XSF Discussion - 2011-06-22

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  18. bear I am trying like heck to get free of this debug session at work, but it's a problem that has now gone into it's second day so i'm not being hopeful it will clear up in 20 minutes
  19. bear i'll be lurking but probably not active
  20. Florian has joined
  21. Florian T-15
  22. stpeter hi Florian!
  23. Florian yhello :)
  24. stpeter was that a typo?
  25. Florian eh ... nope
  26. stpeter ok
  27. stpeter just checking
  28. Florian y'hello maybe :)
  29. stpeter some people say "hello" more like "yhello" :)
  30. Florian :)
  31. Florian gotta love package tracking :)
  32. Florian doesn't make it go faster ... but still cool to see where the stuff is :)
  33. stpeter agreed
  34. Florian do we have a typewith.me running somewhere?
  35. Florian or should I quickly create one?
  36. stpeter good idea
  37. Florian http://typewith.me/xsf
  38. stpeter heh, can you create permanent instances there?
  39. Florian looks like it
  40. Florian hmm, don't see Will online
  41. stpeter first question: does the Board have a quorum or is this just another friendly chat (as we had in the Council non-meeting earlier)?
  42. Florian bear is here
  43. Florian can't see jack nor Will nor nyco
  44. Kev I think he said a few minutes ago he wasn't really.
  45. stpeter I have not seen Nÿco in a long time
  46. stpeter and one of our Council members missed three XSF votes so maybe isn't an XSF member anymore
  47. stpeter wonders about migrating all XSF activities to the IETF ... :P
  48. Florian heh
  49. Florian I guess for a decision like that, we'd need a quorate board :p
  50. stpeter um, yeah ;-)
  51. Kev Oh, I thought it just happened automagically.
  52. Kev (Section 2.6 of the bylaws)
  53. stpeter Kev: I thought you were talking about transitioning the XSF to the IETF
  54. Kev Oh, right.
  55. Florian :)
  56. Florian but yeah, for the 3 consecutive misses, Kev's right
  57. Kev I think a members vote would probably be more appropraite than Board for that :)
  58. stpeter well:
  59. stpeter Section 2.6 Automatic Termination. Members may have their membership status automatically terminated and their names removed by the Secretary of the Corporation from all membership records of the Corporation if they fail to participate in three (3) consecutive meetings of the Members of the Corporation, held electronically or otherwise.
  60. stpeter that doesn't say "will" or "must", it says "may"
  61. Kev Right, but 2.5 says may as well.
  62. stpeter I'm not defending the person who hasn't voted, just noting that I think the people who wrote the bylaws built in some wiggle room (although I'm not sure that's a good idea)
  63. Kev And I don't think that we're saying that membership can vote to remove a member, but the member chose not to be removed :)
  64. stpeter heh true
  65. Kev If it's intended that there's wiggle-room, I think we should change the bylaws to be explicit about who gets to do the wiggling.
  66. Kev I note that when Bear failed to vote for three in a row, he was removed - was there a Board discussion about that?
  67. Florian not afaik
  68. Kev We should probably do whatever's consistent, and then make sure Bylaws are made to match.
  69. stpeter I think the bylaws should say "will be removed"
  70. Florian yeah
  71. stpeter that way, there's no question about special treatment
  72. Florian well, that was one point I wanted talk about today
  73. Florian requesting a change of the bylaws following the voting discussion on members
  74. Florian and even decrease that number to 2
  75. Kev I went through the votes because of that discussion, and found that a number of people would have been removed on the basis of 2, including two of Council and one of Board.
  76. Kev (Not that this is strictly a problem for Board, who don't need to be members)
  77. Florian *isn't ?
  78. stpeter Dave Cridland (IIRC) proposed that Council members would not need to be XSF members
  79. Kev Given the current seeming apathy from Council and Board (neither of which had quorum today), maybe that's appropriate.
  80. Kev stpeter: Yes, but didn't get much support for that, IIRC.
  81. Florian I think it has a benefit of having them being members too
  82. stpeter Kev: cue apathetic music here
  83. bear please don't construe my lack of activity as apathy
  84. Florian and I'm actually more leaning towards requiring both to be members (Council + Board)
  85. stpeter bear: we understand that everyone is über-busy
  86. stpeter
  87. stpeter
  88. Kev bear: You are at least here and said you'd be busy for this case. This isn't true of everyone, either on Council or Board for today.
  89. stpeter didn't realize I could send an empty message
  90. bear sorry - that came off as really cranky (which is a side effect of my current work related grief)
  91. bear apologies
  92. stpeter bear: no apology required!
  93. bear and I'm +1 to board/council being members
  94. Florian should we add that to the todo for the next meeting too?
  95. Florian :)
  96. Kev Florian: You mean the next Members meeting?
  97. bear the kick I got out of xsf by missing 3 meetings was what was needed - I would say we could drop it to 2 missed in a row
  98. Florian Board needs to propose it first
  99. stpeter I do wonder about how to proceed -- e.g., we could shut down the XSF as a legal entity or modify the bylaws such that we basically turn it into an open-source (open-spec) project .... the legal superstructure is not truly necessary to do our core work
  100. stpeter all this voting stuff is just overhead
  101. bear being a legal entity allows for what benefits?
  102. Florian sponsorship?
  103. stpeter IANAL, but we do have 501(c)(3) status
  104. stpeter naturally, with that status comes responsibilities
  105. stpeter and we need to have membership, a board, etc.
  106. Florian I think there's a benefit of having the structure
  107. stpeter I'm just thinking out loud at this time
  108. stpeter Florian: there are benefits and costs, yes
  109. Florian it /should/ make people care about it :)
  110. bear I think part of the issue is, except for the council, the membership doesn't really have to do anything
  111. stpeter bear: indeed
  112. Florian true
  113. Kev Except vote.
  114. stpeter we tried a bit with the various teams, but that's just more structure to a large extent
  115. Kev Although the iteam works moderately well.
  116. stpeter if we were a business, we'd be due for a reorg :)
  117. stpeter Kev: it does, yes
  118. Florian :)
  119. stpeter although in fact the iteam isn't even all XSF members
  120. stpeter e.g., Jerry
  121. stpeter just folks who come together because they care about keeping things running
  122. Florian I think a first step would be to start restricting membership to people who are active
  123. stpeter bear: thanks for participating in this conversation despite your work hell
  124. Florian i.e. decreasing the misses to 2 and enforcing the 3 misses we have atm
  125. stpeter Florian: so we'd have, what, 10 members? ;-)
  126. Kev Well, is that a bad thing?
  127. stpeter no!
  128. stpeter not at all
  129. Kev And we have more than 10 active people, I think.
  130. Florian I don't think it is :)
  131. Florian Kev: indeed
  132. stpeter but then we'd basically get rid of voting for the Council and the Board
  133. stpeter all members vote on everything
  134. stpeter if you have a quorum, decisions can be made
  135. bear it may be that having a council and board are what is causing folks to not interact
  136. stpeter bear: yes, maybe!
  137. bear tho the board is required I think for legal reasons
  138. Florian hmm
  139. stpeter "oh we'll leave it up to the 'leadership'"
  140. bear it would be an interesting thing to try for the next "season"
  141. stpeter bear: yes it is
  142. Kev I would vaguely resist disbanding Council.
  143. Kev By which I mean I think it'd be a terrible idea :)
  144. stpeter I think we need to get rid of the Executive Director position ;-)
  145. Kev There are enough people involved that ever spec would be vetod for one reason or another.
  146. Kev *every
  147. bear yes, that is a concern I would have - seeing how the jingle codec discussion has happened
  148. Florian or people voting just yes because they just vote
  149. Florian without ever reading the specs
  150. Kev Florian: That's not actually so bad.
  151. bear maybe the first step is to tighten the membership voting requirement
  152. Kev Since Council votes are vetos.
  153. bear and see how much of a shake out that has
  154. Kev It's only the 'No's that matter.
  155. stpeter but if there is no Council then there are no vetoes
  156. Florian right
  157. stpeter it would be true rough consensus :)
  158. stpeter not unanimity
  159. Kev Consensus meaning unanimity, of course :)
  160. bear the ietf can teach us something in that area
  161. stpeter heck, maybe we can even work some running code into the mix ;-)
  162. Kev bear: The IETF has a Council equivalent.
  163. stpeter Kev: true
  164. Florian I think a first step would be to enforce the bylaws and possibly reducing that limit
  165. stpeter as I'm well aware :)
  166. Florian and then see how membership reacts
  167. Florian and then go from there
  168. bear yes, but I thought consensus was not the same as majority vote
  169. stpeter bear: it's not
  170. Kev Florian: Yes.
  171. Kev bear: It's not, consensus means everyone is in agreement :)
  172. Kev "Rough consensus" is something of a misnomer.
  173. bear I always disliked that word: agreement
  174. stpeter Kev: sometimes consensus is rough, sometimes it is smooth
  175. bear and then their is the W3C
  176. bear runs
  177. stpeter in the IETF, consensus does *not* mean that everyone is in agreement
  178. stpeter hehe
  179. stpeter bear: I'd prefer to go in the direction of an open-spec project than in the direction of an industry consortium with corporate members (not individual contributors)
  180. bear totally agree
  181. bear one of the good things about the XSF is the lack of corporate dominance
  182. stpeter one model might be the WHATWG (partial shudder)
  183. stpeter bear: right, it's just us geeks (ideally)
  184. stpeter granted, I get paid by a big company and they tell me what to think and do, but at least we have the appearance of independence ;-)
  185. bear :)
  186. Florian lol
  187. stpeter Kev: imagine that we had only ~12 active committers
  188. stpeter which sounds about right
  189. stpeter others could contribute patches
  190. stpeter but only the committers could vote
  191. stpeter that's your Council equivalent
  192. bear your talking about something like the Apache model
  193. stpeter something like it, yeah
  194. stpeter although Apache members can't be removed
  195. bear that could mean two types of membership
  196. stpeter one of the challenges in any such model is determining who is a committer / decider
  197. bear voting and non
  198. stpeter e.g., IESG is selected via the NomCom in an arcane process that's necessary because the IETF doesn't have the concept of membership
  199. Kev stpeter: I'm not convinced we should go for huge overhauls right now. I think going with the simple one of changing bylaws to remove completely inactive people would be a start.
  200. stpeter the current structure of the XSF was established 10 years ago and might not fit today's reality
  201. stpeter and the bylaws were written by those evil jabber.com people
  202. Kev Or, well, we could look at the ways the XSF is currently failing, and see if bylaws changen could help.
  203. Florian Kev: +1
  204. Kev I'm not sure that fewer members automatically means better review of specs, for example.
  205. stpeter I definitely agree on enforcing the bylaws
  206. stpeter Kev: right
  207. Kev Fewer members *would* mean that people in positions of responsibility who were inactive would be removed and thus make space for potentially more active people.
  208. Florian yeah
  209. Kev This *might* address some issues.
  210. Florian so let's start enforcing that?
  211. Kev (It may well not)
  212. Florian I mean, bylaw 2.6 exists
  213. stpeter personally I don't think there's anything bad about being active and then inactive -- people's priorities change, not everyone is wedded to XMPP for life like I am, etc. :)
  214. Kev stpeter: No, I don't think there's anything wrong with being inactive - only when it's blocking progress.
  215. Florian :)
  216. stpeter Kev: correct
  217. Florian Kev: right
  218. bear being inactive is ok, being non-communicative *and* inactive - that's the problem
  219. bear considers voting to be communicating
  220. Kev The problem with inactivity is when you end up with people who are completely uninterested because they've been inactive voting on things, etc.
  221. Florian right
  222. stpeter given that you have 2+ weeks to vote, there's really no excuse for missing more than 1 meeting in a row
  223. stpeter I know I've missed one meeting in my time :)
  224. bear I need to switch back to work - i'm +1 to the tone of the conversation so far and +1 to tightening up member voting bylaw items
  225. stpeter in fact I might have missed two
  226. stpeter bear: thanks for participating
  227. Florian bear: thanks for your time :)
  228. bear knows he owes kev some serious gsoc time and will be in contact about that soon
  229. Florian so who needs to enforce Section 2.6?
  230. bear re-lurks
  231. Florian is it Baord? Secretary? Members?
  232. stpeter Florian: the Secretary
  233. Florian right
  234. stpeter well, the Secretary just automatically removes members who haven't voted
  235. Kev bear: I've just assumed you've pulled out of that.
  236. Kev And have been acting autonomously.
  237. stpeter I used to do that, now Alex does
  238. stpeter however
  239. stpeter in this case I will send a message to the members@ list
  240. stpeter with my executive director hat on
  241. Kev Have you checked that the person *has* missed three votes? :)
  242. stpeter I shall certainly double-check first
  243. Kev I was told they have, but haven't checked (I only checked two votes backwards, I think)
  244. Florian it might be good to also send a list of people who have been removed to the members@ list and the member removed
  245. stpeter indeed
  246. Florian i.e. so that we don't have the situation like with bear who found out months later that he wasn't a member
  247. Florian I think that sounds like a good thing to do :)
  248. stpeter Florian: good point
  249. Kev This is clearly not good :)
  250. stpeter notices that there is no link to http://xmpp.org/about-xmpp/xsf/meeting-minutes/ from http://xmpp.org/about-xmpp/xsf/
  251. Florian Kev: why not?
  252. Kev It is clearly not good that members are removed without realising.
  253. Florian ah right :)
  254. Florian yea
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  256. Vanaryon has left
  257. Florian on a different note: Board meeting next wednesday then?
  258. stpeter aren't they supposed to be every two weeks?
  259. Florian well, we didn't have a full one this week?
  260. stpeter well true
  261. stpeter I'm sure that if we send a few interesting email messages, there will be plenty of demand for a meeting :)
  262. Florian :)
  263. stpeter it's difficult to maintain energy and commitment for an initiative like XMPP over a span of years
  264. Florian yeah
  265. stpeter and the technology is getting to be a bit mature, which means that excitement is elsewhere (social networking, websockets, etc.)
  266. Florian but I think there's good times too :)
  267. Florian like the Summits
  268. stpeter so in part I think we need to adjust to a new reality
  269. Kev I'm still excited!
  270. stpeter I am too!
  271. stpeter but fewer people are still excited
  272. Florian +1
  273. stpeter which is fine, really
  274. stpeter but we need to think about how to structure things now
  275. stpeter so this has been a good conversation
  276. stpeter but we don't have answers yet
  277. stpeter among other things, I'm going to make a list of people who really are active (not necessarily in writing specs, could be iteam or website or other efforts) -- I doubt that list has more than 20 people on it
  278. Florian but we've got a start
  279. Kev You mean active on more than standards@?
  280. Kev Because contributing to standards@ is valuable too.
  281. Kev (Although of course doesn't require membership, much like the IETF)
  282. stpeter Kev: not sure, I might make a few lists
  283. Kev :)
  284. stpeter and there are people who are active in one area (e.g., jingle, bosh) but not others
  285. stpeter I know a lot of people *care*, but that's not the same as doing things
  286. Kev 'Tis true.
  287. Florian another way to motivate people a bit is money :)
  288. stpeter always
  289. Kev Florian: Not necessarily.
  290. stpeter but sometimes you motivate the wrong people that way
  291. Florian true :/
  292. stpeter and you de-motivate people who don't get any money
  293. stpeter or you can
  294. stpeter that's a difficult path, but not impossible
  295. stpeter well this has been useful, but I'm going to heat up some lunch now
  296. Kev Enjoy.
  297. Florian bon appetit :)
  298. stpeter thanks, guys
  299. stpeter I'm not disappearing, just going AFK for a few minutes
  300. bear great - it just keeps coming today - one of leo's servers evidently got an injection attack earlier today
  301. bear I know what i'm doing tonight :/
  302. Florian ouch :/
  303. Florian bear: if there's anything I can help with, drop me a line
  304. bear thanks
  305. bear right now i'm just doing an audit for entry points and making sure everything is up to date
  306. stpeter sigh
  307. stpeter sorry to hear it, bear
  308. stpeter the 'net is an ugly place sometimes
  309. bear sadly, even tho I'm the only person maintaining it, I have found a couple places out of sync
  310. bear yea, php and mysql are evil
  311. stpeter nod
  312. bear of course blames the tools ;)
  313. stpeter unfortunately, they are also quite convenient ;-)
  314. bear yea
  315. bear goes back to the grind
  316. stpeter reads draft-ietf-dkim-mailinglists for tomorrow's IESG meeting and considers adding DKIM support to his mail server
  317. stpeter (and maybe to atlas, too, but one experiment at a time...)
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