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Re: [libreoffice-website] Meritocracy, roles, etc. (was: Decision about CMS)


Le 2010-10-22 21:14, Ivan M. a écrit :
Hi Marc, all,

On Sat, Oct 23, 2010 at 12:07 PM, Marc Paré<marc@marcpare.com> wrote:
Le 2010-10-22 16:34, Bernhard Dippold a écrit :

I don't know if we need such formal decisions on groups and teams.
I think what we had at the OOo lists worked quite well: People known for
their amount of active contribution have been heard by the majority of
list members,

So, in a sense you did have a formal Website membership set up that only
seasoned members knew about, but to a new person, that membership was
invisible.

I don't think that's a fair way of describing it - probably because
activity on the OOo website list has never been as active as this list
(in my experience). It's not hard to figure things out in a small but
active community... but I'm not sure that applies to LibreOffice.

In a meritocracy, which TDF wants to be [1], people earn respect
through participation, engagement and contribution. After following
the list for a short period of time, it should not be difficult for a
newcomer to get a sense of who does what and how they go about doing
what they do. When newcomers gain that institutional knowledge, they
join in, suggest improvements, make contributions and gain some
standing in the community.

That's the standard meritocratic narrative, and it's been subject to
criticism [2] because of underlying assumptions around what
constitutes merit. Different people contribute in different ways, and
we should value their contributions, whatever they may be. Achieving
an inclusive and diverse meritocracy might require a different
approach with larger projects though.

In contrast to the OOo website list, LibreOffice has quite a large
number of potential contributors. This may make it more difficult to
gain that institutional knowledge in an efficient manner. I think it's
in everybody's best interest to facilitate this.

Absolutely and completely agreed ... if this were possible in this setting. I did not participate in the OOo and come to the LibO community with a very naïve understanding of its historical background. Having said this, there are obvious problems with meritocracy when the membership makes it so that the "meriting" members have been masqued by the sheer number of participants. The meritocracy can still be upheld if the membership make the simple effort of identifying the meritorious members (read influential) by some sort of manner. The most logical and most simple method in this case would be the categorization of the meritorious group and the non-meritorious group. In the case of the choice of the CMS, the listing of the meritorious groups in a Website CMS membership list would clearly identify this group and no need to identify the other members. Then a call to vote would certainly make sense.


To me, it would seem clearer to members if the TDF/LibO Website
Team membership list was visible and then the new member would clearly know
who spoke with authority, this would provide more clarity. If that new
member or any member for that matter really wanted to take part in a more
tangible way, she/he would join. It would still not stop the rest of the
community from having our say. We would then have no problem leaving the
final decision to the TDF/LibO Website Team membership.

It might help to codify contributions in some way, such as formalising
decision-making through i-Team-like structures where a number of
members are responsible for making decisions relating to a particular
task or project while also engaging with the community for
consultation, feedback, etc.

Wiki pages listing what people have done, what they're working on,
etc. could help newcomers discover who to contact if they want to work
on something with someone, rather than simply subscribing to the list
and trying to figure it all out.

This would still be too confusing for a new comer. For example, I have just created my Wiki and would challenge you to find it in a decent amount of time. If you were then asked to research the rest of the team in this way, then, as a member with no meritorious designation, you would most likely not join in but move on to a more structure project.
Clarity should be set in a very simple and logic manner. If a project is announced, then a Wiki should be created with a list of members and a call for the community to discuss with the notion that the project membership will the make any final decisions when the community at large has discussed it. I believe this is a very understandable notion of structure for all.


There are things we can do to make it easier for newcomers to
strengthen (and preserve) the meritocratic nature of the project. It's
about having opportunities open for others to come and contribute to,
but also about recognising the contributions that others have already
made.

so their opinion was more important than comments from
"newbies".


Hmmm ... Not sure if I would agree with this. I am a "newbie" so am I to
understand that my help and discussion on this thread is considered less
than yours or others. I have never heard of you and don't even know if you
speak with authority and there is nowhere to read if you are new or a
seasoned member. If I am asked to contribute and then told that my vote is
less in the end, then why would I contribute at all? If I knew of a list of
registered members of the TTDF/LibO Website Team, then I would know that my
opinion will be heard but that the core Website team will decide. Wouldn't
that work better?

I'm not sure about what exactly 'registered members' would constitute,
but I agree with the gist of this.

And in the most cases discussions end with some kind of agreement on the
best way to go.

If they are decided as you describe, well maybe, we, as a group, should try
to rethink it. There should be more clarity for the whole of the membership.
I am not sure if you can have a cooperative group of people when you work
this way.

The larger groups become, the greater the opportunity for conflicting
views. A huge amount of contention can be created around a single
issue in a relatively short period of time without much helpful
progress: the document icons in OOo 3.2.1 are an example I remember
very well, and the decision regarding the CMS has, at times, shown
that here. If clarity could help channel all that energy into more
productive means (as opposed to generating a mass of heated and
repetitive emails), then we should by all means strive for it.


Yes, and all that could be avoided by the simple act of a membership listing.

Cheers

Marc

Regards,
Ivan.

------

[1] http://www.documentfoundation.org/foundation/
[2] http://www.geekfeminism.org/2010/10/09/meritocracy-might-want-to-re-think-how-you-define-merit/




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Re: [libreoffice-website] Meritocracy, roles, etc. (was: Decision about CMS)"Ivan M." <ivanm@patentpending.co.nz>
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