FESCo meetings guidelines
Meetings on IRC can be quite confusing sometimes thus we need some guidelines how to handle the FESCo meetings -- otherwise it would be very hard to get work done in an acceptable amount of time. Note that this document says "guidelines" (and no "hard rules") that *should* be normally followed -- e.g. feel free to break them on purpose if it really makes sense in a particular situation.
All Fedora Package Maintainers are allowed and encouraged to participate in the meetings -- the things your write in the Channel should always be related to the current topic that's set in the channel by the meeting chair. There will normally be a free discussion part near the end of the meeting to suggest new topics, but asking the meeting chair ahead of the meeting to bring up a topic is the better solution. Only the meeting chair starts official votes. The FESCo schedule should normally contain all the important stuff for the meeting *before* the meeting start to make it avoid long "what's the current stauts of foo" discussions and to keep everybody always up2date.
Who is allowed to participate
All Fedora Package Maintainers are allowed and encouraged to participate in the meetings. Normal users of Fedora will also be gladly welcomed. That openness could change somewhen in the future when there are simply too many people participating as that might make it unable to run the meeting in a sane manner. But it seems we by far haven't reached that point yet.
Stick on topic
The channel's topic is normally set multiple times during a meeting to a short description of the issue that's being discussed currently. Everyone (including FESCo members) : Please stick to the topic. If a topic was discussed earlier bite the bullet and be quiet until it's possible to get back to the topic (if that's really needed -- just ask for it with a short description why) or until we reach the "free discussion" part.
Meeting shall be quick
Prologue: We are all busy and all have a real life and we want to get the meetings finished within one hour and we should do everything to make that possible. Further: IRC is sometimes a quite slow medium; only small and easy things or votings can be handled in an acceptable amount of time (that even works quite good). But proposing big things/changes/ideas on IRC simply doesn't work because that takes far to long time for one to write up, while the others just have to wait -- that's unacceptable.
So we need to get informations exchanged all of the time and prepare the meetings properly. That means for example:
- if you own a topic on the schedule update its status in the Trac ticket frequently -- especially on the day of the meeting and a bit ahead of it to give others a chance to catch up with the recent happenings. Note, keeping the ticket up to date also allows non-FESCo-members to get an idea of what happens in FESCo-land by CCing themselves to their tickets of interest. That's quite important to those that can't join the meetings.
- proposals need to be written before the meetings and put up for discussion or further enhancements for some time, as well as mailed to fedora-devel-list -- discussions should happen on fedora-devel-list normally, as that allows non-FESCo-members to get involved, too (and that's what we want!). The results from the discussion should be integrated into the proposal. Mention things that are controversial in the status section and we'll discuss them in the meetings. A useful template to use is FESCo proposal template
- proposals shall be submitted to the FESCo Trac instance
- the ticket should contain all the important things on the topic that someone needs to know to get up2date for discussions when he comes back from a vacation or a a trip without internet access
- votes that are foreseeable for the next meeting should normally be mentioned in the ticket, too. That allows FESCo members to put their vote into the wiki if they know that they can't participate in a meeting (we might switch to a real voting solution later).
It will only lead to confusion if everyone starts a vote. If you think something should be voted on write "proposed vote: foo bad baz". The meeting chair will consider that and put that up for a real vote (when it fits). Real votes will be tagged with "VOTE: ". Just for clarification: everyone is of course still is allowed to say "foo +1" if foo said something or suggested a vote-proposed you agree with.
The meeting normally is run in the sequence of the schedule page (the Meeting items report from Trac). E.g. things that are on the top normally get discussed in the beginning of the meeting. Only items with the meeting keyword show up in this report. Other items do not get discussed in the meeting -- if you'd like to say something to a topic that wasn't brought up use the "free discussion" part and/or ask to bring the topic up (preferred way is ahead of the meeting).