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What am I afraid of about the council

I just slept 3 hours, and I should wake up in less than four, but I’m not able to sleep, as I’m thinking more and more about tonight’s council.

I think I owe everybody a public apology about my harsh lines, and in particular to Mike (KingTaco), as I attacked him a bit (although I still don’t like that behaviour and I’ll explain now why).

Even last night, there was little proceeding in what we’re doing, we’ll wait for Stephen to come back with the EAPI=1 documentation (hopefully) and to provide an actual QA project (hopefully); Brian will write the Reply-To documentation this weekend (hopefully), and Infra will document how not to be bitten by SPF before next council (hopefully). The only point we discussed that didn’t result in an hope, is also the one that Mike considered not our business and rather a Trustees issue.

First of all, I want to say I wasn’t trying to deprive of authority the Trustees, at all; I was assuming that the previous Trustees handed the open issues to the new ones, but it seems at least this one was forgotten (even if I asked for this last year in gentoo-core before mailing it directly to Trustees)… I still don’t think it was a difficult decision to take (and this is demonstrated by the Trustees taking a decision about it in a flash), and that’s why I was expecting after an year and a half that either they decided or they weren’t caring (seems like previous Trustees didn’t care).

On the matter of it being council business or not, I still think that if Trustees failed at address the issue, it would still enter in the definition: « The elected Gentoo Council decides on global issues and policies that affect multiple projects in Gentoo. ». This was a global issue, because bad PR would be bad for Gentoo as a whole (as Mike said, we already have lot of it, why adding more?); maybe it didn’t involve so many of the projects; somehow it involved none, as the pages seemed to be unmaintained to start with, which would, in my opinion, leave it up to the highest technical body: the council.
But this is over now, Trustees handled it quickly, and talking with Grant I now know that anything that was submitted previously has to be considered not handed over and thus needs re-submission, unless otherwise stated. (I also hope next Trustees change will be less painful on this matter).

So, returning to the topic of this blog, what am I afraid of about the council? I’m afraid that fellow developers are seeing it more and more like an empty body unable to enact anything, my own words that can be found on the log («let’s start with the easy one» or something to that effect, my memory fails me) can tell you why I brought the icons affair to the council’s attention: it was an easy task to show being enacted, so that we could at least try to do some impression; I know it’s quite vague, but psychologically it couldn’t but do good. Unfortunately, we failed at it.

Why do I have this fear? Well in three months, there was no GLEP presented in front of the council; we listened to a lot of status reports, but that’s hardly something that needs a council to be done; the two matters that were brought to council attentions last month (SPF and Reply-To mangling) are still to be considered not addressed, although they didn’t require any behaviour change (as we decided to accept both things as were provided), the relative documentation is still missing (with more or less reason, of Brian we know the problem – being that rare thing called Real Life – but we know nothing about the status of the SPF documentation from Infra, at least Robin provided on the bug some more information for mutt users, maybe the best course of action would be to find someone else to update the documentation?).

As I said at the end of the meeting, I’m not sure if I still want to be part of this bureaucracy, even if I am here by choice of others, because it’s not driving us anywhere… but I’m not sure I will resign from the position, first because I consider the words of one of the rare Italian politicians I consider worth a vote, who said that things has to be changed from the inside, even if you don’t like the place you has to get into, or it’s a coup; second because I couldn’t see much in the Council GLEP regarding what would happen if a member resigns, I can only see notes about slackers and the boot, yet another thing that has to be extended, mind you.

Maybe, a good course of action would be to ask some more trustees o be present on the Council’s meetings to address the concerns about who’s responsible for what on the spot, although that would bring us to square one if it’s not a legal matter but not even a technical one.. who should take care of that then?

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