Open discussion: Terms of Reference

Until now, the Squeak Oversight Board operates without explicit rules. We were asked by the community (in particular Keith) to define our processes. Below you can find Keith’s ideas as a starting point for discussion. We have discussed these only briefly yet, and we do disagree with some points obviously, but we post this here to elicit community feedback. Also take note of Matthew’s comments appended below.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terms_of_reference

This parts of proposed terms, came from Keith.

1. The board may appoint teams with responsibiliy for specific tasks, and once appointed the team (and team leadership if applicable) are soley responsible for how that task is carried out and how the goals are acheived.
2. Members of the board are not to use their position to gain any preferenctial treatment of services for themselves, this would be a conflict of interest.
3. Board members wishing to contribute to the release (or any other team(s)) are to contribute to the team(s) like anyone else. I.e. any Board member activities outside the Board, should follow the rules & procedures (including those, written in this document) prescribed for that activity, regardless the fact that given person is member of the Board, it should play under the same rules as anyone else.

4.  Teams should report to the board, or the board should volunteer at least one person who is able to be fully aware of the activities and goals of that team.
5. If a team is considered not to be performing then… first questions are to be raised via the liason,
secondly a tribunal can be called where all parties can be called to a round table discussion, after which the team will be given a time window to recify the problem. Only if the team is unco-operative or unavailable can the Board vote for the team to be disbanded. All other courses of action are to be by agreement between team and Board.

6. Teams have a right to decide how they conduct their affairs, via irc, mailing list etc.. All members, including the Board should respect this also.

7. The Board recognises that it is a transient part of the community, and as such delegates all real work to officers and teams (the civil service if you will).
8. The Board understands that prior decisions of previous boards are to be respected.

9. There should be a grievance procedure and an equal opportunities policy including disability awareness

Another side of view on current situation

<tapple> my take on the teams model is that it never worked, and was an extra innefective layer of management. You effectively abolished it by effectively abolishing the last (semi)active team, the release team, and I’d say that’s a good thing. We aren’t big enough to support the teams model
[20:19] <tapple> consolidating the board and the release team together made both more effective, and I’d say the board should do more things toward removing extra management layers
[20:24] <keith_> well in that case the release team should be the board
[20:24] and the elected board is not relevant to any dicussion
[20:24] <tapple> I think that would be best
[20:24] thats how pharo does it
[20:25] <keith_> but that means there is no one to balance any agenda at all
[20:26] <keith_> we are plenty big enough
[20:26] <keith_> to support the teams model
[20:26] 7 people that usually disagree will balance agendas
[20:26] <keith_> what we need is leadership
[20:26] <keith_> and vision
[20:26] <sigk> tapple, i agree that teams proven to be ineffective
[20:26] <sigk> to my observation during past 2 years+
[20:27] <sigk> we don’t have much dedicated people, who could organize teams, to make teams model work well
[20:27] there was a disasterous split between the release team and the board
[20:28] <tapple> in terms of communication
[20:29] <sigk> and this is what we discussed early, about core-devs
[20:29] however, if the board were to take on more responsibilities, the traditional election approach may not be appropriate, as popularity is not necessarily correlated with compotence
[20:30] <sigk> that the only strong cause to be in that team – is contributing to squeak
[20:30] <sigk> nothing else
[20:31] <sigk> and there should be no other criteria on how people could join it
[20:31] <tapple> time for me to go. good luck with your meeting
[20:31] <tapple> I’m not contributing to squeak anymore, although I’m considering a brief return to finish mc1.6

2 Responses to “Open discussion: Terms of Reference”

  1. Terms of Reference: discussion is open « The Squeak Oversight Board Blog Says:

    […] review this page and do not hesitate to take a part in […]

  2. Jecel Assumpcao Jr Says:

    Here are pages with the rules adopted by a few other Free Software communities:

    http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Sugar_Labs/Governance

    http://www.apache.org/foundation/bylaws.html

    http://www.ubuntulinux.org/community/processes/governance

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