XSF Discussion - 2014-02-28

  1. Ash

    Just realised I completely missed the members meeting last night! Sorry everyone!

  2. Alex

    no problem ;-)

  3. Ash

    Glad to see I haven't been kicked out (yet)!

  4. Ash


  5. Kev

    Ash: You voted by proxy. That's more than far too many of our members managed.

  6. ralphm

    Kev: :-/

  7. Kev

    Or, at least, ISTR you did. If you didn't, shame on you :P

  8. Ash

    I did, Kev. Yes I did!

  9. ralphm

    Kev: publicly? Half-kidding.

  10. Kev

    ralphm: Not sure what the question is.

  11. ralphm

    the shaming

  12. Zash

    Public shaming, mouhahaa

  13. ralphm

    like with vote tallies for council, really

  14. Kev

    We explicitly note who did and didn't turn up for Council and Board meetings, because this stuff is important when voting on people.

  15. ralphm

    Kev: my point

  16. Kev

    There's a follow-up.

  17. Kev

    The problem with publicly shaming XSF members is that there're two possible outcomes:

  18. Kev

    1) Those members who aren't contributing anything don't pass re-votes.

  19. Kev

    2) Yet more people who blindly vote Yes on every issue, irrespective of whether they're sufficiently informed to do so.

  20. ralphm

    I think 2 can't be helped anyway. And maybe it really gives an incentive.

  21. ralphm

    I don't know to be honest

  22. ralphm

    just thinking aloud

  23. Zash

    Welcome to Democracy

  24. dwd

    I do wonder if we should switch to something like range voting.

  25. Zash

    range voting?

  26. dwd

    So you'd mark each [re]applicant from 1-5. Makes people think more.

  27. dwd

    Also, range voting defeats Arrow's Theorum.

  28. dwd

    (Which basically says that all voting is unfair)

  29. Kev

    I'm not sure how that would work. Each member application is independent, unlike Council/Board.

  30. Kev

    I think possibly we should re-raise the 'abstain' issue from a while back.

  31. Kev

    On the assumption that it's possible that many members vote 'yes' because they don't feel sufficiently informed to vote at all, and thus voting 'no' would be bad.

  32. Kev

    (One member did express this problem to me, which is why I brought up the issue months ago)

  33. Kev

    At the time I decided that abstaining was pretty much the same as voting No, but I think that if that person's vote is then not counted as part of the sum for testing majority, it'd be fine.

  34. Kev

    Little as I like the thought of fiddling with our bylaws.

  35. intosi

    How would you propose improving the informedness of members in this respect? Could lead to failed votes because people abstain, thus possibly not reaching quorum for (re)applicants voted on.

  36. Kev

    I think that a member deliberately casting an abstention counts towards quorum.

  37. Kev

    Is how you solve the second problem.

  38. intosi

    So in that case we could have a theoretical applicant X that gets 40 abstains, one yes, zero no and is thus voted in.

  39. Kev

    And for the first - well, you either have to make sure everyone's informed (which is a huge time sink - to be able to sensibly vote for XSF members you have to follow pretty much all the mailing lists and more), or let people say they're not well enough informed with an abstention.

  40. Kev

    intosi: Yes. This doesn't strike me as a problem.

  41. intosi

    Ok. That would make Abstain more of a 'Do not care either way'

  42. Kev

    Or, at least, far less of a problem than the current situation, where people are essentially casting Yes in place of abstaining.

  43. Kev

    Yes, that's what an abstention is.

  44. intosi

    Kev: that's a fair point.

  45. simon

    What's the problem we're trying to solve? Having too many members? Or voting for Council / Board?

  46. Kev

    If you wanted to vote against them, you'd vote No.

  47. intosi


  48. intosi

    Fair point

  49. Kev

    simon: Current members see a new membership application and aren't sure if the person is really coming from nowhere without contributing (should be No), or has been contributing heavily and relevantly on a list they don't follow.

  50. Kev

    simon: So they vote Yes.

  51. Kev

    simon: So anyone applying to the XSF is guaranteed to be accepted.

  52. simon

    Do we need to limit members?

  53. Kev


  54. simon


  55. Kev

    Because members vote on Council/Board.

  56. simon

    To be on the voting list you need to fill out a wiki page which suggests some interest in XMPP. And we want to reject these people (who probably won't be bothered to vote anyway) becasue?

  57. Lloyd

    Also apologies for not getting my proxy vote in, had planned some time to get it done but dwd can talk the hind legs off a donkey (never got that one) :)

  58. Kev

    simon: Because Council is critically important to the XSF's mission. If you have a system that encourages a disengaged membership, you move away from informed decisions on selecting a Council, and instead move to random selection.

  59. intosi

    Lloyd: if every member that didn't vote in time would feel the need to send appologies, we would have less of a discussion..

  60. Kev

    (And Board similarly has the power to screw everything up, so similar arguments apply)

  61. simon

    Kev: And the fear is that a disengaged member will just vote randomly?

  62. Kev

    I disengaged member cannot, by definition, make an informed decision on voting.

  63. Kev


  64. simon

    Are we seeing evidence of this?

  65. Kev

    One of the members asked a while back if I could raise the issue of abstentions because they were forced to vote by the bylaws, weren't sufficiently engaged to be able to do so properly, and so felt they had to vote Yes on everyone's member applications.

  66. Kev

    So yes.

  67. simon

    Right - that makes sense.

  68. Kev

    I suspect if you were to go down the members list, you would manage to find some people who have never contributed in a meaningful way to the XSF's goals, yet are members.

  69. Kev

    You can take voting attendance as some sort of evidence of members not doing their job, if you like.

  70. Kev

    I'll accept a handful of members missing single votes because Dave talks too much.

  71. simon

    yes. Although to become a member shows some interested in XMPP and perhaps we should be reflecting on what we can do to better rope them in and turn them into an army of XMPP supporters. I don't know the answer to this, but do think that we should find a better way of mobilising someone that goes through the effort of creating a page about themselves on the XMPP website.

  72. Kev

    But when around a third of your membershp (I didn't count) is missing, that's not screaming to me "I'm taking my role in the XSF seriously".

  73. Kev

    I think that's a dodgy basis.

  74. Kev

    I think becoming a member shows some interest in being a member.

  75. Kev

    The barrier to entry for voting is very very low. If people aren't even doing this, I don't see how we can hope to mobilise them into action.

  76. Kev

    There is also a group of people who /do/ vote and are interested and could be motivated into doing more, I'm sure.

  77. Kev

    See the group of people stepping up to the Editors team, for example.

  78. simon

    XSF membership was never very clear to me and when I asked was explained to me about 4 years ago as "Simon you should become a member becasue it looks good and you don't have to do very much" (or something along those lines).

  79. Lloyd

    So maybe, no vote, no apology + 3 strikes == out? Can reapply immediately?

  80. Kev

    Lloyd: Well, that's pretty much what we already have.

  81. Lloyd

    kev: is it enforced?

  82. simon

    I've learnt what membership entails. But I'm not sure it's clearly laid out anywhere or if it is, it's not publicised well.

  83. Kev

    Lloyd: Not always.

  84. Kev

    simon: Right, I think many membership applications are similarly motivated purely by "Hey, this makes me look good" arguments.

  85. Kev

    That's not an interest in XMPP, it's an interest in being an XSF member, and these aren't the same thing.

  86. Kev

    (Of course, there's the argument of whether just having an interest in XMPP is enough to justify being a member, but that's a must less clear-cut debate)

  87. simon

    Do we have any ideas of how do other communities handle this?

  88. Kev

    The IETF has somewhat involved rules around eligibility for things, and does away with having a wide membership that votes on it.

  89. Kev

    I like our simple model better, I just think it could do with slight tweaking.

  90. Ash

    I wonder if section 2.6 may help for members that don't attend or vote at meetings. Has that ever been used?

  91. Kev

    It has.

  92. Kev

    But that doesn't address the current issue :)

  93. Ash

    On another note, I just noticed this clause: "An applicant for membership may not be admitted if, at the time of application or consideration, fifteen percent (15%) of the Members of the Corporation are employed by or represent the same corporation or organization as that corporation or organization which employs the applicant or is represented by the applicant."

  94. simon

    Is there a page that explains the role and requirements of members?

  95. Ash

    I think we're getting close to that limit :O

  96. Kev

    simon: http://xmpp.org/about-xmpp/xsf/xsf-bylaws/

  97. simon

    Kev: maybe that's the problem - there's bylaws and then there's day-to-day expectations that need to be clearer and not buried in legalese.

  98. simon

    as much as I enjoy reading bylaws...

  99. Kev

    Maybe our membership application form should have a static block of "I understand my obligations..." that everyone has to paste.

  100. Kev

    But: I'd have thought that all members should probably have read the bylaws at least once.

  101. Kev

    This may be overly optimistic, though.

  102. simon

    I think you are assuming that everyone is a Kev. Nice as that would be...

  103. Kev

    So yes. Having some "This is what being a member means" page that it's impossible for an applicant to not have read, would probably go some way towards this.

  104. Ash

    That's a great idea Kev

  105. intosi

    It's not unreasonable to expect members of a standards org to read the actual standards governing that same org. The by laws are part of that.

  106. Kev

    Then the applicants can copy the text into their applications.

  107. Lloyd

    Reading the by-laws is somewhat like reading the instruction manual - I'd admit that I only did it after becoming a member (but had asked an existing member about responsiblities, etc)

  108. simon has added it to https://trello.com/b/ml9e82sE/xmpp-org-website

  109. Kev

    simon: This needs more than just going on the website, I think. It needs entwining into the application process.

  110. Lloyd

    kev: +1

  111. Kev

    I think this is supplemental to, rather than obviating the need for, the abstention thing, though :)

  112. simon

    Kev: yes - a "I've read <url> and agree to uphold my duties as a member" type blurb

  113. simon

    Kev - can I put you down to write a "What is expected of members" page for the new website?

  114. Kev

    Not in the near term.

  115. simon

    we'd need this in about 8-12 weeks time.

  116. Kev

    Ask me again in a few weeks then.

  117. Kev

    I have no capacity at all for volunteering for additional stuff right now.

  118. dwd

    Hmm. I may have restabilised my DSL sufficient to join in the debate now it's ended.

  119. Kev

    Well done.

  120. dwd

    So... The nice thing about range voting vs abstaining is that if it's set to, say, 1-5, then '3' can be made equivalent to an absention. For things like Council/Board, though, it gets more interesting, because things like "split votes" cease to apply - that is, voting for someone makes them always more likely to get in, and never less.

  121. Kev

    I don't think this is really equivalent.

  122. Lloyd

    Heard back from the decentralise folk, they are taking proposals for another couple of days then will start deciding on talks/workshops (cc simon & fippo)

  123. Kev

    That 3 will still pull the average in.

  124. simon

    Lloyd - also heard back from them. Same story.

  125. Kev

    I don't have the cycles to run the maths, though.

  126. fippo

    lloyd/simon: smae here ;-)

  127. Alex

    I think thats a social problem which we cannot solve. I have been in many orgs, institutions or local (hobby) clubs. Always the same problem. A small amount of people is doing the most work, while others only enjoy their benefits.

  128. Kev

    "Can't solve" isn't the same as "Can't improve"

  129. Alex

    Kev: I agree

  130. fippo

    dwd: any objections against me submitting the starttls-dialback thing that has been lying around in my customxeps github thingie since last november?

  131. dwd

    fippo, Oh. Can I give it a once-over first?

  132. dwd

    fippo, I wanted to add some stuff.

  133. fippo

    dwd: git pull and then update :-)

  134. dwd

    Basically instead of just looking at the impact of TLS on dialback, I wanted to expand it to cover DNSSEC as well.

  135. fippo

    that would be excellent. i think this will make the whole DNA discussion alot more clear

  136. Neustradamus

    We are february end, when will be the date of the meeting? http://wiki.xmpp.org/web/Membership_Applications_Q1_2014

  137. Zash


  138. Neustradamus


  139. Neustradamus

    I have not received announcement...

  140. Zash


  141. Neustradamus

    and the date is not on the wiki page

  142. Neustradamus


  143. Zash

    Neustradamus: http://mail.jabber.org/pipermail/members/2014-February/007674.html

  144. Neustradamus

    but I have informed that there is a problem with the ML...

  145. Kev

    Well, problem with your mail provider, in fact.

  146. intosi

    Neustradamus: switch to hosting your own mail while we try to resolve various mailing list issue. You then get to decide whether or not something is unwanted or spam, instead of Microsoft. I know that's a sucky answer, but it really works wonders for these kinds of issues.

  147. ralphm

    Also, the meeting is in the XSF calendar

  148. Zash

    I got spam from Google today. Much fun.

  149. Alex

    Neustradamus: I can add other mail addresses for you to mailman if you want

  150. Laura

    Just reminding anyone who can make the London XMPP meetup on Tuesday to sign up. Need numbers for pizza and beer (the things that matter) Meetup link broken but Lanyrd here: http://lanyrd.com/2014/xmppuk/

  151. Kev

    Can you count me without me signing up? :)

  152. Zash

    There's some names on the wiki too right?

  153. intosi

    Lauta: do me a favour, and include at least one pizza with meat, but without mushroom ;)

  154. fippo

    00hey kev, I just noticed a new face on isodes managment team ;-)

  155. simon remembers isode's whitepapers and adds them to the whitepaper victims^w provider list

  156. Kev

    fippo: Because you like to just check that page for fun? :)

  157. Tobias

    fippo, VP in Presence :) he'll be present everywhere soon

  158. intosi

    He's not VP in omnipresence, Tobias.

  159. Kev

    I should probably register for the WG.

  160. Tobias

    intosi, not yet

  161. Zash

    Laura: I would also appreciate if you could count me in without me needing to sign up somewhere

  162. Kev

    Zash: Oh you're coming over? Fab.

  163. fippo

    kev: well, because i had to unsub an email address that will be gone actually

  164. Zash

    Kev: Yup

  165. Laura

    Zash: will do, thanks for letting me know

  166. Kev

    Laura: You caught me in that too?

  167. Kev

    Also - seems there's 50 minutes left to register for the IETF thingy. I should get on with that.

  168. Laura

    Have now

  169. Kev


  170. Zash

    Maybe I should too

  171. Kev

    And the country codes link is broken \o/

  172. dwd

    fippo, I've done a quick edit or two. If I knew how to do a pull request in github I would do one now.

  173. dwd

    fippo, Ah-ha, I figured it out now.

  174. Kev

    I've been using Github recently for some non-XMPP code (shock!), and I really like just about everything about it other than the pull request model.

  175. dwd

    It's just as well no future employer of mine is likely to spot that I don't understand pull requests, isn't it?

  176. simon

    Kev: what is it about pull requests that you don't like?

  177. Kev

    I don't like the merge model in Git.

  178. Kev

    Rebase all the way :)

  179. dwd

    Oh, I mostly like merges, but only for real merging. Rebasing makes more sense in most cases.

  180. Kev

    The big problem with merging is that it breaks bisect.

  181. Kev

    And bisect is lovely.

  182. Lloyd

    rebasing is wrong imo and I don't like it one bit

  183. Kev

    Lloyd: You have every right to be wrong.

  184. dwd

    I was always fascinated by the Monotone suggestion for branching at the point a bug is introduced, fixing the bug on the branch, and then merging on release branches. So the VCS becomes your bug tracker. (Branch not meregd at this point? Bug exists at this point.)

  185. Lloyd


  186. Kev

    (I actually like the /concept/ of merges, in that it preserves information that is lost in a rebase. But they're unpleasant to manage, and break bisect. So pragmatism wins over principle in this case)

  187. dwd

    Lloyd, If it's one small change, rebase. Developing a lengthy feature, I'd go for a merge, since it'll preserve the history. Rebasing would work, but means you either have weird history that doesn't reflect the changes actually made, or else lose the history entirely and squash.

  188. dwd

    fippo, Ta.

  189. Laura

    Working on a gsoc blog for Philipp

  190. fippo

    laura: thanks!

  191. dwd

    fippo, Laura - What's this for? I thought we didn't apply for GSoC? I is confuddled.

  192. Kev

    I assume to say how happy we are that other XMPP-related projects are participating.

  193. fippo

    kev: exactly

  194. fippo

    and pointing people to jitsi and instantbird

  195. dwd

    Right, OK. TAB.

  196. Laura

    dwd: shout out about 'we may not be sponsoring, but projects still include xmpp' etc

  197. Laura

    I spent too long typing. What they said.

  198. ralphm

    Kev: if you think that bisect doesn't work with merges, I think you are doing it wrong

  199. dwd

    Yup. As I said, TAB. (Or rather, TaB, really)

  200. Kev

    ralphm: There are some (quite specific) cases where it doesn't.

  201. Laura

    fippo: all done

  202. Kev

    Where the breakage occurs in one branch, but the other branch contains build fixes (e.g. for new versions of dependencies or whatever).

  203. Kev

    (Which sounds contrived, until you actually suffer through it)

  204. ralphm

    Kev: this isn't really a property of branches, but the way you are looking for breaking changes, IMO

  205. ralphm

    arguably, though, git doesn't actually *have* branches, even though they are called that

  206. ralphm

    it does have branch heads

  207. ralphm

    unlike, say, mercurial, where git-style branches are called 'bookmarks'

  208. Kev

    Right. I think the Git model for branches is great.

  209. ralphm

    Kev: You have every right to be wrong.

  210. Tobias


  211. Kev

    Indeed. I'll take advantage of it some day.

  212. fippo

    laura: thanks. i'll see about tweeting it, my #webrtc audience might be larger (-:

  213. ralphm

    The problem I have with rebases is that people generally tend to write horrible commit messages while working on a branch. Merging gives a (second) change of writing a good one, that also has the general overview.

  214. Kev

    ralphm: I don't think that's a problem with rebases, really, though, is it?

  215. Kev

    It's a problem with terrible commit messages, and I can appreciate that.

  216. dwd

    ralphm, Actually, rebasing gives the oppoertunity too. git rebase -i is your friend.

  217. dwd

    ralphm, You even get to squash commits together for the pointless commits you did.

  218. Tobias

    does our mediawiki instance allow fancy tables like that one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transport_Layer_Security#Web_browsers

  219. ralphm

    dwd, Kev: as long as those branches haven't been shared, I'm fine with that. In fact I like mercurial queues, which also really are mostly equivalent to sqashed rebased branches

  220. Ge0rG

    Lance: what's the state of the push XEP?

  221. Lance

    Ge0rG: https://github.com/legastero/customxeps/blob/gh-pages/extensions/push.md

  222. fippo


  223. fippo


  224. Ge0rG

    Lance: using "her" re the user is sexist! :P

  225. Lance

    then I will change it, so long as you would have likewise complained had I used "his" :P

  226. fippo

    just pushed a fixed link for the turn/rest draft to xep.ent btw

  227. dwd

    Lance, We should use a sexless robot for all our examples.

  228. dwd

    fippo, IIRC, xep.ent is the realm of the Editors.

  229. fippo

    dwd: right, so we sort out this procedure now :-)

  230. Ge0rG

    Lance: my favorite is "their"... I'll submit a patch request

  231. Ge0rG is sufficiently drunk to do some heavy editing :)

  232. Lance

    Ge0rG: heh, that's the state i was in when I wrote it :)

  233. Ge0rG

    Lance: the iq stanzas are missing the from/to addresses

  234. Lance

    and ids

  235. Ge0rG

    Lance: at least the initial register should be sent to the client backend service, if I read it right

  236. Lance

    ah, yes

  237. Ge0rG

    while the enable IQ should be sent to the XMPP server

  238. Lance


  239. Ge0rG

    this distinction is important enough to be added.

  240. Ge0rG

    shall I add it to my diff?

  241. Lance


  242. Lance

    any language improvements welcomed

  243. Lance

    it feels very mealy-mouthed at the moment

  244. Lance

    lots of similarly named terms with nuanced differences

  245. Ge0rG

    Lance: is it a good idea to provide a specific service-value in the register iq result? like "push-023.client.example"?

  246. Ge0rG

    specific as in "different from the generic jid the iq is sent to"

  247. Lance

    possibly, in showing that it is possible

  248. Ge0rG

    I assume the service-value is meant to allow backend scalability?

  249. Lance

    or rather to not limit implementation choices

  250. Lance

    it could be a component that uses a resource to identify users, for example

  251. Ge0rG

    Lance: the configure example is referencing no push service for the iq-get, but a given service for iq-set. is that generic or specific configuration?

  252. Ge0rG

    Lance: what about allowing multiple client-push-services?

  253. Ge0rG

    Lance: https://github.com/legastero/customxeps/pull/1

  254. Ge0rG

    +1 for the github web interface. it allows submitting changes even under the influence of alcohol

  255. Lance

    Ge0rG: again, placeholder. the idea is to be able to set a generic, blanket configuration and also be able to modify a config for a particular service

  256. ralphm

    I am really excited about this stuff

  257. Lance

    Ge0rG: yes, multiple client-push-services are allowed (but i may be misunderstanding what you meant there)

  258. Ge0rG

    Lance: I am talking about how a client can get the general config, and the per-backend config, and how it can set them

  259. Lance

    ah, right. i updated the document to hopefully clarify that

  260. dwd


  261. Ge0rG

    yay! I contributed to a proto-XEP!

  262. Ge0rG

    dwd: I know I'm pestering you way too much, but do you have a feeling if/when you can bring the yaxim-MUC project into a state where someone else could look at it?

  263. fippo

    ge0rg: if he promised, it will take less than five years ;-)

  264. Ge0rG

    fippo: this is a sensible upper bound

  265. dwd

    Ge0rG, For you, less than four years.

  266. dwd

    Ge0rG, More seriously, I'll find some time next week to run through a bunch more rebase steps.

  267. Ge0rG

    dwd: that's great. Next week is perfectly right, I'm having some days off...