Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (109 mails)

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[opensuse-project] Re: openSUSE Project Name Change Vote - Results
  • From: Jim Henderson <hendersj@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 11 Nov 2019 03:57:35 -0000 (UTC)
  • Message-id: <qqam7f$5v8e$>
On Mon, 11 Nov 2019 14:04:04 +1030, Simon Lees wrote:

As many people didn't vote as voted no.

A similar number of people voted in this vote as previous board
elections so it would be reasonable to presume that a significant
percentage of the people that didn't vote either don't like voting or
are inactive.

If it were a board election, I'd be inclined to agree. I don't know that
it's reasonable to equate votes about two completely different topics in
that way.

But instead, nobody was interested in listening to those of us making
that point, so more than a couple of us simply DID NOT VOTE because our
concerns were not addressed.

Not voting is a perfectly valid choice.

Except that now we're being told that a non-vote is the same as a no-
vote, and since there was no way to vote 'present', there's no way to
gauge what the lack of interest was vs. the number of people who would
have voted had they been offered a viable option on the ballot.

So basically, the non-voters who cared enough to vote but weren't given a
viable option had no voice in this vote.

And now we're being told that our vote wouldn't have mattered - which
is precisely the point.

I asked questions *repeatedly* and explained why the information
provided (even after the wiki update) was insufficent for me to be able
to decide on a yes/no vote here, because the name we would change to
*matters* to me for making up my opinion.

If the proposed name was, I don't know, "GoatSe Linux", I'd vote
emphatically NO, because that would be a stupid and offensive name.

If the proposed name was "Chameleon Linux" - I probably would have
voted "yes".

But nobody cared enough to address that concern. So I didn't vote.

That is perfectly fair, I did mention somewhere on a list at some point
that it would probably be advantagious for those keen on changing the
name to put together a possible short list of possible options that
didn't likely have domain / trademark issues as people may be more
likely to support a name change if they saw something they liked. But no
one took the initiative to do that. Personally I didn't because
personally i'm in favor of keeping the current name if possible.

One of the points of holding a leadership position is (in my view) is to
make sure things are handled properly - separating oneself and one's own
views from ensuring the process is handled correctly and equitably to all
is something that I would consider an important characteristic of someone
in a leadership position.

There's an issue of fundamental fairness, along with holding an official
position of impartiality in the decision-making process when a vote takes

Respectfully, I don't think it's reasonable to abrogate one's
responsibility as a community leader just because of a personally-held
opinion about how a vote should go.

Either way the result we have is that most people want to stick with
openSUSE regardless of the alternatives that may have been proposed so
now we can stop thinking about changing the name and move to trying our
best to come up with a solution for the foundation that means it has
access to the name as needed.

Like I said - those of us who didn't have enough information don't get a
voice. Had I had sufficient information to make an informed vote, I
would have.

I'm fine with not changing the name. I'm just really disappointed in the
process here, because I feel my vote didn't count because I wasn't
provided an opportunity to formally express that opinion in the vote

I'm not saying that you personally should have put together a list of
prospective names. I'm saying the vote shouldn't even have been held
until options had been discussed and put forward as options. Perhaps
also what I'm saying is that until those concerns that were raised were
addressed, it's incumbent on the community leadership to do what they can
to ensure that everyone's voice is heard (not just the voices the
leadership personally agrees with) when issues are raised. That plainly
didn't happen here, and that's the source of my disappointment in the

I hope we can learn from this and not make these mistakes in the future.
It's extremely frustrating to repeatedly make a point and to have zero
feedback on it.

I answered a question on the Facebook Page that was asked about
this - representing the project (rather than myself), I answered with the
answer that was discussed on the list - even though I didn't agree with
the answer itself. I did understand the point of this vote; I just
didn't agree with how it was handled because it disenfranchised more than
a few of us who felt that without information about what we might change
our name to, there wasn't enough information to make an informed decision.

Personally, I'm not going to cast a vote if I feel I don't have enough
information to make an informed vote. An uninformed vote is not of any
use to anyone - and without the information I've stated I needed, I
*couldn't* make an informed vote. But when I asked, all I got were
crickets. That needs to be addressed, and IMHO, the board and the
election committee are the two groups whom need to address issues like
this. If they can't get an answer from the advocates of one side of the
issue to address those questions, then the question really comes back to
why we're even having a vote in the first place. If the "change"
proponents couldn't answer the question "to what?" - then why vote at all?

I'll stop beating this dead horse now. Time to move on, and I don't have
time (or the will, honestly) to keep hashing over it. It's water over
the bridge now.

Jim Henderson
Please keep on-topic replies on the list so everyone benefits

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