Saturday, July 30, 2005

First Gentoo council election

As the polls are about to open for the election of the first Gentoo council, I
thought I'd take the opportunity to share my thoughts about the council. Since
I'm one of the election officials, I need to remain impartial, but at the same
time I'm the person who created the blasted thing, so I feel like I should also
state my opinions about what I think the council should be.


My hope is that the soon-to-be-elected council will represent the best of
Gentoo. These people should be wise in the ways of Gentoo, first and foremost.
It is the council who will set gentoo-wide policy, and thus hard-earned
knowledge of what works, what doesn't, and why things do or don't work seems
essential.


The new council members should be trusted and respected by a large swath of the
community. The council sets policy, but policy is useless if devs refuse to
follow it, which is likely if the council members are not trusted by the devs
to know what they're doing. A trusted and respected council, on the other hand,
will have the "moral authority" of having been elected by their peers to enact
sane and essential policies. Presumably such trust and respect comes from
having a track record of significant accomplishments within Gentoo.


Besides being accomplished, the new council members also need to be dedicated.
Although I don't expect serving on the council to be an immense amount of work,
it does require that the council members hold at least one open meeting per
month, and all council members are expected to attend (or provide a proxy).
That's really the minimum requirement, though. The real measure of a council is
going to be the council's ability to keep Gentoo moving on track. Right now a
number of projects are stalled because they require cross-project decisions to
be made, and that desperately needs to end.


The new council members need to have vision. As members of the first Gentoo
council, these members will set the tone for councils to come. To a significant
extent, the success or failure of this new metastrucure depends on the
accomplishments (or lack thereof) of this new council.


Best of luck to all of the nominees.


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