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Re: draft alternative proposal: fix problem at the root

(Replying twice so my positive suggestion doesn't get lost:)

Anthony Towns writes ("Re: draft alternative proposal: fix problem at the root"):
> The way things are set up, the ctte has to decide how to organise
> itself, it can't easily rely on the project as a whole to do that for
> it. Hopefully exploring some of these ideas/approaches here helps the
> ctte work out how they want to improve things.

I think the TC should write an public document describing the process
it will follow and the principles it will base its decisions on.

I think this should include things such as:

 * The TC should first decide whether the complaint is worth
   everyone's time.  And if it is worth considering, an idea of how
   detailed an investigation would be proportionate.  The answers to
   these questions could be selected from options like:

     - Complaint appears very likelty to be unjustified; TC will
       provide opportunity for comments before moving to dismiss.
       Eg: #681687.

     - Complaint appears to some TC members to have merit; TC will
       attempt to mediate and failing that will move to arbitration.
       Eg: #614907.

     - Issue is highly controversial; all further case management
       decisions will be made by full TC vote.  Eg: #727708.

     - Complaint appears very likely to be justified and is urgent; TC
       will provide opportunity for comments before moving to
       override.  Eg: #699808.

 * The TC should normally try to seek consensus (ie, take a mediating
   role).  If the constitution is amended suitably, this should be
   done in private where appropriate.

 * When consensus cannot be reached, or the matter is too urgent, the
   TC should explicitly state that it is moving to an arbitration

 * At each stage the TC or its members should make clear what
   participation they expect from the parties.

These procedural decisions (case management decisions) should be made
explicitly and clearly so that everyone knows what to expect.  Making
each of these decisions by vote is too cumbersome.  Managing them
informally is no good because no-one is sure what the TC is actually

It would be possible to use the TC chair role for this but I am not
convinced that this is right, particularly given the currently very
weak accountability of the chair to the rest of the TC.


 * When a complaint arrives, TC members who think the complaint looks
   like it might have some merit and be important, put themselves
   forward and say so.  If no-one comes forward (within a week, say)
   to say they think the complaint has merit then any other TC member
   can claim the driver role.

 * The TC member who is initially most favourable towards the
   complaint becomes the driver for that dispute.

 * The driver makes all case management decisions, but they do so
   in a way they think has consensus within the TC.

 * If any TC member disagrees with a case management decision within
   24h, the decision is vacated.  Then the disagreer and driver
   negotiate and this will hopefully produce a new case management
   decision for the driver to put forward which the other TC members
   will agree on.  If negotiation fails (or drags on too slowly for
   the driver's taste), the driver will put forward the case
   management decision as a formal TC resolution, wait 72h, and then
   call for a vote; the disagreer is expected to put forward an

The reason for choosing a TC member who thinks the complaint has
merit, is that normally in the absence of a TC decision the status quo
prevails.  So people who agree with the maintainer haven't much of an
incentive to push the process.


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