Meeting:Board meeting 2010-06-11

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Refer to http://meetbot.fedoraproject.org/fedora-board-meeting/2010-06-11/ for the full logs and summary.

Log

stickster #startmeeting Fedora Board 18:00
zodbot Meeting started Fri Jun 11 18:00:18 2010 UTC. The chair is stickster. Information about MeetBot at http://wiki.debian.org/MeetBot. 18:00
zodbot Useful Commands: #action #agreed #halp #info #idea #link #topic. 18:00
stickster #meetingname Fedora Board 18:00
zodbot The meeting name has been set to 'fedora_board' 18:00
stickster #topic Roll call! 18:00
* stickster 18:00
* jds2001 18:00
* rdieter here 18:00
* ctyler here 18:00
* poelcat here 18:00
smooge here 18:01
* spot burps 18:01
jds2001 excuse you! :) 18:02
* stickster saw mizmo, mdomsch, and a couple other folks earlier 18:02
stickster Maybe I should 'pingall' before we start from now on :-) 18:02
mizmo hey 18:02
* stickster notes that caillon, walters may be coming in late from another meeting 18:03
smooge ok 18:03
* mdomsch is here 18:04
stickster Let's go ahead and get started. 18:04
stickster #topic Thank you and handoff 18:04
mdomsch the passing of the "nuclear football" ? :-) 18:05
stickster First I wanted to join the whole Board in saying a big "Thank you" to our departing members, jwb, mmcgrath, dgilmore, and poelcat. 18:05
* jds2001 claps 18:05
ctyler hear hear! 18:05
rdieter yay 18:05
spot don't let the door hitcha on the... i mean, thanks. ;) 18:06
stickster All of these people put substantial time and effort into Board matters last year 18:06
smooge thank you fellows 18:06
stickster The Board is not always a glamorous way to serve the community 18:06
mdomsch danke - I hope you've had as much fun as I this year 18:06
stickster So as one fellow contributor to another, thanks guys 18:07
* mmcgrath waves goodbye 18:07
mmcgrath You won't have Mike McGrath to kickaround anymore. 18:08
mmcgrath  :) 18:08
stickster haha 18:08
jds2001 oh, yes we will :D 18:08
stickster One of the benefits of being a former Board member is being able to lend perspective back to the group through the FAB list and everywhere else 18:08
stickster So in that sense "you never leave" :-) 18:08
mdomsch quick - let's find something to censor now! :-) 18:08
* spot hums Hotel California 18:08
smooge once a part of the familia, always a member. 18:08
rdieter mdomsch: hush you! there. :) 18:09
mmcgrath <Censored> 18:09
stickster lulz 18:09
stickster OK, let's move on 18:09
stickster Nothing to see here! ;-P 18:09
stickster #topic Agenda 18:09
stickster We're light on agenda today (as in weightless), for a few reasons 18:10
stickster One of those was just resolving the Board composition 18:10
stickster Which we did by bringing in Stephen Smoogen as our final appointment 18:10
stickster (smooge) 18:10
smooge hi 18:11
stickster He joins jds2001, mizmo, and rdieter as new members -- and spot returns this term as well 18:11
stickster The second reason is that I had to spend a larger amount of time this past week preparing for a few talks I'm giving down here at Southeast LinuxFest 18:12
* spot is like a barnacle 18:12
stickster spot: Yarr! 18:12
stickster We really only have one item on the list that is ready for discussion today 18:12
stickster Which is a request for a vn.fedoracommunity.org domain name to point to a site offering forums and news for the Vietnamese community 18:13
stickster So far I've had a few +1s, so we can make this really quick: 18:13
spot 1 18:13
jds2001 1 18:13
ctyler 1 18:13
rdieter 1 18:14
mdomsch 1 18:14
mizmo 1 18:14
smooge 1 18:14
stickster OK, with 2 people absent, that's otherwise unanimous 18:15
stickster #agreed Board approves vn.fedoracommunity.org site 18:15
stickster #action stickster to file ticket with infrastructure to set up DNS record 18:15
stickster And that means we can move on to community Q&A 18:15
stickster Thanks to the Board members for bearing with our relatively content-light agenda today :-) 18:16
stickster #topic Q&A 18:16
* stickster awaits questions in the #fedora-board-questions channel 18:17
smooge I have a question. If there is an issue I would like looked at some point, it is to be opened in the trac interface still correct? 18:17
spot smooge: yep 18:18
mdomsch yep 18:18
stickster smooge: Actually, best is to send email to the advisory-board list -- or if you feel that's inappropriate, you can mail the board-private list or yes, open trac ticket 18:18
mdomsch trac is handy for keeping track of items to discuss, it's our "TODO" list 18:18
smooge ok will send an email to the list first and if it is something we will approach will then open a trac ticket to document 18:18
mdomsch but +1 to stickster's note about sending to FAB too (assuming it can be discussed publically) 18:18
smooge it can 18:19
* stickster notes that advisory-board@ list is where we try to conduct as much business as possible 18:19
smooge ok I wanted to make sure I had procedure first. {trac first then list OR list first then trac} 18:19
stickster While the board-private@ list is appropriate for the few sensitive legal or personal issues 18:20
smooge like the request that we all have strawberry panda tattoos (oops sorry that was meant to remain private) 18:20
jds2001 lol 18:20
stickster #info New items for Board consideration can go to advisory-board list first, to be discussed and then entered into the Board trac as needed 18:21
* stickster uses zodbot goodness :-) 18:21
stickster Do any of the new/returning folks -- mizmo, smooge, rdieter -- have any other questions about how the Board works? 18:22
stickster Not a bad time to ask, because community members might find it helpful too 18:22
smooge I will probably have some when I run into something... but nothing at the moment 18:22
jds2001 nothing right at the moment 18:22
stickster Okey doke 18:22
mizmo how do we work on large long-standing projects 18:22
rdieter none here yet, I figured when we get into the nitty/gritty, we'll learn as we go (gobby, etc...) 18:22
jds2001 and what ones do we have in front of us now? 18:22
stickster mizmo: Often we try to collaborate on the wiki for those, especially if they mean that we're formulating a position for the Fedora Project to take 18:23
jds2001 i.e. what mess is this board inheriting :) 18:23
mizmo one thing i was wanting to do for my term on the board is a board blog 18:24
mizmo so when we're working on longer term projects there are regular updates on em 18:24
mizmo but maybe its a silly idea 18:24
rdieter not silly at all 18:24
poelcat mizmo: great idea 18:24
* jds2001 doesnt think it's silly 18:24
rdieter or maybe just silly awesome 18:25
stickster mizmo: Not at all. I'd like to see Board members routinely letting the community know what we're working on, beyond the publishing of our meeting minutes 18:25
stickster and these IRC meeting logs and notes 18:25
mizmo we could do a shared one on blogs.fpo 18:25
mizmo maybe do rotating duty like with the other duties 18:25
smooge I think it is a good idea. would it be a seperate BLOG entry or seperate blogs 18:25
stickster There are at least two long term projects that we currently have on our collective plate 18:25
stickster One is more operational, and the other is more policy related 18:25
stickster The first is the web redesign project 18:25
stickster Specifically, the next phase of (1) assessing the get-fedora page redesign, and (2) revising and implementing new main fp.o design 18:27
stickster The second is a smaller issue that really leads to a larger issue 18:27
stickster Deciding on revisions to the hall monitor policy 18:28
smooge And how we deal with people who make it a habit of being not excellent to each other 18:28
stickster which is somewhat of a smaller piece of work that leads to the much larger question 18:28
stickster of how we can get at the root causes of toxicity in the project, and treat those causes 18:29
mizmo heh and they are both related given the get.fpo feedback on fedora-users >:( 18:29
mdomsch mizmo, clearly the solution is to either a) create more lists, and/or b) cross-post everything to every list 18:30
jds2001 i think that a very small amount of that feedback was valuable 18:30
jds2001 but that might be like two messages out of 200 :( 18:30
mizmo it got very personal very quickly 18:30
jds2001 very much so. 18:30
mizmo the tensions were: 18:31
mizmo 1) not liking change / feeling uninformed 18:31
mizmo 2) is a user a contributor? is helping answer questions on a mailing list enough? if so how do you get your say 18:31
mizmo there seems to be a lot of mistrust of actual contributors / developers / etc on that list 18:31
jds2001 mistrust? 18:32
mizmo yeh 18:32
mizmo let me see if i can find the quote really quick 18:32
jds2001 I can make a commitment to be more active there and/or in 18:33
jds2001 #fedora 18:33
rdieter jds2001: we all can (and should, where able) 18:33
smooge I am never sure how much mistrust and how much paranoia there is 18:33
jds2001 which should help alleviate that? I'm just a person, after all :) 18:33
mizmo ""Ordinary Users" are not supposed to 18:33
mizmo offer *any* opinions on changes that affect them unless they are fully 18:33
mizmo engaged in formulating those changes. Just take what you are given, you 18:33
mizmo peons.  :-)" 18:33
* jds2001 couldnt disagree more with that 18:34
mizmo people gave scathing critiques of the work i did 18:34
jds2001 of course, "this sucks!" is not valuable either. 18:34
mizmo and when i gave the reasons for the decisions made, they complained that i was being 'disdainful' of them 18:34
mizmo i show a survey, and they argue about the merits of surveys in general 18:34
jds2001 with no specific room for improvement 18:35
stickster Having so many passionate people in FOSS is a recipe for great things, and sometimes... not so great. 18:36
mizmo i mean 18:36
mizmo just stopping the thread when it seemed to head downhill would have helped a lot 18:36
mizmo at the same time 18:36
mizmo i dont like feeling like contributors can't talk to the users without fear of flaming bags of poo being hurtled towards them 18:37
stickster It tends to exacerbate the problem 18:37
mizmo the users list seems aware of it too, there were quite a few comment along the lines of, 'stop being mean, do you see why the devels never ask our opinions?' 18:37
rdieter it's healthy to agree to disagree from time to time , but it must be done respectfully, or folks simlply need to be shut down. 18:37
mizmo but can you imagine, the users list is one of the #1 destinations we send newbies to for help. new user, first week of fedora, they'd witness that! 18:38
mizmo its an embarassment 18:38
mizmo okay i'm off my soapbox now :( 18:38
mizmo (sorry) 18:38
smooge having started reading the various blogs for the many other groups. It seems quite common 18:39
mizmo oh it's horrible in GNOME 18:39
stickster mizmo: Do you believe the owners of the list itself bear a burden of watching for those problems and taking ownership of them? Is that more or less effective than having some central group doing it? 18:39
mizmo fedora folks tend to be a lot more respectful in blogs than GNOME users 18:39
mizmo (maybe its cuz fedora users don't read our blogs :() 18:39
smooge We attract passionate people BUT have no defense against when a poisonous person just says "Hey I am just being passionate here." 18:39
mdomsch or do we need YAL for "newbies"? I don't know that that would help... 18:39
mizmo stickster, the problem is some of the people who are the owners were part of the problem 18:39
mizmo mdomsch, what is YAL? 18:39
mdomsch yet another list 18:39
mizmo i dont think lists are a good thing for newbs 18:40
mizmo i think a nice forum would be more appropriate 18:40
ctyler depends on the newb 18:40
stickster mizmo: Really? (re: owners being part of the problem) 18:40
mizmo stickster, apparently the folks i was having the most trouble with are 'regulars' 18:40
ctyler regular != owner 18:41
stickster mizmo: Ah, but that's different than actual owners of the list, which is what I meant. 18:41
mizmo true but also very tough for an owner to do anything about without a lot of fallout 18:41
mizmo i think one of them did say he was an owner though 18:41
* mizmo is going through the thread now but it's long and hard to navigate 18:41
stickster OK, leaving aside the question of who said what for now 18:41
mizmo "To clarify, this not meant to be a "beginner's list". Beginners are welcome, but they are not the only intended audience." 18:42
ctyler mizmo: owners are stickster, jon masters, tmz, and me 18:42
mizmo okay thanks ctyler i must have misremembered who said, it looks like it was tmz who said he was 18:44
stickster mizmo: I've seen some of your recent demos of ways to expose mailing lists in different formats 18:44
* jds2001 sorry, I got disconnected for a bit, caught up now. 18:44
mizmo actually this morning someone posted a reply to one of those mockups saying they had implemented something similar 18:44
mdomsch well, this segways nicely into our hall monitors topic I think... 18:45
mdomsch spot? 18:45
mizmo http://groupserver.org/ 18:45
mizmo i also set these up for the design team 18:45
mizmo http://linuxgrrl.com/drupal/ 18:45
mizmo http://linuxgrrl.com/drupal/forum/1 18:45
jds2001 i didnt think that the users list was in scope 18:45
mdomsch right now, users@ isn't within scope of monitoring 18:45
spot i suppose i could start monitoring users if we needed to 18:46
spot although, i'm about to go on vacation for a week 18:46
jds2001 spot: wouldnt that be adding a bit much work? 18:46
stickster We already know that hall monitors is a solution that is aimed at fixing a symptom 18:46
stickster i.e. People act really negatively toward each other, and the monitors try to put things on hold so everyone can take a breather. 18:47
mizmo i think the root problem is that mailing lists are old tech that hasn't changed in 20 years that help incite the symptoms 18:47
spot jds2001: eh. if it needs doing, it needs doing. 18:47
stickster mizmo: Don't forums also have the same problems though? 18:47
jds2001 s oa real question i have is what a forum does that a mailing list does not 18:47
smooge mizmo, I am not sure.. I have had so many problems on forums having to police things that it seems more of a culture issue 18:48
mizmo stickster, i dont think they are bad. for example, you can freeze a topic and have sticky topics on forums, and users can have visible ranks 18:48
rdieter or make it easier/faster for folks to get help from being attacked. 18:48
mizmo it's obviously not a panacea, but it does address some of the issues 18:48
jds2001 at the root, it's just a different method of text based communications 18:48
ctyler and one you have to poll 18:48
stickster rdieter: mizmo: good points 18:48
mizmo more metadata on whats going on can help guide people's behavior 18:49
jds2001 so there is fedoraforum.org that I've not really been on 18:49
mdomsch jds2001, I was going to mention that. It's not under the fp.o umbrella, it's a third party trademark licensed site 18:49
jds2001 right 18:49
* jds2001 wonders if they have similar issuesz 18:50
jds2001 er, issues 18:50
* rdieter has been on fedoraforum, it's good, but yet-another medium. and it's hard to follow everything everywhere 18:50
smooge from what I understood they have had similar issues due to people sock-puppeting and such 18:50
rdieter jds2001: they do have problems too, but topics get closed promptly when needed 18:50
mizmo we need more of a culture in these places of 'critique the work, not the person' 18:51
smooge yes that requires a culture of doing so whether it is a list, forum, bbs, or facebook page 18:52
rdieter I'm just worried about having any real or perceived teired communications (be it for developers, users, newbies, whatever). it seems to make it harder for folks to do any cross-group discussing (which may or may not be a bad thing) 18:52
ctyler And I'm concerned about drawing lines between users and contributors, when many people are both (in various contexts) or one becoming the other 18:53
smooge the issue comes up that humans brains are built to tier things to cut down noise. We segregate to make social orders that we feel we can handle whether they are good ones or bad. 18:53
rdieter smooge: so it's inevitable? :) 18:54
stickster Not only that, but we have to segregate subject matter or risk overwhelming everyone 18:54
smooge it is inevitable as our social/mental context switching can only stretch so far. 18:54
* mdomsch doesn't read all of LKML for exactly that reason 18:54
smooge after which we fall back on more poop-throwing skills 18:54
jds2001 there is a logistics@fp.o list that handles a lot of cross project communications. 18:54
mizmo thats the very excuse the users list used for 'not knowing' about the get.fpo redesign even though it was on planet, get.fpo, websites list, design list, etc etc etc 18:55
* ctyler will have to bow out in the next few minutes, my apologies 18:55
stickster jds2001: Yes, that list is really for specific projects that involve multiple teams of Fedora contributors. 18:55
mizmo this kind of fallout has happened from desktop changes too 18:55
mizmo like something happened upstream in gnome 18:55
mizmo and we pulled it in 18:55
mdomsch I'd say FAB is a good cross-pollination list, but it's both very low volume, and low membership compared to other lists 18:55
mizmo and even though its been well-documented and talked about for months to a year, it's this big shock when it lands in fedora and people complain 18:56
smooge mizmo, I would reword that sentance as "that's the very excuse that some vocal people on the users list". 18:56
mizmo smooge, fair enoughj 18:56
stickster mizmo: Not everyone using Fedora dives into reading RSS/Planets, signing up on mailing lists, and so forth 18:56
jds2001 was even on logistics iirc 18:56
jds2001 right, but it;s low-volume enough that folks can lurk there. 18:56
mizmo at the same time though, if i want to change a high-visibility icon, what do i have to do in order to avoid that fallout? it seems impossible 18:56
jds2001 and not be overwhelmed with teh volume 18:56
smooge because even if you had sent it to every list some of those people would still say they were not adequetely informed 18:57
jds2001 sorry, sprint card being high-latency :( 18:57
mizmo 99% paperwork, 1% icon design 18:57
* mdomsch still misses a mailman -> RSS feed capability 18:57
rdieter mizmo: maybe -ENOTYOURPROBLEM , maybe let fesco/board shoulder the burden of informing the masses? 18:57
mizmo mdomsch, that drupal plugin provides that - theres a few other apps that plug into mailman that'll do it too 18:58
* ctyler slips out, leaves logging on 18:58
smooge actually I would have to say that the person who made the original opening sentance was partially correct. A person who does not involve themselves in things does get what is handed to them. The cost of making changes is constructive engagement. 18:58
mizmo rdieter, that works if it's even realized ahead of time it's a controversial change, probably only 10% or less of the design stuff i do ends up being controversial and sometimes it's really not clear why one thing upsets people and another nobody cares about 18:58
jds2001 i dont think that's the culture that we'd like to condone, eihter 18:59
smooge jds2001, which culture 18:59
* stickster notes we're coming up on an hour at this point 18:59
mizmo the emotional reaction zomg you moved my cheese culture? hehe 18:59
jds2001 grr, the 99% design 1% papererwork 18:59
jds2001 high .latency wwan 18:59
smooge np 18:59
jds2001 strikes again :) 18:59
jds2001 er, high latency brain got those numbers reversed :) 19:00
stickster So there are several things I'm hearing from Board members that we can do to improve Fedora culture 19:00
stickster 1. Improve information flow to users 19:01
smooge my view is that "constructive engagement is the currency of the realm." 19:01
smooge sorry hit return too soon 19:01
stickster because surprise is the opposite of engagement 19:01
mizmo (but if they aren't reading the info how does that help?) 19:01
stickster 2. Give anyone a set of expectations for how to provide critique or feedback that helps us avoid the poop-throwing spiral 19:01
jds2001 well, surpirse is the direct result of lack of engagement 19:02
mizmo lack of engagement on the part of the contributor or the user? 19:02
jds2001 the user 19:02
* stickster was speaking from the standpoint of the contributor 19:02
mizmo => () <= 19:02
smooge lets wait til stickster has finished typing out his ideas 19:02
stickster If I'm actively surprising you, I'm not actively engaging you 19:02
smooge stickster, if what you are saying was order specific. I would like to reverse that. If we give proper expectations of how, where, what is needed for critique and feedback... then people who wish to be excellent to each other contributors will be able to give back better infromation and we can deliver it better to them 19:04
stickster 3. Have a way to deal directly with repeat poop-throwing problems that's not a band-aid approach 19:04
stickster smooge: Not order specific 19:04
smooge ok np 19:04
stickster I note that in some other communities, this is solved by raising barriers to participation 19:05
stickster Like having a separate -devel and -discuss list 19:06
* jds2001 not a fan of another list or set of lists. 19:06
stickster That approach doesn't map well to the Fedora community 19:06
stickster We have always built our community on lowering barriers and encouraging trust 19:06
smooge well in some way we are talking about barriers. If I can't be excellent to others, then at some point I need to be barred until such point as I can be excellent 19:07
mizmo but what do you do when you leave your screendoor open for the neighbors to come in and the snakes and racoons come in too 19:07
stickster mizmo: smooge: Right. That's why this subject is so troubling to us and to lots of other people in the Fedora community 19:08
mizmo hall monitors are the guard dog approach 19:08
smooge well reading through some of the diaries of various Utopia communities of the 1800's (Longfellow and Thoreua inspired ones).. this seems to have come up even then 19:08
mizmo debian has the debian developer program 19:09
mizmo where you get official recognized 19:09
mizmo after doing some particular wor 19:09
mizmo as being an official developer 19:09
mizmo we kind of follow that model on the fedora design team too 19:09
mizmo we dont give you fas access to the design group until you've completed at least one task to our client's satisfaction 19:09
jds2001 yeah, i dont think that maps to Fedora entirely well. 19:09
jds2001 well, we dont give access to the packager group til somethings done, as well. 19:10
jds2001 i.e. reviews, package submissions, etc. 19:10
mizmo maybe you need membership in a non-cla group to have voice on a mailing list 19:10
mizmo (just a crazy idea) 19:10
stickster Ambassadors works the same. Docs is heading that way too. 19:10
mizmo if you can't put up... 19:10
jds2001 but i dont get how that maps to mailing lists. 19:10
stickster A users list in particular 19:10
mizmo i think it would help with mailng lists except for user-focused ones 19:11
mizmo although on the users list it would also be good to know who is a regular who actually helps people vs the town drunk 19:11
mizmo since it was somewhat obvious those roles exist there 19:12
stickster mizmo: And that's where a forum type interface does much better, as you pointed out before. 19:12
stickster mizmo: So are you suggesting raising the barrier to entry for mailing lists then? 19:13
mizmo stickster, nah just throwing out a wild idea in hopes it sparks a better one :) 19:13
* spot needs to go... 19:14
spot feel free to keep going without me 19:14
* stickster is out of time as well 19:14
mizmo there is a big barrier to entry for mailng lists right now, but it's a technical prowess barrier, not good citizenship barrier 19:14
* mizmo too 19:14
stickster I think this is a thorny issue (many of them actually) that we are still trying to scope properly. 19:14
smooge speaking of which I think we should move this to the list. 19:14
stickster Yes. 19:14
stickster We need to use the list to figure out whether there is one (or more) changes that could be made to help the community improve S/N ratio, that are going to be authentic to the Fedora spirit, and acceptable to the community. 19:16
* stickster would like to invite the people on Red Hat's Community Architecture team, who are building a corpus of information on these kinds of issues, to help the community explore the possible changes. 19:17
stickster This is an area that will benefit their work too, in terms of gathering information and maybe even success/failure metrics. 19:17
* stickster thanks the Board for being here overtime 19:18
stickster #action Whole Board -- move discussion to list 19:18
jds2001 /me takes the action of sending an email to users@ introducing the concept of advisory-board@, and inviting them to join t he conversation. 19:18
jds2001 I think that wou.ld be valuable. 19:18
* jds2001 will draft the email to the list first, if folks think that's valuable. 19:19
stickster jds2001: It would be 19:19
stickster #action jds2001 to draft an email to users@ list so we can encourage thoughtful contribution to advisory-board 19:19
* stickster will end meeting in 30 if there's nothing more 19:20
jds2001 nothing here 19:20
* mizmo sorry to be so chatty 19:20
stickster #endmeeting 19:20

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