein
Gentoo Council Member

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Re: [gentoo-dev] Jun 11th, 2009 Council Meeting Format

Robin H. Johnson-2
(items 1 through 2b):
> ...
+1. Go and read up Robert's Rules of Order folks. The equivalent for
your own language usually exists. Erskine May (en_GB) and Code Morin
(fr_CA) off the top of my head.

> 3) Once discussion on the topic has concluded, the council members
> will vote on the actions requested by the developer body.
Specifically note for those here that wish to dissent:
"Once discussion on the topic has concluded"
If the council feels there is insufficent discussion or outstanding
issues, it may be postponed. GLEPs have frequently been postponed in
the past. Off the top of my head, the first time it happened was GLEP44
(20060209).

> That does not mean it is time for council members to concoct an
> entirely new plan by the seat of their pants... which leads me to the
> next topic.
For some topics, alternative plans MAY be appropriate.
- For GLEPs I would say that alternatives are completely out of place.
  The suggestion that an alternative is needed to the GLEP implies that
  the GLEP author(s) either need to take the further input into
  consideration, or convince the objecting members of the council that
  the objectionable portion of the GLEP is indeed sound.
- For other issues, the council should certainly have the power to come
  up with another plan - especially if blending presented plans leads to
  further agreement between dissenting parties. There are certainly
  precedents for this:
  - 20051215: Manifest1 multi-hash
  - 20070308: Executive powers and CoC actions

> 4) Council members will now be expected to ACK the agenda on the
> appropriate mailing lists at least 48 hours prior to the meeting. If
> you can't, let the council know. You should be able to do this without
> relying on your proxy, but your proxy may do this for you as well if
> you have an extended away.
> 4a) Failure to ACK the agenda will be noted on the meeting minutes.
The failure of a proxy to ACK should probably fall on the elected
council member for whom the proxy was acting?

> 4b) Council members will be expected to formulate their thoughts in
> reply to the agenda items and to research the discussion they wish to
> have on the mailing list PRIOR to the meeting and not fly by the seat
> of their pants.
> 4c) "The first I heard of this and I need 4 weeks to research this."
> or any variation of the quoted statement is no longer a valid
> statement. The point of the meeting is to weigh and debate the items
> before us now. Do your research PRIOR to the meeting, not during.
Could you codify the time requirement you expect councilmembers to put
into their work? In the past, sometimes councils were busy with
real-life, so independent research did not get done by any member prior
to the meeting.

> I look forward to the current council members ack'ing this e-mail
> (whether it be in parts or in whole) and I look forward to our Gentoo
> developer body ack'ing this e-mail to show support that they want a
> "goal oriented action taking" council and not a "delay and talk"
> council. This council has only a few short weeks remaining and now is
> the time to start reviewing candidates and seeing if they will do for
> you in the coming year what you expect a council to do.
As developer, but also as a former council member, I'd like to ACK the
general principles espoused in this email. A few of the details strike
me as reactionary, but the concept is sound.

--
Robin Hugh Johnson
Gentoo Linux Developer & Infra Guy
E-Mail     : [hidden email]
GnuPG FP   : 11AC BA4F 4778 E3F6 E4ED  F38E B27B 944E 3488 4E85

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Re: [gentoo-dev] Jun 11th, 2009 Council Meeting Format

Tobias Scherbaum
In reply to this post by Doug Goldstein
Heya,

thanks for bringing this up!

Doug Goldstein wrote:
> All,
>
> The current council meetings have gotten completely out of hand for
> weeks meetings have become nothing more then a continuation of the
> senseless bicker-fest that have become the e-mail threads on GLEP54,
> GLEP55, and EAPI-3 without any real progress or sense coming of them.
> It's taken me a little bit to step up and put a stop to it but I fully
> intend on putting a stop to it.

Remove EAPI-3 from that list (as we got that off our desk for now, but
the whole process could've been much easier, yeah ...), but in general:
the neverending GLEP54/55 stuff isn't fun and i don't see us getting any
further on that anytime soon.

> 1) Agenda Topics are posted to the appropriate mailing lists at a
> MINIMUM 7 days prior to the meeting. (That means the agenda must be
> formed by this Thursday).
> 1a) Any changes to the agenda should be ACK'd by the council members
> (off list via the council alias). Changes can not occur less than 48
> hours from the meeting.

ack

> 2) The #gentoo-council channel become moderated as we had discussed
> several times in the past.

The "experiment" do keep meetings unmoderated was quite successful in
the beginning nearly a year ago, i'd like to get back to the beginn of
our experiment instead of just +m. If it proves not to work ... well we
still have +m.

> 2a) Topics will be brought up and people wishing to address the
> council and the developer body at large should speak to the day's
> appointed moderator. We can take turns or I can do it (maybe it'll
> keep my head from banging against the keyboard as it has in the past
> watching the various non-council members argue completely non-agenda
> items back and forth).
> 2b) Requests are made in tells and honored in turn. The moderator will
> announce to the channel who wishes to speak and the order they are in
> and will efficiently work through the list. If you can not remain on
> topic, you will lose your voice.
See above, looks good to me and would help in making meetings more
productive, just marking the channel +m is something we can do if "real"
moderation doesn't work.

> 3) Once discussion on the topic has concluded, the council members
> will vote on the actions requested by the developer body. That does
> not mean it is time for council members to concoct an entirely new
> plan by the seat of their pants... which leads me to the next topic.

Add: Things to vote upon must be clear and precise worded. Discussing
for half an hour of what's been voted upon and changing votes for
several times is a huge waste of time (like we had 2 1/2 weeks ago).

> 4) Council members will now be expected to ACK the agenda on the
> appropriate mailing lists at least 48 hours prior to the meeting. If
> you can't, let the council know. You should be able to do this without
> relying on your proxy, but your proxy may do this for you as well if
> you have an extended away.
> 4a) Failure to ACK the agenda will be noted on the meeting minutes.
> 4b) Council members will be expected to formulate their thoughts in
> reply to the agenda items and to research the discussion they wish to
> have on the mailing list PRIOR to the meeting and not fly by the seat
> of their pants.
> 4c) "The first I heard of this and I need 4 weeks to research this."
> or any variation of the quoted statement is no longer a valid
> statement. The point of the meeting is to weigh and debate the items
> before us now. Do your research PRIOR to the meeting, not during.
... and ack.

wkr,
Tobias

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Re: [gentoo-dev] Jun 11th, 2009 Council Meeting Format

Tiziano Müller-3
In reply to this post by Doug Goldstein
Am Montag, den 01.06.2009, 23:15 -0500 schrieb Doug Goldstein:

> All,
>
> The current council meetings have gotten completely out of hand for
> weeks meetings have become nothing more then a continuation of the
> senseless bicker-fest that have become the e-mail threads on GLEP54,
> GLEP55, and EAPI-3 without any real progress or sense coming of them.
> It's taken me a little bit to step up and put a stop to it but I fully
> intend on putting a stop to it. The point of the council meetings is
> to bring up a topic and decide on its merits whether it should be
> brought into the Gentoo Project or not. I quote from the first line of
> the Gentoo Council website:
>
> "The elected Gentoo Council decides on global issues and policies that
> affect multiple projects in Gentoo."
>
> We have all collectively failed the Gentoo Project since we have not
> been doing this for the past several weeks. I propose the following
> changes be instituted before the meeting and happen through the
> meeting:
>
> 1) Agenda Topics are posted to the appropriate mailing lists at a
> MINIMUM 7 days prior to the meeting. (That means the agenda must be
> formed by this Thursday).
ACK

> 1a) Any changes to the agenda should be ACK'd by the council members
> (off list via the council alias). Changes can not occur less than 48
> hours from the meeting.
> 2) The #gentoo-council channel become moderated as we had discussed
> several times in the past.
While there were some meetings where this would really have been
appropriate I don't think it should be a general rule.

> 2a) Topics will be brought up and people wishing to address the
> council and the developer body at large should speak to the day's
> appointed moderator. We can take turns or I can do it (maybe it'll
> keep my head from banging against the keyboard as it has in the past
> watching the various non-council members argue completely non-agenda
> items back and forth).
(mostly the discussions where between council and non-council members)

> 2b) Requests are made in tells and honored in turn. The moderator will
> announce to the channel who wishes to speak and the order they are in
> and will efficiently work through the list. If you can not remain on
> topic, you will lose your voice.
I don't think that this way is appropriate since there should be as less
boundaries as possible. And establishing an environment where people get
received in audience (like with a king) can not be the way...

> 3) Once discussion on the topic has concluded, the council members
> will vote on the actions requested by the developer body. That does
> not mean it is time for council members to concoct an entirely new
> plan by the seat of their pants... which leads me to the next topic.
The goal should be to get a common conclusion without having to vote.
Voting should be a last resort measurement in case a decision is needed
and people can't agree.

> 4) Council members will now be expected to ACK the agenda on the
> appropriate mailing lists at least 48 hours prior to the meeting. If
> you can't, let the council know. You should be able to do this without
> relying on your proxy, but your proxy may do this for you as well if
> you have an extended away.
If you want to reorganize how things work, please remove the concept of
"proxies" completely and rather allow council members to miss in total 4
meetings with two of them without announcement. (numbers are examples)
The reason is that proxies will never be as well prepared as council
members (or as council members should be), etc.

> 4a) Failure to ACK the agenda will be noted on the meeting minutes.
Failure to ACK will be counted as missing a meeting since it has to be
assumed that the given council member is unprepared.
And, after all, being a council member doesn't only involve the presency
at the meeting but also some sort of involvement or understanding of the
topics.

> 4b) Council members will be expected to formulate their thoughts in
> reply to the agenda items and to research the discussion they wish to
> have on the mailing list PRIOR to the meeting and not fly by the seat
> of their pants.
But there must still be some room for discussions.

> 4c) "The first I heard of this and I need 4 weeks to research this."
> or any variation of the quoted statement is no longer a valid
> statement. The point of the meeting is to weigh and debate the items
> before us now. Do your research PRIOR to the meeting, not during.
Full ACK.

>
> I know this is a sharp pill to swallow and a firm deviation from the
> past 2 or 3 months of council meetings but this is something the
> council toyed with before and it was successful until we started to
> let it slip to the situation we have today.
>
> I look forward to the current council members ack'ing this e-mail
> (whether it be in parts or in whole) and I look forward to our Gentoo
> developer body ack'ing this e-mail to show support that they want a
> "goal oriented action taking" council and not a "delay and talk"
> council. This council has only a few short weeks remaining and now is
> the time to start reviewing candidates and seeing if they will do for
> you in the coming year what you expect a council to do.
>
> If people like this, great. If people don't, then I can feel comforted
> that I spoke my piece about what I want to see the council become and
> people don't share the same vision as me.


--
Tiziano Müller
Gentoo Linux Developer, Council Member
Areas of responsibility:
  Samba, PostgreSQL, CPP, Python, sysadmin, GLEP Editor
E-Mail   : [hidden email]
GnuPG FP : F327 283A E769 2E36 18D5  4DE2 1B05 6A63 AE9C 1E30

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Re: [gentoo-dev] Jun 11th, 2009 Council Meeting Format

Petteri Räty-2
In reply to this post by Doug Goldstein
Doug Goldstein wrote:

> All,
>
> The current council meetings have gotten completely out of hand for
> weeks meetings have become nothing more then a continuation of the
> senseless bicker-fest that have become the e-mail threads on GLEP54,
> GLEP55, and EAPI-3 without any real progress or sense coming of them.
> It's taken me a little bit to step up and put a stop to it but I fully
> intend on putting a stop to it. The point of the council meetings is
> to bring up a topic and decide on its merits whether it should be
> brought into the Gentoo Project or not. I quote from the first line of
> the Gentoo Council website:
>
Well EAPI-3 not progressing is due to lack of people implementing features.

>
> 1) Agenda Topics are posted to the appropriate mailing lists at a
> MINIMUM 7 days prior to the meeting. (That means the agenda must be
> formed by this Thursday).

ack

> 1a) Any changes to the agenda should be ACK'd by the council members
> (off list via the council alias). Changes can not occur less than 48
> hours from the meeting.

ack

> 2) The #gentoo-council channel become moderated as we had discussed
> several times in the past.

We can use this if we can't control the discussion otherwise.

> 2a) Topics will be brought up and people wishing to address the
> council and the developer body at large should speak to the day's
> appointed moderator. We can take turns or I can do it (maybe it'll
> keep my head from banging against the keyboard as it has in the past
> watching the various non-council members argue completely non-agenda
> items back and forth).
> 2b) Requests are made in tells and honored in turn. The moderator will
> announce to the channel who wishes to speak and the order they are in
> and will efficiently work through the list. If you can not remain on
> topic, you will lose your voice.
> 3) Once discussion on the topic has concluded, the council members
> will vote on the actions requested by the developer body. That does
> not mean it is time for council members to concoct an entirely new
> plan by the seat of their pants... which leads me to the next topic.
> 4) Council members will now be expected to ACK the agenda on the
> appropriate mailing lists at least 48 hours prior to the meeting. If
> you can't, let the council know. You should be able to do this without
> relying on your proxy, but your proxy may do this for you as well if
> you have an extended away.
> 4a) Failure to ACK the agenda will be noted on the meeting minutes.
> 4b) Council members will be expected to formulate their thoughts in
> reply to the agenda items and to research the discussion they wish to
> have on the mailing list PRIOR to the meeting and not fly by the seat
> of their pants.
> 4c) "The first I heard of this and I need 4 weeks to research this."
> or any variation of the quoted statement is no longer a valid
> statement. The point of the meeting is to weigh and debate the items
> before us now. Do your research PRIOR to the meeting, not during.
ok

Regards,
Petteri

PS. Let's try to keep threads on a single mailing list.



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Re: Jun 11th, 2009 Council Meeting Format

Ulrich Müller
In reply to this post by Doug Goldstein
>>>>> On Mon, 1 Jun 2009, Doug Goldstein wrote:

> We have all collectively failed the Gentoo Project since we have not
> been doing this for the past several weeks. I propose the following
> changes be instituted before the meeting and happen through the
> meeting:

> 1) Agenda Topics are posted to the appropriate mailing lists at a
> MINIMUM 7 days prior to the meeting. (That means the agenda must be
> formed by this Thursday).
> 1a) Any changes to the agenda should be ACK'd by the council members
> (off list via the council alias). Changes can not occur less than 48
> hours from the meeting.

Ack.

> 2) The #gentoo-council channel become moderated as we had discussed
> several times in the past.
> 2a) Topics will be brought up and people wishing to address the
> council and the developer body at large should speak to the day's
> appointed moderator. We can take turns or I can do it (maybe it'll
> keep my head from banging against the keyboard as it has in the past
> watching the various non-council members argue completely non-agenda
> items back and forth).
> 2b) Requests are made in tells and honored in turn. The moderator will
> announce to the channel who wishes to speak and the order they are in
> and will efficiently work through the list. If you can not remain on
> topic, you will lose your voice.

Ack for the rules, but I would leave the channel open. Keep moderation
as an option if people don't stick to the rules and if there's too
much noise.

> 3) Once discussion on the topic has concluded, the council members
> will vote on the actions requested by the developer body. That does
> not mean it is time for council members to concoct an entirely new
> plan by the seat of their pants... which leads me to the next topic.

Ack, plus the addition proposed by Tobias.

> 4) Council members will now be expected to ACK the agenda on the
> appropriate mailing lists at least 48 hours prior to the meeting. If
> you can't, let the council know. You should be able to do this without
> relying on your proxy, but your proxy may do this for you as well if
> you have an extended away.
> 4a) Failure to ACK the agenda will be noted on the meeting minutes.

It's not clear to me for what you need the 48 hours here? It should be
enough if the final agenda is acknowledged before the meeting. Or make
it the meeting's first topic, as it is usual in other contexts.

I agree that they shouldn't be any last-minute changes to the agenda,
but that's covered by point 1a) above.

> 4b) Council members will be expected to formulate their thoughts in
> reply to the agenda items and to research the discussion they wish to
> have on the mailing list PRIOR to the meeting and not fly by the seat
> of their pants.
> 4c) "The first I heard of this and I need 4 weeks to research this."
> or any variation of the quoted statement is no longer a valid
> statement. The point of the meeting is to weigh and debate the items
> before us now. Do your research PRIOR to the meeting, not during.

Full ack.

Ulrich