Flavio Percoco wrote:
> During the last two cycles, I've had the feeling that some of the
> things I love the most about this community are degrading and moving
> to a state that I personally disagree with. With the hope of seeing
> these things improve, I'm taking the time today to share one of my
> concerns.
> Since I believe we all work with good faith and we *all* should assume
> such when it comes to things happening in our community, I won't make
> names and I won't point fingers - yes, I don't have enough fingers to
> point based on the info I have. People that fall into the groups I'll
> mention below know that I'm talking to them.
> This email is dedicated to the openness of our community/project.
> ## Keep discussions open
> I don't believe there's anything wrong about kicking off some
> discussions in private channels about specs/bugs. I don't believe
> there's anything wrong in having calls to speed up some discussions.
> HOWEVER, I believe it's *completely* wrong to consider those private
> discussions sufficient. If you have had that kind of private
> discussions, if you've discussed a spec privately and right after you
> went upstream and said: "This has been discussed in a call and it's
> good to go", I beg you to stop for 2 seconds and reconsider that. I
> don't believe you were able to fit all the community in that call and
> that you had enough consensus.
> Furthermore, you should consider that having private conversations, at
> the very end, doesn't help with speeding up discussions. We've a
> community of people who *care* about the project they're working on.
> This means that whenever they see something that doesn't make much
> sense, they'll chime in and ask for clarification. If there was a
> private discussion on that topic, you'll have to provide the details
> of such discussion and bring that person up to date, which means the
> discussion will basically start again... from scratch.


> ## Mailing List vs IRC Channel
> I get it, our mailing list is freaking busy, keeping up with it is
> hard and time consuming and that leads to lots of IRC discussions. I
> don't think there's anything wrong with that but I believe it's wrong
> to expect *EVERYONE* to be in the IRC channel when those discussions
> happen.
> If you are discussing something on IRC that requires the attention of
> most of your project's community, I highly recommend you to use the
> mailing list as oppose to pinging everyone independently and fighting
> with time zones. Using IRC bouncers as a replacement for something
> that should go to the mailing list is absurd. Please, use the mailing
> list and don't be afraid of having a bigger community chiming in in
> your discussion.  *THAT'S A GOOD THING*
> Changes, specs, APIs, etc. Everything is good for the mailing list.
> We've fought hard to make this community grow, why shouldn't we take
> advantage of it?


> ## Cores are *NOT* special
> At some point, for some reason that is unknown to me, this message
> changed and the feeling of core's being some kind of superheros became
> a thing. It's gotten far enough to the point that I've came to know
> that some projects even have private (flagged with +s), password
> protected, irc channels for core reviewers.

If those exist, I think they should die in a fire. I'm fine with the TC
passing a resolution so that such channels are opened. Private channels
where "real decisions" are made are pretty contrary to our ideal of open

> This is the point where my good faith assumption skill falls short.
> Seriously, don't get me wrong but: WHAT IN THE ACTUAL F**K?
> If anything core reviewers should be the ones *FORCING* - it seems
> that *encouraging* doesn't have the same effect anymore - *OPENNESS* in
> order to include other non-core members in those discussions.
> Remember that the "core" flag is granted because of the reviews that
> person has provided and because that individual *WANTS* to be part of
> it. It's not a prize for people. In fact, I consider core reviewers to
> be volunteers and their job is infinitely thanked.


Core reviewing has always be designed to be a duty, not a badge. There
has been a trends toward making it a badge, with some companies giving
bonuses to core reviewers, and HP making +2 pins and throwing +2
parties. I think that's a significant mistake and complained about it,
but then my influence only goes that far.

The problem with special rights (like +2) is that if you don't actively
resist it, they naturally turn into an aristocracy (especially when only
existing cores vote on new cores). That aristocracy then usually turns
into a clique which is excluding new blood and new opinions, and then
that project slowly dies.

Thanks Flavio for this timely reminder.

Thierry Carrez (ttx)

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