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fedora community working group [Oct. 27th, 2010|11:55 pm]
[Location |garner, nc]

One of the things that has come up this week is a proposal for a Fedora Community Working Group (CWG). This has been proposed as a five-person team, appointed by the Fedora Board.

I've got a few thoughts that I'd like to share, for consideration by the folks who are actually leading this process forward.

(1) Part of the charter/goals states that the CWG "aims to act as a central point of contact by being available to communicate needs between various groups". How will this be different than the Fedora Logistics List? Is it meant to discuss less-technical collaboration needs between groups? Make sure that this is clear before you get started.

(2) Will the CWG only be making recommendations, or will it also be rallying the troops to implement? There are opportunities here to ressurect ideas like the wiki challenge and harness resources like the Fedora Engineering Services team, which seems under-utilized and also seems like something that could easily be grown, given the number of smart engineers in our community who are looking for short-term, high impact projects.

(3) Make a concerted effort to bring in some new voices. I think that the Fedora Project finds itself in the midst of a generational shift. This must be embraced, and not feared. I'd suggest that no more than two of the initial five members on the CWG should be folks who have a history of serving in high-visibility or leadership roles within Fedora. Let's make sure that we're giving newer members of our community opportunities to step up into important roles.

(4) Make a bold decision about the question of how Fedora wants to handle "poisonous" people, and give it a one-release-cycle trial period. Make it clear that Fedora remains a community that is open to many voices, and that will always respond most favorably to the people who are actually stepping up to contribute any sort of work to the bottom line. But also make it clear that there is a right and a wrong way to disagree. Just because we're a community of volunteers doesn't mean we don't have to treat each other professionally. If people spoke to their co-workers the same way they sometimes speak to each other on Fedora lists, there would be consequences, and justifiably so. I've always thought that Fedora's "code of conduct" could be as simple as "don't be a jerk", but I support the mandate of the soon-to-be-formed CWG to decide otherwise.

[User Picture]From: lordmuck
2010-10-28 09:22 am (UTC)
I think those are all great points. Getting the charter and plan right from the word go is essential - e.g. I see your answer to 1. being sensibly something like "Logistics is for functional/technical issues, Community is for people issues". There are never going to be bright-line boundaries in charters like this, but you need as much clarity from the get-go as possible in my opinion.

Bringing through new community members is also essential, and I think part of that is also the "poisonous people" issue - which actually think is extremely complex, because it's not that specific people have non-excellent attitudes continually, but that there are certain topics which certain people don't deal with excellently. If issues aren't dealt with correctly, the CWG could end up looking like some kind of Code of Conduct Police, which would end up making matters worse imho.
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