[CHAOSS] How decisions are made (was: Opening discussion on using Discourse Forum for CHAOSS)
glink at unomaha.edu
Tue Nov 20 17:40:48 UTC 2018
During today's call, we discussed more on the decision making process
within our CHAOSS community. On the call were: Dawn Foster, Jesus
Gonzales-Barahona, Matt Snell, Kevin Lumbard, Ben Lloyd-Pearson, Ildiko
Vancsa, and Georg Link
One issue is that only a subset of us can join our weekly or monthly calls.
Decisions based only on those calls will always exclude community members.
However, we perceive the calls to be a valuable communication channel for
discussion and arriving at a better shared understanding.
To resolve this tension, we propose to consider decisions within CHAOSS to
be made based on consensus and that we declare our calls to not be
sufficient for arriving at consensus but a place for agreeing on a proposal
that is then moved to the mailing list for consensus.
Discussions can thus start on calls or mailing list or in workgroups, but
consensus for decisions will only be considered if we asked for it on the
The first call of the month, our formal meeting, has a special role in
this. Because we have an agenda and meeting minutes, anyone who cannot
attend is empowered to participate in the discussion asynchronously before
and after the meeting. Proposals are best discussed as part of the official
agenda. The weekly calls, however, should be considered less definitive and
When necessary, we can use other tools for more formal voting, such as when
anonymity is desired. How to determine who has voting rights is a problem
we did not want to address at this time.
Because these notes summarize my understanding of our conversation on the
call, this is a proposal for discussion on the mailing list.
My proposal is to revise this logic and write it down in our governance
repository (https://github.com/chaoss/governance/) for future reference.
On Tue, Nov 20, 2018 at 5:39 AM Matt Germonprez <germonprez at gmail.com>
> Hi Jesus,
> I agree that the fuzzy consensus seems to have worked until now.
> Your email raises a great question of what constitutes a vote for
> something, how a vote happens, and how we count them. I guess I'm saying
> that I agree with you that people participate in different ways and we
> really need to be sure to capture all of this conversation in a meaningful
> On Mon, Nov 19, 2018 at 5:18 PM Jesus M. Gonzalez-Barahona <
> jgb at bitergia.com> wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> [See proposals for action at the end, after some verbose comments]
>> Maybe it is time to have a look at how we make decisions in CHAOSS. I
>> think that up to now, consensus has been the rule. Procedure has been
>> based on extensive discussion in the mailing list, and in weekly
>> conference calls, whenever possible with all the people with an opinion
>> on the matter. When a certain consensus has been perceived, either on
>> the list or in the calls, it has been considered as a decision.
>> I don't think this has always being the case, but I would say that
>> usually people argue in favor or against, and propose different
>> decisions, in the mailing list, and then during the calls, consensus
>> areas are explored until a decision is perceived to have consensus. But
>> other people who has participated in these processes may say too if
>> this matches their experience.
>> I think this works mostly this way both at the "all CHAOSS" level, and
>> at the working group level, but I really can only speak for the GMD wg,
>> since I have not participated in the D&I wg.
>> Up to now, my feeling is this worked well. But maybe it is not scaling
>> up as we have more people involved in general, people active in working
>> groups, the set of people attending all calls, and participating in all
>> mailing lists, is getting shorter and shorter (as a fraction of the
>> total people involved in CHAOSS as a whole).
>> We also have a more formal mechanism: discussion and voting in the
>> CHAOSS board, according to our charter,
>> So, I propose two actions:
>> * First, comment on your feelings about the decision making process, in
>> this specific case and in general. If many of us think that we need to
>> decide more formally on a process, we can work on having one. If not,
>> we can stick to the current way.
>> * Second, if somebody feels that in this specific case we don't have a
>> consensus, we can either talk it more broadly, or raising it to the
>> CHAOSS Board. We have a meeting in a week, so this would be timely.
>> What do you think?
>> Bitergia: http://bitergia.com
>> /me at Twitter: https://twitter.com/jgbarah
>> CHAOSS mailing list
>> CHAOSS at lists.linuxfoundation.org
> Mutual of Omaha Associate Professor
> Information Systems
> College of Information Science & Technology
> University of Nebraska Omaha
> he / him / his
Georg J.P. Link
College of Information Science and Technology | PKI 367
University of Nebraska at Omaha | www.unomaha.edu
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