Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (783 mails)

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[opensuse-project] Re: Decision making transparency ...
  • From: Michael Loeffler <michl@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 25 Aug 2009 14:50:29 +0200
  • Message-id: <200908251450.30185.michl@xxxxxxxxxx>
On Tuesday 25 August 2009 13:07:50 Michael Meeks wrote:
Hi Michael,

First my bias - I believe this is the wrong decision. Nevertheless -
were I convinced that in fact it was made by a
reasonably open and transparent process - I would be able to accept
it in good conscience - in the spirit of tolerance and community; all
democrats get to swallow bitter fruit sometimes :-)
Well said.

On Thu, 2009-08-20 at 15:56 +0200, Michael Loeffler wrote:
After consideration of the project discussion I discussed the
feature request further with the openSUSE Board and other leaders
within the openSUSE project and came to the decision

This is most interesting. When you say you "discussed the feature
request" with the openSUSE Board - what was their considered
recommendation ?
Frankly, the openSUSE Board was just a mirror of the community. So again a
pretty heated discussion. No clear recommendation.

It is one thing that the board discusses the issue, and comes to a
compromise. It is another thing to (somehow) -trust- that, inside the
head of one person - who happens to be a KDE user, based in a KDE
hotspot ;-) -
huh - so, I'm working at the wrong place to make an objective decision. Sounds
weird to me.
a balanced decision is made, taking into account both the
volume and quality of evidence on both sides. It is not really a process
open to scrutiny - short of some MRI scanning machine ;-) Worse - it
seems to me that an equally reasonable, but different person may well
have made a different decision.
If you take into account the surveys, openSUSE's history, the feedback and
votes for the feature I think I made a pretty democratic decision.
Just to notice I'm now the Product Manager for the distribution for 3-4 years
and no one complained yet about decisions. By the way, almost all decisions
are done by maintainers, interested groups on mls or so and just the ones the
community can't come to a decision gets on my table and I have the pleasure to

In summary, it is somewhat surprising, amid all the talk of the
critical importance of "doing what the community wants" for a decision
of this importance and scope, to be made by a single, appointed, Novell
employee, in a permanent, irremovable maintainership role. The advantage
of elected representatives is that as/if/when they make silly decisions,
there is at least a hope of replacing them.
I think we can be sure that this person is removable if doing the wrong

I would ask that at the openSUSE conference we can come to an
understanding of a rather more useful role for the openSUSE board for
this kind of decision. Is it planned to have a discussion on this narrow
topic of transparency; indeed the whole issue of openSUSE governance
seems like it could do with re-visiting [ clearly with no reference to
this current hot topic ].
Yes, the governance topic will be covered during the conference.

We want to make clear that both desktops are considered equal
citizens within the openSUSE Project

How about actually sketching out what this really means, if indeed it
means anything at all, to re-assure the GNOME guys that this is not the
very unsubtle end of a big wedge to squeeze them out, and make their
(already un-necessarily unpleasant) experience of openSUSE advocacy
Please don't read things into a radio button which aren't there.


As an example, can you give any assurances around my concerns about
conferences - presenting both desktops equally eg. ? providing live-CD
media instead of DVDs - so GNOME advocates don't have to hand out
default-KDE-installs left and right ? other trivial examples might be
boxed set screenshots (if the boxed set rides again), printed marketing
materials etc. We have one prominent area where they are not treated
equally - I assume the plan is to spread that aggressively to other
areas - can you reassure ?



Michael Löffler, Product Management
SUSE LINUX Products GmbH - Nürnberg - AG Nürnberg - HRB 16746 - GF: Markus Rex

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