Oversight Board/2009/Meeting Log-2009-11-06

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<walterbender> #startmeeting
<meeting> Meeting started at 10:01 UTC. The chair is walterbender.
<meeting> Commands Available: #TOPIC, #IDEA, #ACTION, #AGREED, #LINK
<SeanDaly> walterbender: don't forget I am only there 3 nights so upgrade to double room might not work either
<walterbender> Welcome everyone
  • SeanDaly is here :-)
<walterbender> I'd like to start by asking if there were any additional topics people want to add the agenda.
  • SeanDaly no
<walterbender> The three topics outstanding are: mailing lists, positions, and dp
<walterbender> let's get started on the first topic.
<walterbender> #topic the SLOBs mailing list
<walterbender> I had sent a note to IAEP regarding the ad hoc nature of the membership of the list
<walterbender> I think that the more people on the list, the more likely we will use it instead of the public lists, which is in my mind, a bad habit.
<walterbender> IMHO (not so humble, perhaps) we should be using it rarely, only for the most confidential matters, which suggests a very tightly controlled list.
<SeanDaly> at the same time, I believe there is a need for a confidential list when discussing potential partners
<walterbender> so I would propose it be ONLY board members, out ombudsman, and a representaive of SFC.
  • _bernie waves
<walterbender> SeanDaly: I agree. and we can invite people into discussions on an as needed basis.

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<walterbender> but right now, I couldn't even tell yo who is on the list, so I am uncomfortable sending confidential materials, so I by-pass the list with private emails, etc. a terrible habit
<SeanDaly> or, as sometimes happens, there is an issue with a particular journalists, and as a rule I never refer to journalists by name on public lists... recipe for disastrous coverage
<walterbender> I am simple-minded. I would like really needs to be private and everything else as my two options.
<walterbender> the gray zone is a problem for me.

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<m_stone> walterbender: have you considered variations on a mailing list which are still email-friendly but which might offer more flexibility?
<walterbender> m_stone: can you please elaborate?
<CanoeBerry> Hiya, sorry I'm late.
<walterbender> m_stone: bernie has a schema where by the list can be wite-only to the community...
<walterbender> hi adam
<m_stone> sure. some issue trackers like RT and Roundup have good email support.
<CanoeBerry> If anybody has a pastebin of the past 10 min?
<m_stone> so some people use them like funny mailing lists -- they collect email from anyone who wants to send it.
<walterbender> CanoeBerry: http://pastebin.be/21779
  • SeanDaly waves to CanoeBerry
<m_stone> however, subsequent distribution is controlled on a per-thread basis
<walterbender> m_stone: I think collecting the input from anyone is important
<_bernie> CanoeBerry: http://meeting.sugarlabs.org/sugar-meeting.log.20091106_1001.html
<m_stone> walterbender: sure. you can configure it so that anyone can send.
<walterbender> m_stone: yes. Bernie confirmed this
<m_stone> walterbender: you then provide several mail aliases for each group of people you want to distinguish as recipients.
<_bernie> walterbender: I can change it now
<walterbender> _bernie: let's wait until we get the whole matter decided.
<m_stone> walterbender: and you can add and remove them from per-ticket CC lists as needed.
<walterbender> m_stone: I still think having a list that is known to be small and private is the heart of the issue.
<m_stone> walterbender: known to be private over what period of time?

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<m_stone> and known to be private indefinitely for every thread, or just known to be private /by default/, until a thread is declassified and made public?
<walterbender> m_stone: private always.

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<CanoeBerry> Who has long-term access to the archives? All futures board members and all future ombuds?
<CanoeBerry> The independence of an ombuds is his/her strength, so we may want to think a bit.
<walterbender> CanoeBerry: I think that would have to be the case.
<walterbender> In any case, we seem to be talking about implementation details, not the basic quesiton.

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<walterbender> Is there any one opposed to the idea of a limited list?
<cjb> walterbender: I'm not sure yet
<CanoeBerry> bertf: any recommendations?
<walterbender> cjb: please voice your concerns
<cjb> I think it would be fine if just about every mail currently going to slobs@ moves to iaep@, but I'm having trouble working out whether that would actually happen.. I'll try to read over the archives and think some more
<mchua> Hey all, sorry I'm late - plane *just* touched down (I'm still sitting in it). /me reads backlog
<walterbender> cjb: consider also the email not sent to slobs, but as private threads
<cjb> in particular, we talk about things like grants quite a lot on slobs
<bertf> CanoeBerry: I'm fine either way. I personally don't need archive access.
<cjb> walterbender: but I can only think of one or maybe two private threads this year
<cjb> walterbender: so I wouldn't optimize for those.
<SeanDaly> cjb: some mails I don't send to slobs, so confidential I send privately
<m_stone> cjb: only one or two private threads or only one or two private threads that you've been included on? :)
<cjb> SeanDaly: to me? I don't think I've received any from you.
<cjb> SeanDaly: so it seems like this change wouldn't affect that.
<walterbender> cjb: in fact, one problem with the private emails is that don't tend to reach all of the board.
<SeanDaly> cjb: no not you yet... but in fact i would rather you did
<walterbender> I send private email when I would rather send a message to the entire board
<SeanDaly> walterbender: +1
<cjb> so the argument is "I send private e-mail to a random subset of the board, and would like to send it to all the board instead, by typing in their e-mail addresses is too hard"? It just all seems a bit confused.
<walterbender> but I don't always remember to do the 7 ccs and I always forget to include Bert
<walterbender> and Karen
<cjb> s/by typing/but typing/
<bertf> fwiw I don't think the ombuds needs to be "kept in the loop" all that much, rather act when necessary
<CanoeBerry> walter's point that emails will end up in private threads without the (added) transparency of archiving is very relevant.
  • mchua all caught up now
<CanoeBerry> bertf: thanks
<walterbender> In any case, the SLOBs list as it stands is essentially useless.
<mchua> I think there is a need for a list that is SLOBs and only SLOBs (to which I'd be fine adding ombuds and one SFC rep). I think other use cases we're discussing here may have their place, but independent of those and what they are and such, I think there /is/ a need for a list that is just SLOBs.
<SeanDaly> cjb: well... not random... just the people I know well & trust. I'm saying I'd rather reach all the slobs on such issues
<cjb> anyway, what I was going to say: we currently use slobs for things like talking about grants and stuff
<cjb> and people who we've admitted to the list get to read that, offer their help with drafts and proofreading and so on
<cjb> and that seems useful to me. we don't have to trust them, but we are doing so, and that seems helpful. the people reading know that the material is confidential.
<tomeu> sorry, I'm late
<SeanDaly> cjb: observer status... was my case starting from some point although I felt uncomfortable responding, as a nonSLOB at the time
<cjb> so that's my reservation. it seems like we want to cut down on something that's seemed useful to me, and the justification is to help reduce private threads, but I haven't seen any private threads other than one that I can recall, but apparently there are more going on without me, and I'm to believe that I'd be included in them if only there were an easy alias.
<CanoeBerry> i'm _not_ proposing this as an answer, but am intrigued by ideas like m_stone's old suggestion to make slobs' subject lines (more) public
<_bernie> cjb: at this time we can freely discuss our relationship with Canonical on SLOBs just because nobody from Canonical is subscribed.
<m_stone> CanoeBerry: that was somebody else's suggestion.
<_bernie> cjb: would you agree that we'd have to use private cc's if Canonical were reading our board list?

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  • SeanDaly waves to sdziallas
<cjb> _bernie: well, I think at the moment someone from Canonical asked to join our board list, we'd say "Hm, better not, we might want to talk about you."
  • sdziallas waves to SeanDaly an all
<sdziallas> s/an/and ...sorry, I'm late.
<m_stone> I think that mchua is basically right that having an email address which gets things sent to The SLOBS and no one else is useful...
<SeanDaly> cjb: I guess you mean "you" as "Canonical" and not the person ;-)
<cjb> SeanDaly: :)
<cjb> indeed
<m_stone> and still orthogonal from controlling the actual audience of these threads /and/ from controlling their archiving status.
<cjb> although both are possible!
<mchua> cjb: but we have folks from Red Hat and OLPC on SLOBs; what if we'd want to discuss the relationship with them?
<_bernie> cjb: then why do we admit people from OLPC, Red Hat, Solution Grove... even L'Oreal? :-)
<cjb> mchua: then a private thread would be fine. note that *I'm* on SLOBs, which means that mailing list would not be appropriate either!
<walterbender> Personally, I am comfortable talking to board members, regardless for whom they work
<SeanDaly> mchua: wouldn't that board member have a role as relay to their org?
<cjb> you'd have to use a private receipient list in either case
<walterbender> they have a responsibility as a board member to SL, not their employer.
<_bernie> walterbender: me too
<walterbender> if they feel conflicted, they can opt out
<mchua> walterbender: +1
<cjb> that's fine too.
<walterbender> when a board member act otherwise, they are viloating a trust
<CanoeBerry> great discussion..just a time check en route: meeting is half over/half begun :)
<cjb> anyway, I hope that was all some food for thought.
<cjb> I think if the situation was like m_stone suggests, where we had some way of compensating for the decreased visibility of slobs work
<walterbender> cjb: so would you like to defer action on this topic for a week?
<cjb> then I'd be happy about this proposal
<cjb> walterbender: that would be great
<SeanDaly> here's a concrete example: we have been contacted by an EU institution willing to promote Sugar
<cjb> I'll try and be more coherent about itby next week
<walterbender> cjb: so can I nominate you to make a proposal for next week?
<SeanDaly> Having lived in Brussels I know that as soon as word gets out, the high-pais lobbyists get into action
<cjb> walterbender: yes, that sounds fair
<mchua> So no voting on Walter's original proposal until it also includes "and what we're going to do to compensate for that list being membership limited is..." proposals?
<cjb> SeanDaly: I think we could use some clarity on if/when slobs@ gets to hear about that
<walterbender> #action cjb will propose a SLOBs list configuration at the next meeting
<SeanDaly> I'd like the board to be on board with our approach
<CanoeBerry> I think the idea of "alums" is important here too, as filthy as it sounds. EG. many people like David Farning are central, and they now partake (loosely) in the slobs@ mailing list. Some of that role will remain, no matter what we decide.
<SeanDaly> no meeting set yet, but
<SeanDaly> after meeting there will be topics to discuss...
  • mchua suggests the usual "get community brainstorm going" approach for SLOBs list configurations
<walterbender> So, I think we should move on to the next topic
<cjb> mchua: that would be useful
<mchua> cjb: use the page tomeu and I made as a template if it helps
<walterbender> we have an action plan re mailing lists
  • mchua ready to move on
<walterbender> #topic SL appointments
  • mchua thinks we need to have these discussions on-list rather than in-meeting, honestly, so we can spend our time in meetings Voting Very Quickly
<SeanDaly> mchua: which list? (joke) :D
<CanoeBerry> mchua: "Listening" to people live helps me personally.
<walterbender> Summary: we have a number of appointed positions and no policy re how to continue the appointments
<mchua> Any proposals on such that we can vote on?
<SeanDaly> walterbender: fixed terms, and vote by board to renew term or not?
<mchua> If not, suggest we assign point person(s) like we just did for lists and regroup when there are proposals to select from
<CanoeBerry> Not that term limits are required (I don't know) but we should have an annual review or such.
<tomeu> should we ask other orgs about their experience?
<SeanDaly> not a bad idea to formalize it... the usual scenario is someone longserving in post, and less effective, or less motivated; bring new blood in etc.
<CanoeBerry> Yes
<SeanDaly> "canonical" example: FDR in office 34 years, led to 2-term limit

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<walterbender> 34 years?
<walterbender> in a parallel universe, perhaps :)
<CanoeBerry> I haven't heard much from Farning in the last 2 weeks about the treasurer role.. does he wish to continue?
<CanoeBerry> Was someone supposed to talk this over with him?
<SeanDaly> I must be mixed up with 1934... he did 3 terms and change
<walterbender> I was late in getting in touch with him
<walterbender> I can sort things out in Bolzano with him.
<CanoeBerry> Great.
<walterbender> No one was tasked with talking to me re ED :)
<SeanDaly> walterbender: I didn't see his dates on the Bolzano page, hope he will be there
<CanoeBerry> And http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Oversight_Board specifies "sysadmin" is a 4th role.
<walterbender> He is there all week, I believe
<cjb> CanoeBerry: that doesn't seem necessary anymore
<walterbender> SeanDaly: BTW, I am staying at the hostel
<SeanDaly> walterbender: ok, if they don't have tomato juice there pop over to the hotel bar :D
<CanoeBerry> hostel has no wifi FYI
<tomeu> SeanDaly: yes, he's coming
<walterbender> CanoeBerry: :(
<walterbender> so regarding actions on this topic...
<CanoeBerry> They won't even allow us to plug into the wall.
<walterbender> we have 2 issues: the policy and filling the roles
<walterbender> can we focus on the policy first
<tomeu> CanoeBerry: maybe you can catch up some sleep while there ;)
<SeanDaly> canoeberry: my hotel has free wifi & if my 3G card roams at a decent rate I can loan
<walterbender> personally, I think an annual review is a necessary requirement
<CanoeBerry> SeadDaly: Don't get your card canceled!
<CanoeBerry> Putting some meat on the annual review would be great.
<SeanDaly> canoeberry: no risk
<CanoeBerry> I think m_stone & hhardy have helped me & Bert a lot here in the ombuds case.
<mchua> time running out... what are we trying to accomplish at this meeting? lots of forward momentum here, but no resolutions yet.
<CanoeBerry> 15min to go
<tomeu> what is an annual review?
<CanoeBerry> Are elections annual, speaking of which?
<walterbender> tomeu: feedback
<tomeu> and who does the review?
<walterbender> CanoeBerry: these are not elected positions: they are appointed by the board
<walterbender> tomeu: the board
  • _bernie notes that the sysadmin role is starting to become a full-time job. we need more volunteers on the Infrastruture Team.
<walterbender> so I would propose an annyal review and as part of that review a discussion about mutual agreement to continue
<CanoeBerry> Understood, but what if the appointed positions where required to report within 1-month of the completion each "annual" election?
<m_stone> _bernie: or to be more careful about what demands are placed upon them.
<_bernie> finding people who are at the same time skilled, trustworthy and free is a challenge.
<tomeu> _bernie: how is icarito going?
<_bernie> m_stone: I've been turning down any request that would make our infrastructure much more complex.
<_bernie> m_stone: outsourcing git, trac and business apps to hosted services is my attempt to reduce the burden and increase service reliability.
<CanoeBerry> Let's also formalize: how to remove appointed persons (without hurting feelings)
<walterbender> so a concrete proposal would be: appoints are reviewed annually by the board; continuation subject to mutual consent.
<_bernie> tomeu: he seems both skilled and trustworthy, but does not seem to have much time. I'll bug him a little more.
<tomeu> ok
<_bernie> tomeu: as I said, we need people with all 3 of these requisites AT THE SAME TIME :-(
<tomeu> heh
<mchua> Folks, this is great, but maybe we should discuss Infra stuff at an Infra meeting.
<_bernie> mchua: there's no infrastructure meeting at this time, because it would go mostly deserted :-)
<_bernie> anyway, let's go on with the next point. sorry to interrupt.
<CanoeBerry> _bernie: can we talk by phone within 48hrs, since you refuse to come to Italy!?
<CanoeBerry> Back to the agenda..
<mchua> Are there any proposals we can vote on during this meeting, since our time is running short?
<_bernie> CanoeBerry: haha ok :)
<walterbender> mchua: any thoughts on my proposal
<mchua> If not, perhaps we need to make sure we articulate a goal for our next meeting and make sure things happen between now and then so that we can decide then.
<mchua> walterbender: I like it, is it a motion? ;)
<CanoeBerry> Any thoughts on my defining "annually" as within about 1 month of each election?
<walterbender> mchua: I am happy to make it a motion...
  • mchua adds date, and puts forth MOTION: appointed positions reviewed annually by the board within a month of the new board's appointment, continuation subject to SLOBs approval vote and position-holder consent
<CanoeBerry> *within about 1 month of the completion of each election
<walterbender> motion: so a concrete proposal would be: appoints are reviewed annually by the board; continuation subject to mutual consent. (where annually means within 1 month of the board elections)
<mchua> seconded
<walterbender> discussion?
<SeanDaly> fixed date?
<mchua> "mutual consent" == SLOBs vote, and the position holder's acceptance
<CanoeBerry> I think a removal/impeachment process is important.
<CanoeBerry> So feelings are not hurt, when someone's life inevitably moves on.
<cjb> CanoeBerry: maybe that can be a different motion :)
<CanoeBerry> OK
<mchua> how about "appointed positions can be appointed/removed by SLOBs vote"
<mchua> that takes care of both motions
<SeanDaly> mchua: the idea is to have at least some barrier to quickly removing e.g. ombudsman
<walterbender> sounds good. mchua: wanna restate the motion?
<CanoeBerry> But not too quickly.
<cjb> SeanDaly: the barrier's a SLOBs vote
<CanoeBerry> Ombuds should not be removable with 4 votes.
<CanoeBerry> Ombuds needs independence, by definition.
<walterbender> CanoeBerry: I agree
<cjb> CanoeBerry: unanimous vote for ombuds, then?
<walterbender> +1
<CanoeBerry> Or perhaps a hypermajority.
<SeanDaly> CanoeBerry: exactly. Impeachment <> voting somebody out; level of justification higher
<mchua> someone restate motion?
<cjb> MOTION: for the special case of removing the ombudsman, a unanimous SLOBs vote is required

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<mchua> MOTION:appointed positions can be appointed/removed by
<mchua> SLOBs vote
<mchua> argh
<cjb> shall we vote through them now?
<CanoeBerry> Can treasurer and ED be removed by 4 votes?
<cjb> CanoeBerry: treasurer can
<cjb> ED's a little unclear
<walterbender> speaking as ED, I am willing to be subject to a majority removal from office.
<CanoeBerry> OK, we have consensus, let's vote.
<cjb> that settles that, then :)
<CanoeBerry> +1
<CanoeBerry> On both motions.
<walterbender> all in favor of the motion(s) which I will write up in the minutes:
<cjb> likewise, +1 on both
<SeanDaly> can someone restate motion??
<cjb> motion 1: appointed positions can be appointed/removed by
<cjb> SLOBs vote
<cjb> motion 2: for the special case of removing the ombudsman, a unanimous SLOBs vote is required
<walterbender> motion 3: positions are reviewed annually
<SeanDaly> yea to both then
<SeanDaly> yea to all three
<walterbender> within 1 month of elections
<CanoeBerry> (with annual reviews required for all appointed positions, subject to majority vote in each case..)
<SeanDaly> i would just add that should take place after SLOBS elections not before
<cjb> oh, yes, we already scheduled that motion
  • walterbender votes yes to all three
<CanoeBerry> +1 on all 3
  • cjb too.
<cjb> mchua and _bernie?
  • mchua yea on all 3
<tomeu> +1 on all 3
<walterbender> bernie?
<cjb> bernie's going to get a reputation for doing all his voting in e-mail :)
<walterbender> while we are waiting on Bernie (the motion has passed in any case :) let me wrap up:

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<CanoeBerry> Anything else?
<CanoeBerry> Time's up..
<walterbender> we haven't heard back from the DP, so that discussion needs to be deferred :(
<CanoeBerry> OK
<mchua> Next meeting's goal: decision on mailing list?
<mchua> cjb to drive?
<walterbender> let's plan to meet again next week, some time, same channel?
<SeanDaly> at Bolzano?
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  • mchua thinks we're doing pretty well at taking one topic at a time
<walterbender> (I think it will work re the Bolzano agenda for most of us)
<CanoeBerry> Next week I may be a bad citizen, but will try my best.
  • mchua in Singapore and may be also, but will try as well.
<mchua> In any case you only need 4 for quorum anyway :)
<mchua> and Bolzano should suffice
<mchua> if the meeting is done in IRC despite everyone being physically together.
<walterbender> thanks for all the feedback today.
<CanoeBerry> I will be traveling back from Europe thru Germany at that time..
<walterbender> mchua: absolutely--in IRC.
  • mchua queries about next meeting's goal - is "the list thing" it?
<mchua> forward motion, one concrete little step at a time. :)
<walterbender> mchua: we'll have a proposal from CJB re the list thing
<walterbender> and we'll have a DP report (I hope)
<walterbender> and I think some other topics looming.
<walterbender> so, I will end the meeting... thanks again everyone.
<walterbender> #endmeeting
<meeting> Meeting finished at 11:05.
<meeting> Logs available at http://meeting.laptop.org/