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Add glep 54, to replace (and require) glep 39, regarding project announcements and RFCs.  I'm marking this as F (final) as it was approved ages ago; feel free to take up wording and merits with me and it will be edited after the fact.  If you have a problem with this process, again take it up with me as I'm the bastard that did it.  Thanks

1 g2boojum 1.1 GLEP: 39
2     Title: An "old-school" metastructure proposal with "boot for being a slacker"
3 antarus 1.3 Version: $Revision: 1.2 $
4     Last-Modified: $Date: 2006/02/09 21:53:54 $
5 g2boojum 1.1 Author: Grant Goodyear <g2boojum@gentoo.org>,
6     Ciaran McCreesh <ciaranm@gentoo.org>,
7     Status: Accepted
8     Type: Informational
9     Content-Type: text/x-rst
10     Created: 01-Sep-2005
11 antarus 1.3 Replaced-By: 54
12 ciaranm 1.2 Post-History: 01-Sep-2005, 09-Feb-2006
13 g2boojum 1.1
14    
15 ciaranm 1.2 Status
16     ======
17    
18     Implemented. GLEP amended on 09 Feb 2006 to add the final bullet point to
19     list B in `Specification`_.
20    
21 g2boojum 1.1 Abstract
22     ========
23    
24     GLEP 4 is replaced with a new "metastructure" that retains established
25     projects (and makes new projects easier to create), but adds a new "Gentoo
26     Council" to handle global (cross-project) issues.
27    
28     Motivation
29     ==========
30    
31     The Fosdem and subsequent reform proposals shepherded by Koon are thorough,
32     extremely detailed, and somewhat complicated. They have a lot of good ideas.
33     For many who have been with Gentoo a long time, though, there's just something
34     about them that they don't really like. More than a few Gentoo devs are
35     almost entirely uninterested in metastructure as long as it doesn't get in
36     their way, and because the current proposals impose at least some order on our
37     unruly devs these proposals are guaranteed to "get in the way" to some degree.
38     For example, a frequent comment that has been heard is that many Gentoo devs
39     don't know who his/her manager (or project lead) is, which is a clear
40     indication that our current system is broken. The existing proposals solve
41     the problem by requiring that each dev belong to a project. Perhaps the part
42     that is broken, though, is the belief that every dev should have a manager.
43     The history of Gentoo is such that traditionally big advances have often been
44     implemented by a single or a small number of dedicated devs (thus our
45     long-standing tradition that devs have access to the entire tree), and surely
46     we do not want to make things harder (or less fun) for such people. So here's
47     a minimal proposal for those who remembers the "good ol' days" and thinks
48     things aren't really so different now.
49    
50     Synopsis of the current system:
51    
52     * There are 13-15 top-level projects (TLPs). Top-level projects are
53     comprised of sub-projects, and the goal was that every Gentoo
54     project would be a sub-project of one of the TLPs. Supposedly each
55     dev therefore belongs to one or more TLPs.
56     * Each TLP has at least a "strategic" manager, and potentially also an
57     "operational" manager. Only the strategic managers vote on global
58     Gentoo issues.
59     * The managers of each TLP were appointed by drobbins, the other
60     TLP managers, or elected by their project members. These managers
61     have no set term.
62     * Within each TLP the managers are responsible for making decisions
63     about the project, defining clear goals, roadmaps, and timelines
64     for the project, and solving problems that arise within the TLP
65     (see GLEP 4 for the specific list).
66     * The strategic TLP managers are also responsible for deciding issues that
67     affect Gentoo across project lines. The primary mechanism for
68     handling global-scope issues is the managers' meetings.
69     * Disciplinary action taken against erring devs is handled by the
70     "devrel" TLP, unless the dev is a strategic TLP manager. In that
71     case disciplinary action must be enacted by the other strategic TLP
72     managers.
73    
74     Problems with the existing system:
75    
76     1. The assumption that TLPs are complete is either incorrect (there
77     still is no "server" TLP) or just plain weird (but the lack of a
78     server TLP is technically okay because all devs who don't have an
79     obvious TLP belong to the "base" TLP by default).
80     2. There is nothing at all to ensure that project leads actually do
81     represent the devs they supposedly lead or satisfy their
82     responsibilities. Indeed, should a TLP manager go AWOL it is not at
83     all obvious how the situation should be resolved.
84     3. Nothing is being decided at global scope right now. Some TLP strategic
85     managers rarely attend the managers' meetings, and the managers as a
86     whole certainly are not providing any sort of global vision for
87     Gentoo right now.
88     4. Even if the strategic TLP managers were making global decisions for
89     Gentoo, the TLP structure is such that almost all devs fall under
90     only one or two TLPs. Thus voting on global issues is hardly
91     proportional, and thus many devs feel disenfranchised.
92     5. Regardless of whether or not it is justified, devrel is loathed by
93     many in its enforcement role.
94    
95     Here's a couple of additional problems identified by the current
96     metastructure reform proposals:
97    
98     6. The current system has no mechanism for identifying either projects
99     or devs that have gone inactive.
100     7. Bugs that cut across projects often remain unresolved.
101     8. GLEPs often linger in an undetermined state.
102    
103     Specification
104     =============
105    
106    
107     A. A project is a group of developers working towards a goal (or a set
108     of goals).
109    
110     * A project exists if it has a web page at
111     www.g.o/proj/en/whatever that is maintained. ("Maintained" means
112     that the information on the page is factually correct and not
113     out-of-date.) If the webpage isn't maintained, it is presumed dead.
114     * It may have one or many leads, and the leads are
115     selected by the members of the project. This selection must
116     occur at least once every 12 months, and may occur at any
117     time.
118     * It may have zero or more sub-projects. Sub-projects are
119     just projects that provide some additional structure, and their
120     web pages are in the project's space.
121     * Not everything (or everyone) needs a project.
122     * Projects need not be long-term.
123     * Projects may well conflict with other projects. That's okay.
124     * Any dev may create a new project just by creating a new page
125     (or, more realistically, directory and page) in
126     ``gentoo/xml/htdocs/proj/en``.
127    
128     B. Global issues will be decided by an elected Gentoo council.
129    
130     * There will be a set number of council members. (For the
131     first election that number was set to 7 by acclamation.)
132     * Council members will be chosen by a general election of all
133     devs once per year.
134     * The council must hold an open meeting at least once per month.
135     * Council decisions are by majority vote of those who show up (or
136     their proxies).
137     * If a council member (or their appointed proxy) fails to show up for
138     two consecutive meetings, they are marked as a slacker.
139     * If a council member who has been marked a slacker misses any further
140     meeting (or their appointed proxy doesn't show up), they lose their
141     position and a new election is held to replace that person. The newly
142     elected council member gets a 'reduced' term so that the yearly
143     elections still elect a full group.
144     * Council members who have previously been booted for excessive slacking
145     may stand for future elections, including the election for their
146     replacement. They should, however, justify their slackerness, and
147     should expect to have it pointed out if they don't do so themselves.
148     * The 'slacker' marker is reset when a member is elected.
149     * If any meeting has less than 50% attendance by council members, a new
150     election for *all* places must be held within a month. The 'one year'
151     is then reset from that point.
152     * Disciplinary actions may be appealed to the council.
153 ciaranm 1.2 * A proxy must not be an existing council member, and any single person
154     may not be a proxy for more than one council member at any given
155     meeting.
156 g2boojum 1.1
157     Rationale
158     =========
159    
160     So, does this proposal solve any of the previously-mentioned problems?
161    
162     1. There is no longer any requirement that the project structure be
163     complete. Some devs work on very specific parts of the tree, while
164     some work on practically everything; neither should be shoehorned into
165     an ad-hoc project structure. Moreover, it should be easy to create new
166     projects where needed (and remove them when they are not), which this
167     proposal should enable.
168    
169     2. By having the members choose their project leads periodically, the
170     project leads are necessarily at least somewhat responsible (and hopefully
171     responsive) to the project members. This proposal has removed the list of
172     responsibilities that project leads were supposed to satisfy, since hardly
173     anybody has ever looked at the original list since it was written. Instead
174     the practical responsibility of a lead is "whatever the members require", and
175     if that isn't satisfied, the members can get a new lead (if they can find
176     somebody to take the job!).
177    
178     3. If the council does a lousy job handling global issues (or has no
179     global vision), vote out the bums.
180    
181     4. Since everybody gets to vote for the council members, at least in
182     principle the council members represent all developers, not just a
183     particular subset.
184    
185     5. An appeal process should make disciplinary enforcement both less
186     capricious and more palatable.
187    
188     6. This proposal doesn't help find inactive devs or projects. It
189     really should not be that much of a problem. We already have a script for
190     identifying devs who haven't made a CVS commit within a certain period of
191     time. As for moribund projects, if the project page isn't maintained, it's
192     dead, and we should remove it. That, too, could be automated. A much bigger
193     problem is understaffed herds, but more organization is not necessarily a
194     solution.
195    
196     7. The metabug project is a great idea. Let's do that! Adding a useful
197     project shouldn't require "metastructure reform", although with the
198     current system it does. With this proposal it wouldn't.
199    
200     8. This proposal has nothing to say about GLEPs.
201    
202    
203     Copyright
204     =========
205    
206     This document has been placed in the public domain.

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