Monthly Gentoo Council Reminder for January

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Monthly Gentoo Council Reminder for January

Mike Frysinger
This is your monthly friendly reminder !  Same bat time (typically the
2nd Thursday once a month), same bat channel (#gentoo-council @
irc.freenode.net) !

If you have something you'd wish for us to chat about, maybe even
vote on, let us know !  Simply reply to this e-mail for the whole
Gentoo dev list to see.

Keep in mind that every resubmission to the council for review must
first be sent to the gentoo-dev mailing list 7 days (minimum) before
being submitted as an agenda item which itself occurs 7 days before the
meeting.  Simply put, the gentoo-dev mailing list must be notified at
least 14 days before the meeting itself.

For more info on the Gentoo Council, feel free to browse our homepage:
http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/council/
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Re: Monthly Gentoo Council Reminder for January

Henrik Brix Andersen
On Sun, Jan 01, 2006 at 05:30:01AM +0000, Mike Frysinger wrote:
> If you have something you'd wish for us to chat about, maybe even
> vote on, let us know !  Simply reply to this e-mail for the whole
> Gentoo dev list to see.

I would like GLEP 45 [1] - GLEP date format - to be discussed and
voted on.

Regards and a Happy New Year,
Brix

[1]: http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/glep/glep-0045.html
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Re: Monthly Gentoo Council Reminder for January

Kalin KOZHUHAROV
Henrik Brix Andersen wrote:

> On Sun, Jan 01, 2006 at 05:30:01AM +0000, Mike Frysinger wrote:
>
>>If you have something you'd wish for us to chat about, maybe even
>>vote on, let us know !  Simply reply to this e-mail for the whole
>>Gentoo dev list to see.
>
>
> I would like GLEP 45 [1] - GLEP date format - to be discussed and
> voted on.
>

> [1]: http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/glep/glep-0045.html
I am not a full time dev, so I cannot vote, but I am for this change.
For the last several years I have been fighting with all possible software and OSes and even
appliancies to implement/display/store ISO-8601 dates.

I realized how good it is since I came to Japan which uses ore or less the same date format.

2006-01-02T13:10+0900

Kalin.
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Re: Monthly Gentoo Council Reminder for January

Lance Albertson
In reply to this post by Mike Frysinger
Mike Frysinger wrote:

> If you have something you'd wish for us to chat about, maybe even
> vote on, let us know !  Simply reply to this e-mail for the whole
> Gentoo dev list to see.

Gentoo has been missing some kind of direction/goal for some time now.
Looking back at the last two years, what are the major
changes/accomplishments that we have done? Granted, I know there has
been great strides in improvement in some things, but I really wonder
about any ground breaking enhancements.

Since the council is the closest representation to a leader we have, I'd
like to ask if they can come up with some kind of global goals for 2006
and beyond. You don't need to come up with goals by this meeting if you
haven't had time, but at least by the February meeting. Each group can
have their own goals, but we lack any overall binding goals or
direction. We've brought on numerous devs in the past year, and I have
yet to see a huge improvement in QA or anything else. Numbers aren't
everything. If anything, it makes it harder to maintain good QA.

There's a lot of people out there frustrated with Gentoo because of the
lack of QA and direction. Package foo changes a bunch of config
locations, package bar gets upgraded and causes a bunch of QA
nightmares. At least from an admin point of view, Gentoo has gotten
harder to maintain. Granted, thats a question for Gentoo itself. Who
exactly are we catering to? Power users? New users? We can't satisfy
everyone out there and need to draw a line of how much we'll devote to
keeping the new user from destroying their system, etc.

I'm not sure of the exact solution. Its just been pretty frustrating
lately hearing folks complain about this and that when I know that we
could do so much better. Maybe we're just happy with being where we're
at. I know I'm not. There's a niche that Gentoo fits really well and I
think we should focus on perfecting that niche instead of trying to be
better than distroA or distroB.

Ok, thats all my ranting for today. Hopefully I didn't start off the
next world flamewar :-)

Cheers-

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Re: Monthly Gentoo Council Reminder for January

Marc Moreau
On Mon, 2006-01-02 at 12:14 -0600, Lance Albertson wrote:

> Mike Frysinger wrote:
> Gentoo has been missing some kind of direction/goal for some time now.
> Looking back at the last two years, what are the major
> changes/accomplishments that we have done? Granted, I know there has
> been great strides in improvement in some things, but I really wonder
> about any ground breaking enhancements.
>
> Since the council is the closest representation to a leader we have, I'd
> like to ask if they can come up with some kind of global goals for 2006
> and beyond. You don't need to come up with goals by this meeting if you
> haven't had time, but at least by the February meeting. Each group can
> have their own goals, but we lack any overall binding goals or
> direction. We've brought on numerous devs in the past year, and I have
> yet to see a huge improvement in QA or anything else. Numbers aren't
> everything. If anything, it makes it harder to maintain good QA.
>
> There's a lot of people out there frustrated with Gentoo because of the
> lack of QA and direction. Package foo changes a bunch of config
> locations, package bar gets upgraded and causes a bunch of QA
> nightmares. At least from an admin point of view, Gentoo has gotten
> harder to maintain. Granted, thats a question for Gentoo itself. Who
> exactly are we catering to? Power users? New users? We can't satisfy
> everyone out there and need to draw a line of how much we'll devote to
> keeping the new user from destroying their system, etc.
>
> I'm not sure of the exact solution. Its just been pretty frustrating
> lately hearing folks complain about this and that when I know that we
> could do so much better. Maybe we're just happy with being where we're
> at. I know I'm not. There's a niche that Gentoo fits really well and I
> think we should focus on perfecting that niche instead of trying to be
> better than distroA or distroB.
>
> Ok, thats all my ranting for today. Hopefully I didn't start off the
> next world flamewar :-)
>
> Cheers-
I have been involved with many Volunteer organisations over the last
couple years. Not all computer related.  Something Gentoo is notably
missing is a Mission Statement. IMO a Mission statement acts as a beacon
on the horizon, allowing us to have a gauge against which to measure our
progress. In the process of discussing and generating this statement the
issues mentioned above, can be ironed out and/or flamed about.

-Lares

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Re: Monthly Gentoo Council Reminder for January

Lance Albertson
Lares Moreau wrote:
> On Mon, 2006-01-02 at 12:14 -0600, Lance Albertson wrote:

> I have been involved with many Volunteer organisations over the last
> couple years. Not all computer related.  Something Gentoo is notably
> missing is a Mission Statement. IMO a Mission statement acts as a beacon
> on the horizon, allowing us to have a gauge against which to measure our
> progress. In the process of discussing and generating this statement the
> issues mentioned above, can be ironed out and/or flamed about.

A mission statement only goes so far. The underlying leadership has to
make sure that statement is upheld and kept alive. Too many folks have a
mission statement, but no one ever remembers what it is or abides by it.

I guess I'm almost hinting at that Gentoo needs a single entity that's
sole purpose is to drive/research the direction and goals for Gentoo.
It'd be almost ceo-like, but the council is still top dawg. Right now, I
view our group as a bunch of chiefs with no real single leader saying
"lets strive to do this". The main problem is, too many people fear
about such a person could turn into a dictator, so I'm not sure if this
could ever happen. This person would be in constant contact of all the
groups and try to muck together what everyone is doing. They could
suggest things to help minimize user impact, maybe try to join two
projects if they are both working on a similar goal, thus minimizing the
workload. Stuff like that essentially. We need a good visionary. If such
a position were created, I also think that person's sole focus should be
that focus within Gentoo. (i.e. they aren't a major contributor for a
subproject in Gentoo). This position would take too much time for them
to keep those other duties.

Dunno, maybe I'm the loner here thinking this...

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Gentoo Infrastructure | Operations Manager

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Re: Monthly Gentoo Council Reminder for January

Patrick Lauer
On Mon, 2006-01-02 at 12:50 -0600, Lance Albertson wrote:
> A mission statement only goes so far. The underlying leadership has to
> make sure that statement is upheld and kept alive. Too many folks have a
> mission statement, but no one ever remembers what it is or abides by it.
I guess there isn't one driving force behind Gentoo - we have many
differing opinions on things like QA, handling of bugs, ...

It's just that usually Gentoo gets the least in your way when you're
trying
to do something :-)

> I guess I'm almost hinting at that Gentoo needs a single entity that's
> sole purpose is to drive/research the direction and goals for Gentoo.
There was this Robbins guy ... remember him? ;-)
> It'd be almost ceo-like, but the council is still top dawg. Right now, I
> view our group as a bunch of chiefs with no real single leader saying
> "lets strive to do this". The main problem is, too many people fear
> about such a person could turn into a dictator, so I'm not sure if this
> could ever happen.
I wonder if any single person would be accepted?
After all there is noone capable of forcing anyone to do anything as far
as I can tell - worst case you fork Gentoo (again) and don't resolve
the issues.
> This person would be in constant contact of all the
> groups and try to muck together what everyone is doing. They could
> suggest things to help minimize user impact, maybe try to join two
> projects if they are both working on a similar goal, thus minimizing the
> workload. Stuff like that essentially.
Communication ... should happen anyway, but it seems to get more and
more
difficult. Another layer of bureaucracy won't help that ...
>  We need a good visionary. If such
> a position were created, I also think that person's sole focus should be
> that focus within Gentoo. (i.e. they aren't a major contributor for a
> subproject in Gentoo). This position would take too much time for them
> to keep those other duties.
... and you'd burn out a capable person within half a year I think
> Dunno, maybe I'm the loner here thinking this...
Maybe a bit idealistic, but I mostly agree :-)

Patrick
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Re: Monthly Gentoo Council Reminder for January

Marc Moreau
On Mon, 2006-01-02 at 20:03 +0100, Patrick Lauer wrote:

> On Mon, 2006-01-02 at 12:50 -0600, Lance Albertson wrote:
> > A mission statement only goes so far. The underlying leadership has to
> > make sure that statement is upheld and kept alive. Too many folks have a
> > mission statement, but no one ever remembers what it is or abides by it.
> I guess there isn't one driving force behind Gentoo - we have many
> differing opinions on things like QA, handling of bugs, ...
>
> It's just that usually Gentoo gets the least in your way when you're
> trying
> to do something :-)
>
> > I guess I'm almost hinting at that Gentoo needs a single entity that's
> > sole purpose is to drive/research the direction and goals for Gentoo.
> There was this Robbins guy ... remember him? ;-)
> > It'd be almost ceo-like, but the council is still top dawg. Right now, I
> > view our group as a bunch of chiefs with no real single leader saying
> > "lets strive to do this". The main problem is, too many people fear
> > about such a person could turn into a dictator, so I'm not sure if this
> > could ever happen.
> I wonder if any single person would be accepted?
> After all there is noone capable of forcing anyone to do anything as far
> as I can tell - worst case you fork Gentoo (again) and don't resolve
> the issues.
> > This person would be in constant contact of all the
> > groups and try to muck together what everyone is doing. They could
> > suggest things to help minimize user impact, maybe try to join two
> > projects if they are both working on a similar goal, thus minimizing the
> > workload. Stuff like that essentially.
> Communication ... should happen anyway, but it seems to get more and
> more
> difficult. Another layer of bureaucracy won't help that ...
> >  We need a good visionary. If such
> > a position were created, I also think that person's sole focus should be
> > that focus within Gentoo. (i.e. they aren't a major contributor for a
> > subproject in Gentoo). This position would take too much time for them
> > to keep those other duties.
> ... and you'd burn out a capable person within half a year I think
> > Dunno, maybe I'm the loner here thinking this...
> Maybe a bit idealistic, but I mostly agree :-)
Upon doing some reading about what _exactly_ Gentoo council does, it
seems to me that Gentoo Council is an operations board.  I think what
Patrick and Lance are getting at (correct me if I'm wrong) is that we
need to have some form of Governance board. A board that doesn't worry
about implementation details; a board that gives a long term vision to
our project.

I am a big believer is having a common goal to unite all people who work
with an organization.  I'm sorry If I am repeating myself, but I feel
this is an issue that is vital to the continued success of Gentoo.

-Lares
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Re: Monthly Gentoo Council Reminder for January

Lance Albertson
In reply to this post by Patrick Lauer
Patrick Lauer wrote:

> On Mon, 2006-01-02 at 12:50 -0600, Lance Albertson wrote:
>
>>A mission statement only goes so far. The underlying leadership has to
>>make sure that statement is upheld and kept alive. Too many folks have a
>>mission statement, but no one ever remembers what it is or abides by it.
>
> I guess there isn't one driving force behind Gentoo - we have many
> differing opinions on things like QA, handling of bugs, ...
>
> It's just that usually Gentoo gets the least in your way when you're
> trying
> to do something :-)
See, thats the exact problem we have. Its too opinionated with no ground
rules. Nothing ever gets done, and flame wars just go on. Sure we have
the council, but minor things shouldn't have to wait on the council to
meet each month. Such a person would only have one vote on the council
IF it were ever decided they even had a vote on there. (Perhaps a tie
breaker type of thing, though I think we already have an odd number of
council members)

>>I guess I'm almost hinting at that Gentoo needs a single entity that's
>>sole purpose is to drive/research the direction and goals for Gentoo.
>
> There was this Robbins guy ... remember him? ;-)

Of course, but that was then, this is now. We can't play by the same
rules as when Daniel was around.

>>It'd be almost ceo-like, but the council is still top dawg. Right now, I
>>view our group as a bunch of chiefs with no real single leader saying
>>"lets strive to do this". The main problem is, too many people fear
>>about such a person could turn into a dictator, so I'm not sure if this
>>could ever happen.
>
> I wonder if any single person would be accepted?
> After all there is noone capable of forcing anyone to do anything as far
> as I can tell - worst case you fork Gentoo (again) and don't resolve
> the issues.
That's what I fear might be the only solution because of the
indecisiveness we are as a group.

>>This person would be in constant contact of all the
>>groups and try to muck together what everyone is doing. They could
>>suggest things to help minimize user impact, maybe try to join two
>>projects if they are both working on a similar goal, thus minimizing the
>>workload. Stuff like that essentially.
>
> Communication ... should happen anyway, but it seems to get more and
> more
> difficult. Another layer of bureaucracy won't help that ...

Its not another layer of bureaucracy. Its the bonding part of the
communication that will help. We can't assume that everyone will
communicate everything they need to. This person would ensure they got
in contact with every group regularly. They won't govern what those
groups do, just summarize and report back to the council who has the
authority.

>> We need a good visionary. If such
>>a position were created, I also think that person's sole focus should be
>>that focus within Gentoo. (i.e. they aren't a major contributor for a
>>subproject in Gentoo). This position would take too much time for them
>>to keep those other duties.
>
> ... and you'd burn out a capable person within half a year I think

Possibly, I mean look at what happened to Daniel. Of course, there were
other reasons going on, but I do realize such a position would be
demanding. Why else do CEOs get paid the big bucks in the corporations?
:) (Since they essentially do the same type of work).

>>Dunno, maybe I'm the loner here thinking this...
>
> Maybe a bit idealistic, but I mostly agree :-)

Yeah, maybe so :-)

Reflecting on this more, I see that most of the council members are a
very important part of the active Gentoo development model (toolchain,
etc). They need to keep those roles active as much as possible, then
help on the council. I guess I view this person as a sole chairmen of
the board that just focuses on council type duties and roles. I think
the current council has lots of great people, but they're all busy with
their subprojects and can't take on a role like this. We really need a
single voice to bind everything together, but doesn't have total control
like Daniel did.

Hopefully I'm making sense...

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Re: Monthly Gentoo Council Reminder for January

Lance Albertson
In reply to this post by Marc Moreau
Lares Moreau wrote:

> Upon doing some reading about what _exactly_ Gentoo council does, it
> seems to me that Gentoo Council is an operations board.  I think what
> Patrick and Lance are getting at (correct me if I'm wrong) is that we
> need to have some form of Governance board. A board that doesn't worry
> about implementation details; a board that gives a long term vision to
> our project.

No, we don't need yet another board for this. Just a single voice.
Operating everything by a committee will get us no where but more
bureaucracy and headaches. See my previous email about where this person
would fit in.

> I am a big believer is having a common goal to unite all people who work
> with an organization.  I'm sorry If I am repeating myself, but I feel
> this is an issue that is vital to the continued success of Gentoo.

Yup, I agree there. I think Gentoo is dying a slow death right now
because of the lack of vision in the past few years. Thus why I brought
this topic up because I'd like to see us move forward with progress.

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Re: Monthly Gentoo Council Reminder for January

Fabian Groffen-2
In reply to this post by Patrick Lauer
On 02-01-2006 20:03:54 +0100, Patrick Lauer wrote:
> On Mon, 2006-01-02 at 12:50 -0600, Lance Albertson wrote:
> > I guess I'm almost hinting at that Gentoo needs a single entity that's
> > sole purpose is to drive/research the direction and goals for Gentoo.

Or call it proper hierarchy.  Management.  Probably all evil words, in
this context, but they for sure apply.

> > It'd be almost ceo-like, but the council is still top dawg. Right now, I
> > view our group as a bunch of chiefs with no real single leader saying
> > "lets strive to do this". The main problem is, too many people fear
> > about such a person could turn into a dictator, so I'm not sure if this
> > could ever happen.
> I wonder if any single person would be accepted?

If it isn't one person, then you would need to find two persons or even
more that are completely aligned and have the same visions.  Since
leaders usually are charismatic and controversial where necessary to
achieve their goals, it is hard to find two that don't get conflicts,
stalling any vision to become a mission.

> After all there is noone capable of forcing anyone to do anything as far
> as I can tell - worst case you fork Gentoo (again) and don't resolve
> the issues.

...or only resolve the ones that you care about.  Your first sentence
forms the basis of the problem, IMHO.

> > This person would be in constant contact of all the
> > groups and try to muck together what everyone is doing. They could
> > suggest things to help minimize user impact, maybe try to join two
> > projects if they are both working on a similar goal, thus minimizing the
> > workload. Stuff like that essentially.
> Communication ... should happen anyway, but it seems to get more and
> more difficult. Another layer of bureaucracy won't help that ...

Call it "bureaucrazy", or whatever you like.  I think it has nothing
to do with bureaucracy at all.  It's just a matter of having
communication on a high level, in order to get an overall view of
Gentoo.  IIRC this is one of the tasks of the council, to align teams
somehow, for example.

> >  We need a good visionary. If such
> > a position were created, I also think that person's sole focus should be
> > that focus within Gentoo. (i.e. they aren't a major contributor for a
> > subproject in Gentoo). This position would take too much time for them
> > to keep those other duties.
> ... and you'd burn out a capable person within half a year I think

Depends on the person.  Lance is just putting a lot of Mintzberg and
probably (work) experience on the table to apply it to Gentoo.
But ok, fine, if that's the case, gives a nice refresh rate :) (j/k)

> > Dunno, maybe I'm the loner here thinking this...

Well, you're not alone for sure ;)  However, the amount of measures to
take, why and what are a bit of an open question to me.  I do, however,
share your concerns of a missing 'Mission Statement'.  It is a commonly
known problem and primary point of concern (ie. Heene).


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Re: Monthly Gentoo Council Reminder for January

Patrick Lauer
On Mon, 2006-01-02 at 20:49 +0100, Grobian wrote:
> On 02-01-2006 20:03:54 +0100, Patrick Lauer wrote:
> > On Mon, 2006-01-02 at 12:50 -0600, Lance Albertson wrote:
> > > I guess I'm almost hinting at that Gentoo needs a single entity that's
> > > sole purpose is to drive/research the direction and goals for Gentoo.
> Or call it proper hierarchy.  Management.  Probably all evil words, in
> this context, but they for sure apply.
Well ... it's like every dev has a special title - Gentoo/MIPS gcc senior integration specialist and stuff like that ;-)
Doesn't resolve the communication / hierarchy issues, but makes us all
feel warm and fuzzy inside.
(I know I'm a bit evil here, but ...) what I think is needed is more
communication. Not more "discussing", trolling, yelling etc. etc. but
general info. Quite some time ago I tried to get some info from all
subprojects what they had been doing - security and docs replied, then a
bit later I think Alt and Toolchain gave a short "we're not dead yet".
If all projectss could agree to deliver a "mission statement", progress
report or whatever you wish to call it every $TIMEUNIT (3 months? 6
months?) it'd be really nice ... (and would make the GWN really exciting
*nudge nudge wink wink*)

> If it isn't one person, then you would need to find two persons or even
> more that are completely aligned and have the same visions.  Since
> leaders usually are charismatic and controversial where necessary to
> achieve their goals, it is hard to find two that don't get conflicts,
> stalling any vision to become a mission.
To extrapolate from that ... council etc. are incapable of doing "real work"? ;-)
Or in other words, a person is smart, people are dumb

> > After all there is noone capable of forcing anyone to do anything as far
> > as I can tell - worst case you fork Gentoo (again) and don't resolve
> > the issues.
>
> ...or only resolve the ones that you care about.  Your first sentence
> forms the basis of the problem, IMHO.
There are ways to get people to do what you want, but they are quite limited.
For example for QA reasons you can make people fix their ebuilds, but
that's about the limit of influence you can have right now.

> Call it "bureaucrazy", or whatever you like.  I think it has nothing
> to do with bureaucracy at all.  It's just a matter of having
> communication on a high level, in order to get an overall view of
> Gentoo.  IIRC this is one of the tasks of the council, to align teams
> somehow, for example.
I don't know if the council is the right group to get project progress
reports collected, but the point stands - communication is good :-)

> > ... and you'd burn out a capable person within half a year I think
>
> Depends on the person.  Lance is just putting a lot of Mintzberg and
> probably (work) experience on the table to apply it to Gentoo.
> But ok, fine, if that's the case, gives a nice refresh rate :) (j/k)
<troll> I say we put ciaran first to that job ... </troll>

> > > Dunno, maybe I'm the loner here thinking this...
>
> Well, you're not alone for sure ;)  However, the amount of measures to
> take, why and what are a bit of an open question to me.  I do, however,
> share your concerns of a missing 'Mission Statement'.  It is a commonly
> known problem and primary point of concern (ie. Heene).
I guess we should decide on a problem before solving it :-)
Is the problem the lack of a mission statement? I don't see the need for
that, we all have our own definitions what a Gentoo is and why it's
cool. Trying to get that defined will be really tricky (and I predict a
smallish flamewar)

We already have a mission statement - to produce the best software
distribution, ever ;-)
Wether it should be Linux only, GNU-based or a metadistribution is a
rather touchy subject, so please try to keep the discussion
civilized ...

wkr,
Patrick
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Re: Monthly Gentoo Council Reminder for January

Fabian Groffen-2
On 02-01-2006 21:12:03 +0100, Patrick Lauer wrote:
> > If it isn't one person, then you would need to find two persons or even
> > more that are completely aligned and have the same visions.  Since
> > leaders usually are charismatic and controversial where necessary to
> > achieve their goals, it is hard to find two that don't get conflicts,
> > stalling any vision to become a mission.
> To extrapolate from that ... council etc. are incapable of doing "real
> work"? ;-) Or in other words, a person is smart, people are dumb

Your words here.  I don't follow your logic, and I don't see where your
statement comes from.  I want to make explicit that -- in any case -- I
didn't mean my words like that.

> > > > Dunno, maybe I'm the loner here thinking this...
> > > Maybe a bit idealistic, but I mostly agree :-)
> >
> > Well, you're not alone for sure ;)  However, the amount of measures to
> > take, why and what are a bit of an open question to me.  I do, however,
> > share your concerns of a missing 'Mission Statement'.  It is a commonly
> > known problem and primary point of concern (ie. Heene).
> I guess we should decide on a problem before solving it :-)
> Is the problem the lack of a mission statement? I don't see the need for
> that, we all have our own definitions what a Gentoo is and why it's
> cool. Trying to get that defined will be really tricky (and I predict a
> smallish flamewar)

I reinserted your first response.  It looks like you changed your mind
inbetween to me, and that you probably don't agree 'mostly' anymore?

> We already have a mission statement - to produce the best software
> distribution, ever ;-)
> Wether it should be Linux only, GNU-based or a metadistribution is a
> rather touchy subject, so please try to keep the discussion
> civilized ...

Lance mentioned something about what he sees is a niche where Gentoo
does quite well.  "Produce the best software distribution, ever" sounds
a bit vague to me.  That's why I agree with Lance for now.  Maybe after
a little research, trial and error period it turns out to be better to
keep the target vague.


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Re: Monthly Gentoo Council Reminder for January

Lance Albertson
Grobian wrote:
> On 02-01-2006 21:12:03 +0100, Patrick Lauer wrote:

>>We already have a mission statement - to produce the best software
>>distribution, ever ;-)
>>Wether it should be Linux only, GNU-based or a metadistribution is a
>>rather touchy subject, so please try to keep the discussion
>>civilized ...
>
>
> Lance mentioned something about what he sees is a niche where Gentoo
> does quite well.  "Produce the best software distribution, ever" sounds
> a bit vague to me.  That's why I agree with Lance for now.  Maybe after
> a little research, trial and error period it turns out to be better to
> keep the target vague.
Yeah, if we're content to being a hobbyist distro, then that mission
statement will work. But, the technology behind Gentoo has far broader
benefits for various things. Especially with the recent work of the alt
related subprojects, embedded, etc ... its changing. Like for me, I
would love to use the portage technology to build packages for solaris
machines I maintain at work. We have a build system currently, but its
nothing like portage. Gentoo is more than just Linux now and we should
have goals that fit that. When I say "we have a niche we're perfect at",
I'm mainly referring to the source-based nature of our OS. There isn't
another distro out there that does it as well as us and we should
improve on that fact. Let the other distros get better at being
binary-based.

Anyways, thats my thoughts.

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Gentoo Infrastructure | Operations Manager

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Re: Monthly Gentoo Council Reminder for January

Chandler Carruth
In reply to this post by Lance Albertson
Lance Albertson wrote:

> Yeah, maybe so :-)
>
> Reflecting on this more, I see that most of the council members are a
> very important part of the active Gentoo development model (toolchain,
> etc). They need to keep those roles active as much as possible, then
> help on the council. I guess I view this person as a sole chairmen of
> the board that just focuses on council type duties and roles. I think
> the current council has lots of great people, but they're all busy with
> their subprojects and can't take on a role like this. We really need a
> single voice to bind everything together, but doesn't have total control
> like Daniel did.
>
> Hopefully I'm making sense..
As perhaps a good way of thinking of this, the common term used in
commitees (as I have interacted with them in various beaurocratic
situations) is a "non-voting chair". This person would organize,
schedule, direct, communicate, and facilitate the work of the committee,
to allow the voting members to more effectively handle the issues
arising for the committee. The voting members need not take on much of a
workload to vote and serve on the committee because most (if not all) of
the time consuming tasks and aspects of the committee are handled by a
non-voting chair. Simultaneously, the singular nature of the chair is
less of a concern because they are non-voting. The lack of a vote checks
their singular power, while still allowing them to very efficiently
organize and direct information in and out of the committee. *shrug* I'm
not entirely sure that I agree or disagree with this solution, but
wanted to give an example of what (I think?) Lance is getting at here.

That said, I do think _some_ direction needs to be given to the project,
although how best to achieve it is quite fuzzy to me. Lance's
proposition does have potential, but I worry over the competence and
dedication of the individual to fill that role.

-Chandler Carruth, yet another gentoo user.
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Re: Monthly Gentoo Council Reminder for January

Andrew Muraco
Chandler Carruth wrote:

> Lance Albertson wrote:
>
>> Yeah, maybe so :-)
>>
>> Reflecting on this more, I see that most of the council members are a
>> very important part of the active Gentoo development model (toolchain,
>> etc). They need to keep those roles active as much as possible, then
>> help on the council. I guess I view this person as a sole chairmen of
>> the board that just focuses on council type duties and roles. I think
>> the current council has lots of great people, but they're all busy with
>> their subprojects and can't take on a role like this. We really need a
>> single voice to bind everything together, but doesn't have total control
>> like Daniel did.
>>
>> Hopefully I'm making sense..
>
> As perhaps a good way of thinking of this, the common term used in
> commitees (as I have interacted with them in various beaurocratic
> situations) is a "non-voting chair". This person would organize,
> schedule, direct, communicate, and facilitate the work of the
> committee, to allow the voting members to more effectively handle the
> issues arising for the committee. The voting members need not take on
> much of a workload to vote and serve on the committee because most (if
> not all) of the time consuming tasks and aspects of the committee are
> handled by a non-voting chair. Simultaneously, the singular nature of
> the chair is less of a concern because they are non-voting. The lack
> of a vote checks their singular power, while still allowing them to
> very efficiently organize and direct information in and out of the
> committee. *shrug* I'm not entirely sure that I agree or disagree with
> this solution, but wanted to give an example of what (I think?) Lance
> is getting at here.

I'm not sure if this would apply, but in the US Government System, the
supreme courts are basicly a committee (or council, which ever word you
like better), the "leader" (Chief Justice) of the supreme court doesn't
have any extra power, but has extra duties, and has senority over the
other Justices. Perhaps a situation like that would the Gento Council,
or maybe it should stay in the Justice System.

wkr,
Andrew
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Re: Monthly Gentoo Council Reminder for January

Patrick Lauer
In reply to this post by Lance Albertson
On Mon, 2006-01-02 at 15:03 -0600, Lance Albertson wrote:

> > Lance mentioned something about what he sees is a niche where Gentoo
> > does quite well.  "Produce the best software distribution, ever" sounds
> > a bit vague to me.  That's why I agree with Lance for now.  Maybe after
> > a little research, trial and error period it turns out to be better to
> > keep the target vague.
>
> Yeah, if we're content to being a hobbyist distro, then that mission
> statement will work. But, the technology behind Gentoo has far broader
> benefits for various things. Especially with the recent work of the alt
> related subprojects, embedded, etc ... its changing. Like for me, I
> would love to use the portage technology to build packages for solaris
> machines I maintain at work.
While I do agree with you here there's still the problem that each and
every one of us has his (or her or its) own idea what "we" should do.

Some want the ricer flags and tweakability.
Others want to see one package manager to rule them all.
Then there's the "because we can" group.
The enterprise-oriented persons.

I wonder ... can we have one precise mission statement without
alienating a big part of our user base?


>  We have a build system currently, but its
> nothing like portage. Gentoo is more than just Linux now and we should
> have goals that fit that.
I guess some people would like to disagree there. (Not me, I like that
whole "metadistribution thingy, it's the way to world domination)
>  When I say "we have a niche we're perfect at",
> I'm mainly referring to the source-based nature of our OS. There isn't
> another distro out there that does it as well as us and we should
> improve on that fact. Let the other distros get better at being
> binary-based.
Why would one prevent the other from happening?
Maybe someone finds an elegant way for "Binary Gentoo" ... should we
stop that person because it conflicts with a weird mission statement?

--
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Re: Monthly Gentoo Council Reminder for January

Greg KH-3
On Mon, Jan 02, 2006 at 10:52:43PM +0100, Patrick Lauer wrote:
>
> I wonder ... can we have one precise mission statement without
> alienating a big part of our user base?

To copy another opensource group's mission statement,
        "Total World Domination"

Hey, it's been working for them so far, and I don't think they would
mind it if it was copied by others :)

thanks,

greg k-h
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Re: Monthly Gentoo Council Reminder for January

Donnie Berkholz
In reply to this post by Lance Albertson
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

Lance Albertson wrote:
| Mike Frysinger wrote:
|
|
|>If you have something you'd wish for us to chat about, maybe even
|>vote on, let us know !  Simply reply to this e-mail for the whole
|>Gentoo dev list to see.
|
|
| Gentoo has been missing some kind of direction/goal for some time now.
| Looking back at the last two years, what are the major
| changes/accomplishments that we have done? Granted, I know there has
| been great strides in improvement in some things, but I really wonder
| about any ground breaking enhancements.
|
| Since the council is the closest representation to a leader we have, I'd
| like to ask if they can come up with some kind of global goals for 2006
| and beyond. You don't need to come up with goals by this meeting if you
| haven't had time, but at least by the February meeting. Each group can
| have their own goals, but we lack any overall binding goals or
| direction. We've brought on numerous devs in the past year, and I have
| yet to see a huge improvement in QA or anything else. Numbers aren't
| everything. If anything, it makes it harder to maintain good QA.

Why don't we start at a smaller level and see where we get? In other
words, we can build the big picture goals from where our projects and
subprojects are going.

Now that projects can be freely created, I see no reason that any herd
or any developer in Gentoo cannot be part of a project. Each project
could come up with its goals and directions, and we could see how (or
whether) they fit together.

Thanks,
Donnie
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Re: Monthly Gentoo Council Reminder for January

Thierry Carrez
In reply to this post by Lance Albertson
Lance Albertson wrote:

> Gentoo has been missing some kind of direction/goal for some time now.
> Looking back at the last two years, what are the major
> changes/accomplishments that we have done? Granted, I know there has
> been great strides in improvement in some things, but I really wonder
> about any ground breaking enhancements.
>
> Since the council is the closest representation to a leader we have, I'd
> like to ask if they can come up with some kind of global goals for 2006
> and beyond. [...]

Yes, the Gentoo Council can / should set some global goals for 2006, and
should probably discuss about this in the January meeting so that they
can be set in stone by the February meeting.

That said, we weren't elected as "managers" but as "global visioners",
so we don't really have any power to force people to do some work in an
area in which they don't want to. We can say "it would be good to reach
that" then follow progress using the regular meetings, but we can't make
it happen just by saying it must be done.

One example of such point is the portage signing thing, which the
council already set as a global goal and for which is follows progress
at every meeting, but we can see that doesn't mean a lot of work is
done. We still need a group to coordinate such goals, much like what the
security team does with security bugs (call the right people at the
right time rather than doing any committing work). That's what I called
the "MetaBug taskforce" in various metastructure proposals. If we don't
have people that want to form (and work in) such a group then we can set
as many global goals as we want and follow as much progress as we
want... it won't get us very far.

In brief, we need the team to coordinate such goals, even more than we
need global goals.

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Gentoo Linux Security & Gentoo Council Member
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