Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (134 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-project] Non-Confidence Petition

Am Samstag, 4. Juli 2020, 20:25:56 CEST schrieb Gerald Pfeifer:
On Fri 2020-07-03, Christian Boltz wrote:
Am Freitag, 3. Juli 2020, 08:20:26 CEST schrieb Carsten Hoyer:
The best for OpenSUSE would be to move on from the unprofessional
infighting and baseless accusations, to continue working with the
professional board we already have

Well, that's your opinion of the current board and the events
during the last months.

Sadly it doesn't match what happened

Here you label what someone else wrote as an opinion while putting
your own perception and opinion as an absolute, Christian.

Right, I should have added something like "Let me explain my point of
view". Sorry for missing this!

This mail of course also includes statements from my point of view ;-)

It is natural for us humans to have different perspectives. Hence,
for example, the phrase "the beauty lies in the eye of the beholder.

There have been many, many mails on this list in the last months
for people to form their own opinions. Repeatedly stating the same,
all the more invoking an air of uncertainty and doubt, hardly helps.

Part of that uncertainity and doubt might be that I had to "anonymize"
some things to protect the involved people (which are not necessarily
board members). Of course that also makes these things harder to

Gerald, let me propose something that is hopefully fair for everybody,
and doesn't cause damage to the involved people: If you've seen
something in my mails that looks questionable or wrong (or you simply
don't get the context), ask me off-list, and if it turns out that I was
indeed wrong, write a reply on the mailinglist stating so (ideally
without revealing the details that could cause damage to other people -
and I'll grant you an exception if something could damage me). Actually
I'll even offer to write that mail myself and apologize if such a case

This doesn't mean that I want you to stop from responding in public, I
just see it as an additional way to clarify some things.

I'll refrain from commenting on most such claims that you put in
this one e-mail alone. It is unlikely that would converge. There
are two I cannot help respond to, though:
and I don't think that for example shouting down and kicking out a
newly elected board member - and even shouting down any attempt to
explain the claimed offense

You keep repeating this statement which does *not* match what I
have observed: There was one meeting where someone (not on the
current board) voiced their felt pain towards Sarah. Neither in
that case, nor in any other I was present at, did anyone shout
at anyone else.

I know that you see it that way, but at least Sarah and I (and a family
member who accidently heard it) see it as shouting. Anyway - even if we
agree on calling it a "loud speech" (it was clearly not the "normal
tone" of that person), it doesn't make things better.

Independent of that, the only way I can describe the _content_ of that,
well, loud speech, is that it was a wild mix of accusations, and at
least some of them were wrong. Several others were more on a "bad idea"
level, but far from being a code of conduct violation. In hindsight, it
feels like throwing lots of mud at Sarah, aiming for "something will

Since you only responded to one half of my sentense, I'll assume that
you don't object that Sarah wasn't given any serious chance to explain
the claimed offense during that meeting. Also, nobody even considered
that Sarah could be right. I can in no way imagine how all this could be
seen as fair or diplomatic.

And yes, the person who did that "loud speech" in the handover meeting
is no longer in the board because his term ended.
<speculation mode="thin ice">The more I think about it - and I know I
never asked - I wonder if his, well, loud speech came as a surprise to
the other board members or if it was something that was planned behind
my and Sarah's back. Having it planned would at least be the perfect
plot: The person throwing mud (yes, my summary) had to leave anyway, so
he had nothing to loose. And the other board members were "just" silent
(well, mostly), so that nobody can blame them.</speculation>
(To make it very clear: this paragraph is pure speculation, and I'm not
even sure if I want to know if my speculation is correct or if I watched
too many bad movies.)

Even if my speculation is wrong (actually I'd prefer that!) and that
"loud speech" was the action of a single person without telling the
others before - it's obvious that the other board members thought that
much of the mud was really sticking. They didn't object to anything he
said, nobody tried to stop him (at least you apologized for not stopping
him some days later), supported some points, instantly rejected Sarah's
reply attempts (in the rare cases when there was a second to attempt a
reply), and "funnily" someone even supported a detail that - while not
too important - was for sure wrong.

One thing isn't speculation: After these things became public (and IIRC
after Pierre called for the non-confidence vote), someone on this
mailinglist asked if not "just" the person who did this to Sarah could
step down. That was an obvious idea - but was of course impossible to

In the end, most board members decided to kick out Sarah. This time for
sure excluding me as a board member (with somewhat good intentions
knowing that I'm a good friend of Sarah, and not wanting to make it too
hard for me as long as possible - but still behind my back) and then
invited me to a meeting where I was shocked with the already-taken
decision. In that meeting it felt like nobody cared about my opinion or
any attempt to explain why Sarah did what she did.

But back to the loud speech, and then fast-forward to the next regular
board meeting after Sarah was kicked out.

I'm sure you and the other board members remember when (and how) I told
you that I seriously consider to resign in protest. Basically I voiced
my felt pain towards the board members (you might recognize that I use
your wording here ;-) about what had happened.

I'm quite sure that I used my "normal" voice (maybe with a slightly sad
untertone) - and I'm very sure that I didn't speak louder than usual
(not even to mention shouting) or attack anyone - while of course
explaining why I consider to resign.

I also gave all board members the chance to respond to what I said, and
we had a long conversation (as surprising as it might sound - we even
laughed a bit during that). Finally I slept over my decision (with the
other board members' feedback in mind) instead of deciding in a hurry.

(And no, that doesn't mean that I claim to be an angel ;-)

Obviously I'm describing my own actions here, therefore the above might
be biased. Please speak up if you see something in a different way.

[As we all know, my final decision a few days later was to resign.
I even dropped the words "in protest" from my resignation mail - not
because it wasn't in protest (it clearly was), but because I hoped that
dropping these two words would limit the fallout and avoid damage for
openSUSE and all involved people - including the remaining board.]

Now compare that to what was done to Sarah, and you'll see that
a) there are sane and insane ways to tell someone that you think he/she/
they made serious mistakes
b) even if you think that what happened in the handover meeting wasn't
shouting, it was far from "normal" behaviour in both tone and

I could even argue that what happened to Sarah was that someone claimed
she violated the code of conduct, and he did that in a way that also
violated the code of conduct :-(

Fast forward again, I could simply continue - but I probably don't need
to repeat that the remaining board decided to publish that and why Sarah
was forced to resign (and therefore broke the promise not to reveal that
- and yes, I know that Sarah gave some vague pointers in that direction)
or later, just to pick another example, additional (diplomatically
spoken) questionable mails by some board members with the intention to
damage Sarah even more (how does that match our code of conduct?)

The last "highlight" was a statement from a board member that people who
feel discriminated should ask the board for support. Of course this
sounds very positive - but also cynical for a few people. If you don't
remember my mail about that from about one week ago:

There's also a point I agree with you: having such an issue pending
over months is indeed a serious problem. Without intending to blame
anyone [2] - it took too long until the voting started.

[2] I can imagine that this wasn't easy for the election officials,
and while I don't know much of what was going on, I know a few
(non-public) bits that indicate that there were (also?) reasons
outside of the election officials that caused some delay.

This is a nebulous statement (which maybe refers to the one week delay
for the election officials to get the list of members, which we have
addressed procedurally going forward, or maybe to something else).

Please put yourself in the shoes of others reading such a statement,
who do not have background: What do you want to relay, what (or who)
do you want to imply (or implicate), what do you want to trigger?

Good point.

I'll explain the intention of this statement - basically it's three
things in one:

a) most important: I don't want to point fingers at or blame the
election officials because of the long time it took until the vote
started. This is the first time we have a non-confidence vote
(luckily we never needed one before - and I hope we'll never need one
again!), so it's more than understandable that it took a while to
come up with a good way how to do the vote.

b) nevertheless, it would have been better for everybody (independent on
which "side" you are) if the vote would have been earlier and the
topic would long be solved in one way or another. (Again: not
intended as blaming.)

c) there was also some delay completely unrelated to the election
officials - and yes, I was referring to the delay for getting the
list of members. I didn't know that it was one week, and I'm a bit
surprised that <most likely guess> it took so long until someone in
the board remembered that I am one of the persons who can (and of
course did) provide the list. </most likely guess>
And even this isn't meant as blaming.
For full transparency, and in case someone wonders what "addressed
procedurally going forward" means - one of the election officials and
Gerald got permissions on connect.o.o so that they can download the
members list themself.

Does this make the statement less nebulous?


Christian Boltz
backtrace-driven development
[found on!/progorn/py/]

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