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Establish by-lines for members & hierarchy (if any) #61

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bnvk opened this Issue Mar 2, 2017 · 18 comments

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@bnvk
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bnvk commented Mar 2, 2017

While planning OSD Summit in #57 I used the wording core members in describing that I invited specific people to a planning calendar. @elioqoshi raised concern

I only have a problem with the Core Members thing. Who decides who is one and who not?

Currently, no one decides such things. For this specific case i'm weighting my instinct based on my memory of faces & names that come up repeatedly and are actively involved in doing things like:

  • Organizing FOSDEM, FOSSASIA, 33c3, etc...
  • Doing web dev on the site
  • Attending weekly meetups
  • Utilizing / contributing to the job board
  • Creators of great OS design tools like Inkscape, UXbox.io, etc...

My personal mental list of this is about 10 - 20 people and I put myself in that category. My reasoning these people are "core" is that they / we making the collective & purpose of OSD happen and grow, consistently, over time.

In the case of organizing the Summit, I think being sensitive to these core persons schedules is more important than the 120+ other people subscribed to this repo who do not participate regularly, the other 200+ ppl in the github organization, or the 1000+ people who follow us on Twitter. However, an argument could be made for the inverse.

I am sure other cases where certain persons / groups needs will have more priority, thus we should establish a way to handling these cases.

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elioqoshi Mar 2, 2017

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I think we are all on the same page regarding who is a core member inofficially. The problem is that we have no arguments to back that up, nothing measurable (measuring contributions is hard, although people get an impression of them).

I'd propose a membership application in a similar way The Document Foundation (LibreOffice has). We used the same approach for our Open Labs Hackerspace in Tirana, Albania (JavaScript enabled is required):

https://openlabs.cc/en/membership/

I'd be supportive of something lightweight, with as much horizontal hierarchy as possible, yet which gives us the flexibility to be productive and avoid bikeshedding

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elioqoshi commented Mar 2, 2017

I think we are all on the same page regarding who is a core member inofficially. The problem is that we have no arguments to back that up, nothing measurable (measuring contributions is hard, although people get an impression of them).

I'd propose a membership application in a similar way The Document Foundation (LibreOffice has). We used the same approach for our Open Labs Hackerspace in Tirana, Albania (JavaScript enabled is required):

https://openlabs.cc/en/membership/

I'd be supportive of something lightweight, with as much horizontal hierarchy as possible, yet which gives us the flexibility to be productive and avoid bikeshedding

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simonv3 Mar 2, 2017

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I don't know if it makes sense to have a secondary "member" circle outside of already being a contributor to the GitHub organization.

I also get that for planning things getting buy-in or at least an opinion from the most active community members is important. But I also feel that those members are the ones most likely to make their voices heard, so I wonder if this is an arbitrary distinction to pursue?

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simonv3 commented Mar 2, 2017

I don't know if it makes sense to have a secondary "member" circle outside of already being a contributor to the GitHub organization.

I also get that for planning things getting buy-in or at least an opinion from the most active community members is important. But I also feel that those members are the ones most likely to make their voices heard, so I wonder if this is an arbitrary distinction to pursue?

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elioqoshi Mar 2, 2017

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I do think that it makes sense to have some basic infrastructure in place for voting. Open to public voting could be "hijacked" if someone wants to do harm. And if that happens and you want to prevent that, what argument would you use to prevent it when it was opem from the start? This is why so many communities need a Code of Conduct; I have always thought it's common sense to be nice to each other but it seems that it's not for some people.

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elioqoshi commented Mar 2, 2017

I do think that it makes sense to have some basic infrastructure in place for voting. Open to public voting could be "hijacked" if someone wants to do harm. And if that happens and you want to prevent that, what argument would you use to prevent it when it was opem from the start? This is why so many communities need a Code of Conduct; I have always thought it's common sense to be nice to each other but it seems that it's not for some people.

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simonv3 Mar 2, 2017

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We do have a Code of Conduct, and a while ago I attempted to put something together for voting in the bylaws, but it definitely needs fleshing out: #12. Feel free to add your thoughts!

I think a common misconception is that we're a consensus based group - I don't think we are.

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simonv3 commented Mar 2, 2017

We do have a Code of Conduct, and a while ago I attempted to put something together for voting in the bylaws, but it definitely needs fleshing out: #12. Feel free to add your thoughts!

I think a common misconception is that we're a consensus based group - I don't think we are.

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bnvk commented Mar 2, 2017

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elioqoshi Mar 2, 2017

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@simonv3 the Code of Conduct was just am example I used, I am aware we have one.

I am curious to see more input from others here so we can start shaping this

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elioqoshi commented Mar 2, 2017

@simonv3 the Code of Conduct was just am example I used, I am aware we have one.

I am curious to see more input from others here so we can start shaping this

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My concept of consensus is one where everyone agrees to the same thing - in that light we didn't reach consensus for the logo, we had a vote and the majority won. Everyone was in consensus about sticking to the result of the vote. No one had veto power. I was always under the impression that we encouraged people to do the thing they wanted to take action on, they didn't need full group permission to do something (which is why it's nice we have version control).

@bnvk I'm not sure what you mean with multiple classes of votes. quick-survey handles most basic survey questions I think (minus whatever people have raised in the issues) and I imagine most voting would fall under that.

What are some things people think a requirement for being defined as a core member means?

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simonv3 commented Mar 2, 2017

My concept of consensus is one where everyone agrees to the same thing - in that light we didn't reach consensus for the logo, we had a vote and the majority won. Everyone was in consensus about sticking to the result of the vote. No one had veto power. I was always under the impression that we encouraged people to do the thing they wanted to take action on, they didn't need full group permission to do something (which is why it's nice we have version control).

@bnvk I'm not sure what you mean with multiple classes of votes. quick-survey handles most basic survey questions I think (minus whatever people have raised in the issues) and I imagine most voting would fall under that.

What are some things people think a requirement for being defined as a core member means?

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belenbarrospena Mar 3, 2017

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belenbarrospena commented Mar 3, 2017

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elioqoshi Mar 3, 2017

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I am fine with that approach until we really need it as well. Just keep in mind that we should be aware not to create an inofficial "clique" of those people who contribute more time in here. We could miss out on having some greatly talented contributors in the future who might not feel welcome

I had this experience in Wikipedia where I did a bunch of event planning and design and was ignored because I had not many article contributions on Wikipedia. Let's just keep in mind to not put down people just because they had not that many contributions as others (yet).

Not saying that we are doing it, but it doesn't hurt to check once in a while how we are percepted on the outside.

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elioqoshi commented Mar 3, 2017

I am fine with that approach until we really need it as well. Just keep in mind that we should be aware not to create an inofficial "clique" of those people who contribute more time in here. We could miss out on having some greatly talented contributors in the future who might not feel welcome

I had this experience in Wikipedia where I did a bunch of event planning and design and was ignored because I had not many article contributions on Wikipedia. Let's just keep in mind to not put down people just because they had not that many contributions as others (yet).

Not saying that we are doing it, but it doesn't hurt to check once in a while how we are percepted on the outside.

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simonv3 Mar 3, 2017

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Structurelessness is certainly tricky.

Maybe that is something we can put in our by-laws? Something like:

"Participation in Open Source Design is what you put into it, and everyone is welcome to voice their opinions and add their contributions. Older active members must keep in mind that someone could be in the early stages of becoming a more active member and have to encourage them on their path. They have to be open to being called out for cliques.

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simonv3 commented Mar 3, 2017

Structurelessness is certainly tricky.

Maybe that is something we can put in our by-laws? Something like:

"Participation in Open Source Design is what you put into it, and everyone is welcome to voice their opinions and add their contributions. Older active members must keep in mind that someone could be in the early stages of becoming a more active member and have to encourage them on their path. They have to be open to being called out for cliques.

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elioqoshi Mar 3, 2017

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That's not measurable and is subjective and due to that differs from person to person.
That wouldn't work either...

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elioqoshi commented Mar 3, 2017

That's not measurable and is subjective and due to that differs from person to person.
That wouldn't work either...

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simonv3 Mar 3, 2017

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Suggestions welcome!

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simonv3 commented Mar 3, 2017

Suggestions welcome!

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elioqoshi Mar 3, 2017

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@bnvk How does Debian handle decision-making? I'm not really familiar with it

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elioqoshi commented Mar 3, 2017

@bnvk How does Debian handle decision-making? I'm not really familiar with it

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bnvk commented Mar 3, 2017

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evalica Mar 3, 2017

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I come from a community that uses the Apache voting system. We have a clear set of core contributors and only our votes are binding and we stop the process if there is a veto. The main problem is that we don't have that many contributors and we are not very welcoming to new members. Also I don't think in OSD we have vital functionality, that if we make the wrong decision once, it will affect us on the long term. I don't think we need this kind of strict voting system for the type of activities we do.

Although I understand having core contributors give some of us (me included) a feeling of being appreciated and recognized, I don't think is vital for us now to adopt such a way of making decisions.

I like very much the 'bylaws' initially proposed by Simon and since our community is so generic, multiple people should be able to vote, propose and benefit from it. The 51% majority for 2 weeks period seems reasonable.

We are a meritocratic community and we will try to recognize and recompense active contributors, but I don't think the voting should be delayed or postponed if some 'core members' are missing.

As Simon said, some people already make their opinions heard more by being active and I'm sure they will make sure their preferences will be taken into account when doing decisions. The problem, as Belen said, is that the availability and interest of some people might vary over time (depends on the projects/job status), so I believe in a community like ours the 'core' membership might shift from time to time.

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evalica commented Mar 3, 2017

I come from a community that uses the Apache voting system. We have a clear set of core contributors and only our votes are binding and we stop the process if there is a veto. The main problem is that we don't have that many contributors and we are not very welcoming to new members. Also I don't think in OSD we have vital functionality, that if we make the wrong decision once, it will affect us on the long term. I don't think we need this kind of strict voting system for the type of activities we do.

Although I understand having core contributors give some of us (me included) a feeling of being appreciated and recognized, I don't think is vital for us now to adopt such a way of making decisions.

I like very much the 'bylaws' initially proposed by Simon and since our community is so generic, multiple people should be able to vote, propose and benefit from it. The 51% majority for 2 weeks period seems reasonable.

We are a meritocratic community and we will try to recognize and recompense active contributors, but I don't think the voting should be delayed or postponed if some 'core members' are missing.

As Simon said, some people already make their opinions heard more by being active and I'm sure they will make sure their preferences will be taken into account when doing decisions. The problem, as Belen said, is that the availability and interest of some people might vary over time (depends on the projects/job status), so I believe in a community like ours the 'core' membership might shift from time to time.

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bnvk Oct 20, 2017

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Took a stab at outline some of the ideas here in the FAQ page

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bnvk commented Oct 20, 2017

Took a stab at outline some of the ideas here in the FAQ page

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simonv3 Oct 21, 2017

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looks good to me.

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simonv3 commented Oct 21, 2017

looks good to me.

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jancborchardt Oct 21, 2017

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@bnvk yep, looks great! :) I'd only say we should avoid using the acronym "OSD", especially in headings, as acronyms are often confusing.

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jancborchardt commented Oct 21, 2017

@bnvk yep, looks great! :) I'd only say we should avoid using the acronym "OSD", especially in headings, as acronyms are often confusing.

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