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12 g2boojum 1.1 <title>GLEP 39 -- An "old-school" metastructure proposal with "boot for being a slacker"</title>
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24 antarus 1.7 [<b><a href="http://www.gentoo.org/peps">GLEP Index</a></b>]
25 g2boojum 1.4 [<b><a href="http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/glep/glep-0039.txt">GLEP Source</a></b>]
26 g2boojum 1.1 </td></tr></table>
27     <table class="rfc2822 docutils field-list" frame="void" rules="none">
28     <col class="field-name" />
29     <col class="field-body" />
30     <tbody valign="top">
31     <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">GLEP:</th><td class="field-body">39</td>
32     </tr>
33     <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>
34     </tr>
35 antarus 1.7 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Version:</th><td class="field-body">1.3</td>
36 g2boojum 1.1 </tr>
37 antarus 1.7 <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">2007/10/12 02:08:27</a></td>
38 g2boojum 1.1 </tr>
39     <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Author:</th><td class="field-body">Grant Goodyear &lt;g2boojum&#32;&#97;t&#32;gentoo.org&gt;,
40     Ciaran McCreesh &lt;ciaranm&#32;&#97;t&#32;gentoo.org&gt;,</td>
41     </tr>
42     <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Status:</th><td class="field-body">Accepted</td>
43     </tr>
44     <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Type:</th><td class="field-body">Informational</td>
45     </tr>
46 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>
47 g2boojum 1.1 </tr>
48     <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Created:</th><td class="field-body">01-Sep-2005</td>
49     </tr>
50 antarus 1.8 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Post-History:</th><td class="field-body">01-Sep-2005, 09-Feb-2006, 12-Oct-2007</td>
51 g2boojum 1.1 </tr>
52     </tbody>
53     </table>
54     <hr />
55 g2boojum 1.4 <div class="contents topic">
56     <p class="topic-title first"><a id="contents" name="contents">Contents</a></p>
57 g2boojum 1.1 <ul class="simple">
58 ciaranm 1.3 <li><a class="reference" href="#status" id="id2" name="id2">Status</a></li>
59     <li><a class="reference" href="#abstract" id="id3" name="id3">Abstract</a></li>
60     <li><a class="reference" href="#motivation" id="id4" name="id4">Motivation</a></li>
61     <li><a class="reference" href="#specification" id="id5" name="id5">Specification</a></li>
62     <li><a class="reference" href="#rationale" id="id6" name="id6">Rationale</a></li>
63     <li><a class="reference" href="#copyright" id="id7" name="id7">Copyright</a></li>
64 g2boojum 1.1 </ul>
65     </div>
66 g2boojum 1.4 <div class="section">
67     <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id2" id="status" name="status">Status</a></h1>
68 ciaranm 1.3 <p>Implemented. GLEP amended on 09 Feb 2006 to add the final bullet point to
69     list B in <a class="reference" href="#specification">Specification</a>.</p>
70     </div>
71 g2boojum 1.4 <div class="section">
72     <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id3" id="abstract" name="abstract">Abstract</a></h1>
73 g2boojum 1.1 <p>GLEP 4 is replaced with a new &quot;metastructure&quot; that retains established
74     projects (and makes new projects easier to create), but adds a new &quot;Gentoo
75     Council&quot; to handle global (cross-project) issues.</p>
76     </div>
77 g2boojum 1.4 <div class="section">
78     <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id4" id="motivation" name="motivation">Motivation</a></h1>
79 g2boojum 1.1 <p>The Fosdem and subsequent reform proposals shepherded by Koon are thorough,
80     extremely detailed, and somewhat complicated. They have a lot of good ideas.
81     For many who have been with Gentoo a long time, though, there's just something
82     about them that they don't really like. More than a few Gentoo devs are
83     almost entirely uninterested in metastructure as long as it doesn't get in
84     their way, and because the current proposals impose at least some order on our
85     unruly devs these proposals are guaranteed to &quot;get in the way&quot; to some degree.
86     For example, a frequent comment that has been heard is that many Gentoo devs
87     don't know who his/her manager (or project lead) is, which is a clear
88     indication that our current system is broken. The existing proposals solve
89     the problem by requiring that each dev belong to a project. Perhaps the part
90     that is broken, though, is the belief that every dev should have a manager.
91     The history of Gentoo is such that traditionally big advances have often been
92     implemented by a single or a small number of dedicated devs (thus our
93     long-standing tradition that devs have access to the entire tree), and surely
94     we do not want to make things harder (or less fun) for such people. So here's
95     a minimal proposal for those who remembers the &quot;good ol' days&quot; and thinks
96     things aren't really so different now.</p>
97     <p>Synopsis of the current system:</p>
98     <blockquote>
99     <ul class="simple">
100     <li>There are 13-15 top-level projects (TLPs). Top-level projects are
101     comprised of sub-projects, and the goal was that every Gentoo
102     project would be a sub-project of one of the TLPs. Supposedly each
103     dev therefore belongs to one or more TLPs.</li>
104     <li>Each TLP has at least a &quot;strategic&quot; manager, and potentially also an
105     &quot;operational&quot; manager. Only the strategic managers vote on global
106     Gentoo issues.</li>
107     <li>The managers of each TLP were appointed by drobbins, the other
108     TLP managers, or elected by their project members. These managers
109     have no set term.</li>
110     <li>Within each TLP the managers are responsible for making decisions
111     about the project, defining clear goals, roadmaps, and timelines
112     for the project, and solving problems that arise within the TLP
113     (see GLEP 4 for the specific list).</li>
114     <li>The strategic TLP managers are also responsible for deciding issues that
115     affect Gentoo across project lines. The primary mechanism for
116     handling global-scope issues is the managers' meetings.</li>
117     <li>Disciplinary action taken against erring devs is handled by the
118     &quot;devrel&quot; TLP, unless the dev is a strategic TLP manager. In that
119     case disciplinary action must be enacted by the other strategic TLP
120     managers.</li>
121     </ul>
122     </blockquote>
123     <p>Problems with the existing system:</p>
124     <ol class="arabic simple">
125     <li>The assumption that TLPs are complete is either incorrect (there
126     still is no &quot;server&quot; TLP) or just plain weird (but the lack of a
127     server TLP is technically okay because all devs who don't have an
128     obvious TLP belong to the &quot;base&quot; TLP by default).</li>
129     <li>There is nothing at all to ensure that project leads actually do
130     represent the devs they supposedly lead or satisfy their
131     responsibilities. Indeed, should a TLP manager go AWOL it is not at
132     all obvious how the situation should be resolved.</li>
133 g2boojum 1.4 <li>Nothing is being decided at global scope right now. Some TLP strategic
134 g2boojum 1.1 managers rarely attend the managers' meetings, and the managers as a
135     whole certainly are not providing any sort of global vision for
136     Gentoo right now.</li>
137     <li>Even if the strategic TLP managers were making global decisions for
138     Gentoo, the TLP structure is such that almost all devs fall under
139     only one or two TLPs. Thus voting on global issues is hardly
140     proportional, and thus many devs feel disenfranchised.</li>
141     <li>Regardless of whether or not it is justified, devrel is loathed by
142     many in its enforcement role.</li>
143     </ol>
144     <p>Here's a couple of additional problems identified by the current
145     metastructure reform proposals:</p>
146     <ol class="arabic simple" start="6">
147     <li>The current system has no mechanism for identifying either projects
148     or devs that have gone inactive.</li>
149     <li>Bugs that cut across projects often remain unresolved.</li>
150     <li>GLEPs often linger in an undetermined state.</li>
151     </ol>
152     </div>
153 g2boojum 1.4 <div class="section">
154     <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id5" id="specification" name="specification">Specification</a></h1>
155 g2boojum 1.1 <ol class="upperalpha">
156     <li><p class="first">A project is a group of developers working towards a goal (or a set
157     of goals).</p>
158     <blockquote>
159     <ul class="simple">
160     <li>A project exists if it has a web page at
161     www.g.o/proj/en/whatever that is maintained. (&quot;Maintained&quot; means
162     that the information on the page is factually correct and not
163     out-of-date.) If the webpage isn't maintained, it is presumed dead.</li>
164     <li>It may have one or many leads, and the leads are
165     selected by the members of the project. This selection must
166     occur at least once every 12 months, and may occur at any
167     time.</li>
168     <li>It may have zero or more sub-projects. Sub-projects are
169     just projects that provide some additional structure, and their
170     web pages are in the project's space.</li>
171     <li>Not everything (or everyone) needs a project.</li>
172     <li>Projects need not be long-term.</li>
173     <li>Projects may well conflict with other projects. That's okay.</li>
174     <li>Any dev may create a new project just by creating a new page
175     (or, more realistically, directory and page) in
176 antarus 1.8 <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">gentoo/xml/htdocs/proj/en</span></tt> and sending a Request For Comments
177     (RFC) e-mail to gentoo-dev. Note that this GLEP does not provide for
178     a way for the community at large to block a new project, even if the
179     comments are wholly negative.</li>
180 g2boojum 1.1 </ul>
181     </blockquote>
182     </li>
183     <li><p class="first">Global issues will be decided by an elected Gentoo council.</p>
184     <blockquote>
185     <ul class="simple">
186     <li>There will be a set number of council members. (For the
187     first election that number was set to 7 by acclamation.)</li>
188     <li>Council members will be chosen by a general election of all
189     devs once per year.</li>
190     <li>The council must hold an open meeting at least once per month.</li>
191     <li>Council decisions are by majority vote of those who show up (or
192     their proxies).</li>
193     <li>If a council member (or their appointed proxy) fails to show up for
194     two consecutive meetings, they are marked as a slacker.</li>
195     <li>If a council member who has been marked a slacker misses any further
196     meeting (or their appointed proxy doesn't show up), they lose their
197     position and a new election is held to replace that person. The newly
198     elected council member gets a 'reduced' term so that the yearly
199     elections still elect a full group.</li>
200     <li>Council members who have previously been booted for excessive slacking
201     may stand for future elections, including the election for their
202     replacement. They should, however, justify their slackerness, and
203     should expect to have it pointed out if they don't do so themselves.</li>
204     <li>The 'slacker' marker is reset when a member is elected.</li>
205     <li>If any meeting has less than 50% attendance by council members, a new
206     election for <em>all</em> places must be held within a month. The 'one year'
207     is then reset from that point.</li>
208     <li>Disciplinary actions may be appealed to the council.</li>
209 ciaranm 1.3 <li>A proxy must not be an existing council member, and any single person
210     may not be a proxy for more than one council member at any given
211     meeting.</li>
212 g2boojum 1.1 </ul>
213     </blockquote>
214     </li>
215     </ol>
216     </div>
217 g2boojum 1.4 <div class="section">
218     <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id6" id="rationale" name="rationale">Rationale</a></h1>
219 g2boojum 1.1 <p>So, does this proposal solve any of the previously-mentioned problems?</p>
220     <p>1. There is no longer any requirement that the project structure be
221     complete. Some devs work on very specific parts of the tree, while
222     some work on practically everything; neither should be shoehorned into
223     an ad-hoc project structure. Moreover, it should be easy to create new
224     projects where needed (and remove them when they are not), which this
225     proposal should enable.</p>
226     <p>2. By having the members choose their project leads periodically, the
227     project leads are necessarily at least somewhat responsible (and hopefully
228     responsive) to the project members. This proposal has removed the list of
229     responsibilities that project leads were supposed to satisfy, since hardly
230     anybody has ever looked at the original list since it was written. Instead
231     the practical responsibility of a lead is &quot;whatever the members require&quot;, and
232     if that isn't satisfied, the members can get a new lead (if they can find
233     somebody to take the job!).</p>
234     <p>3. If the council does a lousy job handling global issues (or has no
235     global vision), vote out the bums.</p>
236     <p>4. Since everybody gets to vote for the council members, at least in
237     principle the council members represent all developers, not just a
238     particular subset.</p>
239     <p>5. An appeal process should make disciplinary enforcement both less
240     capricious and more palatable.</p>
241     <p>6. This proposal doesn't help find inactive devs or projects. It
242     really should not be that much of a problem. We already have a script for
243     identifying devs who haven't made a CVS commit within a certain period of
244     time. As for moribund projects, if the project page isn't maintained, it's
245     dead, and we should remove it. That, too, could be automated. A much bigger
246     problem is understaffed herds, but more organization is not necessarily a
247     solution.</p>
248     <p>7. The metabug project is a great idea. Let's do that! Adding a useful
249     project shouldn't require &quot;metastructure reform&quot;, although with the
250     current system it does. With this proposal it wouldn't.</p>
251     <ol class="arabic simple" start="8">
252     <li>This proposal has nothing to say about GLEPs.</li>
253     </ol>
254     </div>
255 g2boojum 1.4 <div class="section">
256     <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id7" id="copyright" name="copyright">Copyright</a></h1>
257 g2boojum 1.1 <p>This document has been placed in the public domain.</p>
258     </div>
260     </div>
261     <div class="footer">
262 g2boojum 1.2 <hr class="footer" />
263 g2boojum 1.1 <a class="reference" href="glep-0039.txt">View document source</a>.
264 antarus 1.8 Generated on: 2007-10-12 13:01 UTC.
265 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.
266 g2boojum 1.2
267 g2boojum 1.1 </div>
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