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Re: [alpine-devel] [PATCH 2/2] Rework the base team description

From: Chloe Kudryavtsev <toast_at_toastin.space>
Date: Thu, 11 Apr 2019 20:01:07 -0400

On 4/11/2019 5:03 PM, Natanael Copa wrote:
> On Thu, 11 Apr 2019 11:31:09 -0400
> Chloe Kudryavtsev <toast_at_toastin.space> wrote:
>
>>>> We want to rotate people, period.
>
> To be honest, I find this worrying. Who are "we" here?

I was using the same "we" as you:
>>>>> The concern here is, do we want rotate out good people? Or do we want
>>>>> try keep them.
"people with Alpine's best interests in mind".

> There are people in this very thread that explicitly said they don't
> want rotation.

And my point of view (so far) has been: "well, this solves problems A
and B, and provides advantage C, and it doesn't look like anyone has any
better ideas"; which actually remains true, but...

> There are a significant amount of people who have not responded to this
> proposal at all for various reasons, so I have spent this week calling
> people to ask what they think and what they feel about it.
>
> There have also been people that in private has reached out to me and
> expressed concern about this proposal, where it comes from and what
> your intentions are.
>
> My impression is that people are worried about this rotation thing.

This has become my impression as well.
Whether it is for (unnamed) logical reasons, or (as I suspect it is) for
emotional reasons, people do not seem to want this.
That does leave us with the issues (and, I would hope, desirable
advantage) mentioned above, however.

>>> Maybe I was unclear. I was talking about the project as a whole. We
>>> don't elect our contributors. They join on their initiative.
>>
>> We indeed do not elect our contributors.
>> The rotation stuff *only* applies to base.
>
> So my point here is that whatever happens in the
> leadership tend to propagate to the rest of an organization. If you
> want honesty in the organization, the leadership needs to be honest. If
> you want diversity in an organization, you start in the leadership
> board. If you want a peaceful organization you need to have a peaceful
> leadership board.

This has actually not been something I've considered, and is a good point.

> So lets flip this rotation of people thing around.
>
> In case that that would want to have forced rotation through the
> organization, where we would want to replace people, regardless if they
> are good or bad, then the logical step would be to implement forced
> rotation in the "base" team.
>
> But if we want to keep the good people within the he organization, then
> maybe forced rotation of "base" team is not the best approach. I mean,
> it would not surprise me if losing good people in the rotation process
> becomes a side-effect, a hidden cost.
>
> Is rotation worth the risk of losing good people?
>
> Maybe it is.
>
> But before you say that we will not lose anyone (we already lost at
> least two over this)

And herein lies the obvious problem (as per the above thing I hadn't
considered).
If it does play out that way (and, as you say, it seems like it is), the
things I outlined definitely are not worth it.
Being wrong is something I do on occasion, but I had hoped that it would
be caught (and properly explored as it is now) earlier.

> please imagine yourself in this situation: You
> create a small distro and spend 13 years to raise and maintain your
> baby. You see people come and people go. You see people stick in good
> times and bad times. Then the distro grows big.
>
> And a new person shows up and after 5 months he says:
> - We want Chloe to step down. Anyone can take over, just not Chloe.
>
> You respond:
> - Hum sure, why not, would be nice to let someone else deal with the
> people drama. I could be a part of a technical lead team instead,
> that would be nice.
>
> - No, no! We don't want any separate technical lead team at all. *We*
> want Chloe to step down. Period. But she may come back in a year.
>
> So to prove to everyone - including yourself - that you are not a power
> abuser, you do step down.
>
> But would you actually want to come back after that?

As a note, I decided not to interject within this block, and simply talk
about it as a whole afterwards.

1. It is clear that you took the idea of forced rotation personally.
I see why that happened, and have been trying to avoid it through my
statements.
The idea is so: when you write general rules, you typically do not want
to add specific exceptions (especially involving a single person).
Perhaps this is an atypical case.
I would certainly want (and expect) for you to be elected at every
instance where you are available, and it was not my intent for you to
take the proposal in this way.
However, my intent is mostly irrelevant to the fact that it *has* happened.
I would like you to know that I am deeply sorry and regretful that this
is how that played out, and reaffirm that that was never my intent.

2. As I think I mentioned at the start, the "We" I was using was
supposed to include you.
It's quite clear at this point that I've misrepresented the de-facto
desires (whatever they are based in), and regret that as well.

> So to prove to everyone - including yourself - that you are not a power
> abuser, you do step down.
>
> But would you actually want to come back after that
3. This outlines another failing of mine - I've clearly failed to
(sufficiently) empathize with you.
Your original wording of the problem seemed confusing and contradictory,
but instead of trying to figure out the original intent, I had responded
to the words.
I hope to be better in this regard as well.

> - No, no! We don't want any separate technical lead team at all.4. This is quite interesting; my perception was the opposite.
I see Base as both the technical and community leads, but primarily the
former (after all, most conflicts they'd be resolving would be of
technical nature; I expected the community things to be less common).
My objection was thus to not having an additional all-powerful entity
that would then be the community leadership.
If we consider Base the community leadership, the technical leadership
would not actually need to be all-powerful (only the parent of
everything but Base), and that could certainly be done.

In short, 4 seems to have been a communication issue.
Not really certain who's at fault in that one (nor that there
necessarily need be someone specific at fault), but I've definitely been
an active participant.

---
In summary, the side effects (some of which had only been pointed now) 
of forced rotation probably are not worth the outlined advantages.
It would be nice to come up with something else that gets us at least 
some of the advantages without said side-effects and controversy.
Further, the approach I had taken (due to my lack of attentiveness, the 
source of which ultimately is not relevant to the result) has caused you 
to take the idea personally.
I find this regrettable, and I am sorry that I wasn't good enough to 
catch and stop that earlier.
As to the way forward, please refer to my other email (response to the 
call re: a working group).
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Received on Thu Apr 11 2019 - 20:01:07 UTC