Ubuntu and governance
Posted Oct 11, 2007 6:39 UTC (Thu) by mjg59
In reply to: Ubuntu and governance
Parent article: Yet another male perspective on women in free software
Now, to a large extent I really don't want to get involved in this. It exemplifies precisely the style of discussion that I think is responsible for driving people away from open source communities. It's entirely needlessly hostile.
Are you actually threatening me with a libel lawsuit
No, of course not. I was attempting to illustrate my point that dishonesty would generally be regarded as a criticism, in response to your suggestion that you hadn't criticised the form of Ubuntu's governance. As you point out, suggesting that a process could be libelled is laughable. My apologies for any lack of clarity in that respect.
"The IRC sessions are not logged and made available in the general case."
They are logged. They are made available. You made an entirely justifiable criticism that it was not trivially obvious that they were made available, and I've attempted to rectify that (you're right about the Community Council logs being more interesting. The failure to link to those was an oversight on my part, and I've fixed it), but that doesn't alter the fact that anyone putting in any moderate amount of effort could find them - especially since they're linked from the wiki page entitled Meeting Logs, along with links to cleaned up versions (I'd assumed that you'd prefer the entirely unedited forms). If by "not made available in the general case" you meant "are slightly difficult to find" then I'd be forced to agree, but I think that's a slightly odd definition.
Why else have private and confidential discussions, other than to help reach conclusions on delicate matters?
As briefly outlined before:
- To handle procedural issues like "We voted on this issue but one person was absent - do you have any objection to the conclusion?" (where any objection would result in the issue being raised at the next meeting)
- People wanting to raise issues privately. Actual discussion of these issues would take place during the public meeting
Conclusions within the remit of the community council and the technical board are not reached on the mailing lists. I'm afraid proving this to you is kind of awkward, so you might have to trust me on this issue. On the other hand, I've no reason to lie. My life is too short to spend time discussing issues on a mailing list when it could be done in real-time instead.
those two Codes are nothing at all like functional governance documents
Now, I have to say that I'm confused. We're clearly using different definitions of either "functional" or "governance" here, but it's not clear to me whether this is a cultural or technical misunderstanding. When comparing the Ubuntu Code of Conduct to, say, the Apache Corporation Code of Business Conduct, the differences appear to be in areas of coverage (hardly surprising) and the somewhat more general tone of the Ubuntu document. Both cover sets of acceptable behaviour. Both specify the body with responsibility for interpretation and enforcement. Both are designed to cover situations other than those explicitly enumerated within the document. With the exception of the reduced level of precision in the Ubuntu document, I can't determine any significant functional difference.
The Ubuntu CoC is not intended to be a legal document or something that can be mechanically interpreted - it's a statement of what classes of behaviour will and will not be tolerated within the project community, and it has (and, I expect, will) been used to determine whether to exclude people from parts of the project where they fail to meet those expected levels of behaviour. In that respect, it's functional and it defines a certain level of governance.
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