I’m going to go ahead and assume you have all read the summary of the last council meeting. It can be summarized even further.
[*]We decided the #gentoo-council channel would be moderated during meetings. Developers and users have plenty of opportunities to tell us what their opinion is prior to and during the meetings.
[*]We confirmed Thomas Anderson as the council secretary and clarified that the role of the secretary is limited to posting the logs and summaries of council meetings.
[*]The council decided it wasn’t competent to decide how GLEP 39 should be amended.
Some would say that it isn’t much. And I wouldn’t disagree. I wished this council could be someday called the council that slacked less but we’re apparently not taking that direction. Let’s see if we can change that. By the way I encourage everybody, anybody, to post discussion topics to the gentoo-council mailing list and debate there.
What I really wanted to discuss today is amending GLEP 39, and more exactly how to proceed. This GLEP serves in certain ways as our constitution and is more critical than any others. It was written almost 4 years ago and as such relects the situation as it was back then. It has been criticized a lot, many want or wanted to replace it at some point in time, some even went as far as writing replacements for it (count me as one of them), but I have yet to see something that is worth discussing in public.
Now, I’m not going to say that it’s perfect. No text of that kind can be even close to perfect. My point today isn’t about discussing what should be kept in it and what should be changed (don’t worry though, I’ll discuss that soon), but to make sure we agree on the fact that we need a mechanism to modify it. And by extension replace it if we decide so someday. Not that it wasn’t ever amended in the past, it was, but in a way that I can’t imagine satisfies the whole developer community. Don’t extrapolate from what I just wrote that I disagree with the changes or how they happened, quite the contrary actually. But I talk to a lot of you and many tell me they believe that since GLEP 39 was the result of the vote of all developers, any change to it needs to be again voted by all developers. I disagree with that simply because GLEP 39 itself has provisions that would imply the contrary. However, all opinions need to be taken into account, especially when the same one comes back often.
So, what happened during that last council meeting? One of the questions was whether the council could decide on a process to amend GLEP 39. The vote ended up saying no. The next item on the agenda was then to organize a vote of the whole developer community to decide, since the council declared itself incompetent. Strangely enough this item was skipped. How can that be interpreted? Frankly, I’m not sure.
Someone argued that there was no point bothering with how to amend GLEP 39 since we could always organize a quick vote of all developers. I see two issues with that. One is that we had just voted that we couldn’t decide on a process, but arguing that we can always use an all-developer vote is precisely deciding on a process, and it’s inconsistent. The second one is that GLEP 39 was already amended a few times, and each time without an all developer vote. I don’t seem to remember anybody complaining about that. So there must be at least a significant part of the developer population which is happy with not having to vote on changes of GLEP39, and is comfortable with the “vote out the bums” clause.
Most probably what happened is that we were running late with the meeting and the item was skipped because it didn’t seem important to your new council. Yep, you heard me. Your new council doesn’t really care about what you think on amending GLEP 39. If you think your council should care more then let it be known.