Re: "done with consensus decisionmaking", "war", "rearguard battles" [was: Re: REISSUED CfV: General Resolution: Init system coupling]
Several people forwarded me copies of the IRC log that Josh pointed to
here on the list today in response to my message this morning.
I responded to that off-list. I've been debating today whether to
I'm not sure this is a good idea, but hey I'm trying my best to be
reasoned but also to acknowledge that there's some real frustration here
I'm feeling and others are feeling.
Hopefully together we can share our feelings in a constructive way and
build a stronger community.
So, here's what I said with a few minor modifications.
It sounds like you're trying to say that Ian is not supporting a
consensus process and is thinking of this as a war.
You may be hinting strongly that Ian actually would be the one who
would turn it into rearguard battles.
I can't say that I feel any surprise either at the IRc log you pointed
to or when I think about that claim.
As I said earlier today I feel very disappointed when I read some claims
that Ian has made on-list and in that IRC log.
For myself, I don't think that matters much to the points I've generally
been trying to make, although I'm very open to listening to your
opinions and thoughts and open to re-evaluating things.
I'd like Ian to act with compassion and respect both for the process and
That's true regardless of whether he's acted that way in the past and
regardless of what he states his goals are.
I also respect that he's under a lot of pressure. It's fine to withdraw
from a discussion and say "Hey I'm not up to being constructive now."
I have done that; we'll all do that from time to time.
I'd like to create a process that rewards both participating
constructively and withdrawing at those times when we cannot do so. If
you play nice, you get to play and we agree to listen and think
seriously about your feelings, needs and technical points.
I'd like to create a process that excludes those who don't play nice in
these ways but insist on participating. Even in that I hope for
compassion. We're not excluding people to be assholes. I'd prefer that
we not even judge them; we all have periods when our emotions get the
best of us. I hope we exclude them to get work done and only so far as
we need to exclude them to get that work done.
Would I be surprised if Ian accepted the challenge i raised?
Would I be happy if he accepted that challenge and lived up to it, yes
very much so. I'd also be happy if he's not ready for that and takes as
much of a step back from the discussion and even the project as he needs.
I create a space for Ian to act the part I hope he will act; either to
participate constructively or to recooperate with respect and honor. I invite
him into that space. If he steps in, I'm happy.
If not, I really hope we can all get work done without his
participation. Obviously I'm only one person; whether this works
depends in part on whether others agree with my approach enough to make
Those are my thoughts on technical decision making.
I also understand we're a community, and we need to have processes to
exclude people from our community. We have the listmasters, IRC
operators, COC, and DAM among other things.
I hope those folks act with compassion too, but they need compassion
both for those who are frustrated when someone decides not to act with
consensus as well as for someone so frustrated that they give up on
consensus. We cannot destroy our role as a welcoming community just to
be open to a couple of very frustrated folks.
Compassion can and I hope is combined with firmness.
Fighting wars against part of the project is not welcoming. I don't
support violence being used to combat violence. "My enemies are not
acting in good faith, so I won't either," is not something I hope we
At the point where we no longer trust someone to follow our processes
with good faith, I don't think they should be a developer. We trust
developers too much; we give them too much individual responsibility.
If someone were going to make a case about Ian to listmaster, IRC
operators or the Dam, I think it would be best if the initial case came
from someone who generally agrees with Ian. If Ian really has given up
on consensus and continues to participate in the process, surely there
is someone who values user choice and who thinks Ian has crossed a
line. Similarly, complaints about TC members might be better coming
from within the TC.
I'd ask people to think really carefully and to work with the DPL, the
appropriate teams (listmaster, IRC ops, etc), anti-harassment team,
before introducing a GR.
If you really believe that you've been unable to get redress for
an issue of trust, then I understand the need to go forward with
potentially painful process.
There is real harm that the project suffers when we decline to act when
action is required.
However there's real harm in excluding folks from the project or from
discussions or roles within the project.
I hope with all my heart that people try their best to balance that.
Because damn it is hard. Telling people to sit there and take it with a
thicker skin drives people away. However, having mud fights where we
take action to exclude folks really hurts too.
Please, be sensitive and make the best decision you can.