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8 g2boojum 1.1 <title>GLEP 39 -- An "old-school" metastructure proposal with "boot for being a slacker"</title>
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20 antarus 1.9 [<b><a href="http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/glep">GLEP Index</a></b>]
21 g2boojum 1.4 [<b><a href="http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/glep/glep-0039.txt">GLEP Source</a></b>]
22 g2boojum 1.1 </td></tr></table>
23     <table class="rfc2822 docutils field-list" frame="void" rules="none">
24     <col class="field-name" />
25     <col class="field-body" />
26     <tbody valign="top">
27     <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">GLEP:</th><td class="field-body">39</td>
28     </tr>
29     <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Title:</th><td class="field-body">An &quot;old-school&quot; metastructure proposal with &quot;boot for being a slacker&quot;</td>
30     </tr>
31 dev-zero 1.11 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Version:</th><td class="field-body">1.6</td>
32 g2boojum 1.1 </tr>
33 dev-zero 1.11 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Last-Modified:</th><td class="field-body"><a class="reference" href="http://www.gentoo.org/cgi-bin/viewcvs.cgi/xml/htdocs/proj/en/glep/glep-0039.txt?cvsroot=gentoo">2008/06/05 20:27:30</a></td>
34 g2boojum 1.1 </tr>
35     <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Author:</th><td class="field-body">Grant Goodyear &lt;g2boojum&#32;&#97;t&#32;gentoo.org&gt;,
36     Ciaran McCreesh &lt;ciaranm&#32;&#97;t&#32;gentoo.org&gt;,</td>
37     </tr>
38     <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Status:</th><td class="field-body">Accepted</td>
39     </tr>
40     <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Type:</th><td class="field-body">Informational</td>
41     </tr>
42 g2boojum 1.4 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Content-Type:</th><td class="field-body"><a class="reference" href="glep-0002.html">text/x-rst</a></td>
43 g2boojum 1.1 </tr>
44     <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Created:</th><td class="field-body">01-Sep-2005</td>
45     </tr>
46 antarus 1.10 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Post-History:</th><td class="field-body">01-Sep-2005, 09-Feb-2006, 12-Oct-2007, 19-Jan-2008</td>
47     </tr>
48 g2boojum 1.1 </tbody>
49     </table>
50     <hr />
51 g2boojum 1.4 <div class="contents topic">
52     <p class="topic-title first"><a id="contents" name="contents">Contents</a></p>
53 g2boojum 1.1 <ul class="simple">
54 ciaranm 1.3 <li><a class="reference" href="#status" id="id2" name="id2">Status</a></li>
55     <li><a class="reference" href="#abstract" id="id3" name="id3">Abstract</a></li>
56     <li><a class="reference" href="#motivation" id="id4" name="id4">Motivation</a></li>
57     <li><a class="reference" href="#specification" id="id5" name="id5">Specification</a></li>
58     <li><a class="reference" href="#rationale" id="id6" name="id6">Rationale</a></li>
59     <li><a class="reference" href="#copyright" id="id7" name="id7">Copyright</a></li>
60 g2boojum 1.1 </ul>
61     </div>
62 g2boojum 1.4 <div class="section">
63     <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id2" id="status" name="status">Status</a></h1>
64 ciaranm 1.3 <p>Implemented. GLEP amended on 09 Feb 2006 to add the final bullet point to
65     list B in <a class="reference" href="#specification">Specification</a>.</p>
66     </div>
67 g2boojum 1.4 <div class="section">
68     <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id3" id="abstract" name="abstract">Abstract</a></h1>
69 g2boojum 1.1 <p>GLEP 4 is replaced with a new &quot;metastructure&quot; that retains established
70     projects (and makes new projects easier to create), but adds a new &quot;Gentoo
71     Council&quot; to handle global (cross-project) issues.</p>
72     </div>
73 g2boojum 1.4 <div class="section">
74     <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id4" id="motivation" name="motivation">Motivation</a></h1>
75 g2boojum 1.1 <p>The Fosdem and subsequent reform proposals shepherded by Koon are thorough,
76     extremely detailed, and somewhat complicated. They have a lot of good ideas.
77     For many who have been with Gentoo a long time, though, there's just something
78     about them that they don't really like. More than a few Gentoo devs are
79     almost entirely uninterested in metastructure as long as it doesn't get in
80     their way, and because the current proposals impose at least some order on our
81     unruly devs these proposals are guaranteed to &quot;get in the way&quot; to some degree.
82     For example, a frequent comment that has been heard is that many Gentoo devs
83     don't know who his/her manager (or project lead) is, which is a clear
84     indication that our current system is broken. The existing proposals solve
85     the problem by requiring that each dev belong to a project. Perhaps the part
86     that is broken, though, is the belief that every dev should have a manager.
87     The history of Gentoo is such that traditionally big advances have often been
88     implemented by a single or a small number of dedicated devs (thus our
89     long-standing tradition that devs have access to the entire tree), and surely
90     we do not want to make things harder (or less fun) for such people. So here's
91     a minimal proposal for those who remembers the &quot;good ol' days&quot; and thinks
92     things aren't really so different now.</p>
93     <p>Synopsis of the current system:</p>
94     <blockquote>
95     <ul class="simple">
96     <li>There are 13-15 top-level projects (TLPs). Top-level projects are
97     comprised of sub-projects, and the goal was that every Gentoo
98     project would be a sub-project of one of the TLPs. Supposedly each
99     dev therefore belongs to one or more TLPs.</li>
100     <li>Each TLP has at least a &quot;strategic&quot; manager, and potentially also an
101     &quot;operational&quot; manager. Only the strategic managers vote on global
102     Gentoo issues.</li>
103     <li>The managers of each TLP were appointed by drobbins, the other
104     TLP managers, or elected by their project members. These managers
105     have no set term.</li>
106     <li>Within each TLP the managers are responsible for making decisions
107     about the project, defining clear goals, roadmaps, and timelines
108     for the project, and solving problems that arise within the TLP
109     (see GLEP 4 for the specific list).</li>
110     <li>The strategic TLP managers are also responsible for deciding issues that
111     affect Gentoo across project lines. The primary mechanism for
112     handling global-scope issues is the managers' meetings.</li>
113     <li>Disciplinary action taken against erring devs is handled by the
114     &quot;devrel&quot; TLP, unless the dev is a strategic TLP manager. In that
115     case disciplinary action must be enacted by the other strategic TLP
116     managers.</li>
117     </ul>
118     </blockquote>
119     <p>Problems with the existing system:</p>
120     <ol class="arabic simple">
121     <li>The assumption that TLPs are complete is either incorrect (there
122     still is no &quot;server&quot; TLP) or just plain weird (but the lack of a
123     server TLP is technically okay because all devs who don't have an
124     obvious TLP belong to the &quot;base&quot; TLP by default).</li>
125     <li>There is nothing at all to ensure that project leads actually do
126     represent the devs they supposedly lead or satisfy their
127     responsibilities. Indeed, should a TLP manager go AWOL it is not at
128     all obvious how the situation should be resolved.</li>
129 g2boojum 1.4 <li>Nothing is being decided at global scope right now. Some TLP strategic
130 g2boojum 1.1 managers rarely attend the managers' meetings, and the managers as a
131     whole certainly are not providing any sort of global vision for
132     Gentoo right now.</li>
133     <li>Even if the strategic TLP managers were making global decisions for
134     Gentoo, the TLP structure is such that almost all devs fall under
135     only one or two TLPs. Thus voting on global issues is hardly
136     proportional, and thus many devs feel disenfranchised.</li>
137     <li>Regardless of whether or not it is justified, devrel is loathed by
138     many in its enforcement role.</li>
139     </ol>
140     <p>Here's a couple of additional problems identified by the current
141     metastructure reform proposals:</p>
142     <ol class="arabic simple" start="6">
143     <li>The current system has no mechanism for identifying either projects
144     or devs that have gone inactive.</li>
145     <li>Bugs that cut across projects often remain unresolved.</li>
146     <li>GLEPs often linger in an undetermined state.</li>
147     </ol>
148     </div>
149 g2boojum 1.4 <div class="section">
150     <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id5" id="specification" name="specification">Specification</a></h1>
151 g2boojum 1.1 <ol class="upperalpha">
152     <li><p class="first">A project is a group of developers working towards a goal (or a set
153     of goals).</p>
154     <blockquote>
155     <ul class="simple">
156     <li>A project exists if it has a web page at
157     www.g.o/proj/en/whatever that is maintained. (&quot;Maintained&quot; means
158     that the information on the page is factually correct and not
159     out-of-date.) If the webpage isn't maintained, it is presumed dead.</li>
160     <li>It may have one or many leads, and the leads are
161     selected by the members of the project. This selection must
162     occur at least once every 12 months, and may occur at any
163     time.</li>
164     <li>It may have zero or more sub-projects. Sub-projects are
165     just projects that provide some additional structure, and their
166     web pages are in the project's space.</li>
167     <li>Not everything (or everyone) needs a project.</li>
168     <li>Projects need not be long-term.</li>
169     <li>Projects may well conflict with other projects. That's okay.</li>
170     <li>Any dev may create a new project just by creating a new page
171     (or, more realistically, directory and page) in
172 antarus 1.8 <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">gentoo/xml/htdocs/proj/en</span></tt> and sending a Request For Comments
173     (RFC) e-mail to gentoo-dev. Note that this GLEP does not provide for
174     a way for the community at large to block a new project, even if the
175     comments are wholly negative.</li>
176 g2boojum 1.1 </ul>
177     </blockquote>
178     </li>
179     <li><p class="first">Global issues will be decided by an elected Gentoo council.</p>
180     <blockquote>
181     <ul class="simple">
182     <li>There will be a set number of council members. (For the
183     first election that number was set to 7 by acclamation.)</li>
184     <li>Council members will be chosen by a general election of all
185     devs once per year.</li>
186     <li>The council must hold an open meeting at least once per month.</li>
187     <li>Council decisions are by majority vote of those who show up (or
188     their proxies).</li>
189     <li>If a council member (or their appointed proxy) fails to show up for
190     two consecutive meetings, they are marked as a slacker.</li>
191     <li>If a council member who has been marked a slacker misses any further
192     meeting (or their appointed proxy doesn't show up), they lose their
193     position and a new election is held to replace that person. The newly
194     elected council member gets a 'reduced' term so that the yearly
195     elections still elect a full group.</li>
196     <li>Council members who have previously been booted for excessive slacking
197     may stand for future elections, including the election for their
198     replacement. They should, however, justify their slackerness, and
199     should expect to have it pointed out if they don't do so themselves.</li>
200     <li>The 'slacker' marker is reset when a member is elected.</li>
201     <li>If any meeting has less than 50% attendance by council members, a new
202     election for <em>all</em> places must be held within a month. The 'one year'
203     is then reset from that point.</li>
204     <li>Disciplinary actions may be appealed to the council.</li>
205 ciaranm 1.3 <li>A proxy must not be an existing council member, and any single person
206     may not be a proxy for more than one council member at any given
207     meeting.</li>
208 g2boojum 1.1 </ul>
209     </blockquote>
210     </li>
211     </ol>
212     </div>
213 g2boojum 1.4 <div class="section">
214     <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id6" id="rationale" name="rationale">Rationale</a></h1>
215 g2boojum 1.1 <p>So, does this proposal solve any of the previously-mentioned problems?</p>
216     <p>1. There is no longer any requirement that the project structure be
217     complete. Some devs work on very specific parts of the tree, while
218     some work on practically everything; neither should be shoehorned into
219     an ad-hoc project structure. Moreover, it should be easy to create new
220     projects where needed (and remove them when they are not), which this
221     proposal should enable.</p>
222     <p>2. By having the members choose their project leads periodically, the
223     project leads are necessarily at least somewhat responsible (and hopefully
224     responsive) to the project members. This proposal has removed the list of
225     responsibilities that project leads were supposed to satisfy, since hardly
226     anybody has ever looked at the original list since it was written. Instead
227     the practical responsibility of a lead is &quot;whatever the members require&quot;, and
228     if that isn't satisfied, the members can get a new lead (if they can find
229     somebody to take the job!).</p>
230     <p>3. If the council does a lousy job handling global issues (or has no
231     global vision), vote out the bums.</p>
232     <p>4. Since everybody gets to vote for the council members, at least in
233     principle the council members represent all developers, not just a
234     particular subset.</p>
235     <p>5. An appeal process should make disciplinary enforcement both less
236     capricious and more palatable.</p>
237     <p>6. This proposal doesn't help find inactive devs or projects. It
238     really should not be that much of a problem. We already have a script for
239     identifying devs who haven't made a CVS commit within a certain period of
240     time. As for moribund projects, if the project page isn't maintained, it's
241     dead, and we should remove it. That, too, could be automated. A much bigger
242     problem is understaffed herds, but more organization is not necessarily a
243     solution.</p>
244     <p>7. The metabug project is a great idea. Let's do that! Adding a useful
245     project shouldn't require &quot;metastructure reform&quot;, although with the
246     current system it does. With this proposal it wouldn't.</p>
247     <ol class="arabic simple" start="8">
248     <li>This proposal has nothing to say about GLEPs.</li>
249     </ol>
250     </div>
251 g2boojum 1.4 <div class="section">
252     <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id7" id="copyright" name="copyright">Copyright</a></h1>
253 g2boojum 1.1 <p>This document has been placed in the public domain.</p>
254     </div>
255    
256     </div>
257     <div class="footer">
258 g2boojum 1.2 <hr class="footer" />
259 g2boojum 1.1 <a class="reference" href="glep-0039.txt">View document source</a>.
260 dev-zero 1.11 Generated on: 2008-06-05 20:28 UTC.
261 g2boojum 1.1 Generated by <a class="reference" href="http://docutils.sourceforge.net/">Docutils</a> from <a class="reference" href="http://docutils.sourceforge.net/rst.html">reStructuredText</a> source.
262 g2boojum 1.2
263 g2boojum 1.1 </div>
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