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Subject: Re: [boost] Boost leadership
From: Niall Douglas (s_sourceforge_at_[hidden])
Date: 2015-07-07 07:22:03

On 6 Jul 2015 at 7:57, Michael Caisse wrote:

> On 07/06/2015 04:01 AM, Niall Douglas wrote:
> > Trying to change or upgrade infrastructure is a Kafka-esque soul
> > draining affair - even getting the Boost SSL cert replaced, which
> > *still* hasn't happened, has proven that. Nobody knows who to go talk
> > to about something half the time because the lists of names
> > responsible for infrastructure are so out of date.
> This is has been too true for the SSL. I've been working as the middle
> man to try and get the cert updated for several weeks now. Not as a
> member of the steering committee... just as an annoyed member of the
> community. I finally have all the right players involved but still no
> personal control to make it happen. It is crazy frustrating!

We ought to have systems and processes in place such that the loss of
control of vital infrastructure never happens again.

> > It shouldn't be as hard as it is to contribute to Boost outside the
> > libraries you maintain. It shouldn't be hard to upgrade
> > infrastructure at all. It should be*easy*.
> Agreed! Were you able to find a list of who-is-responsible for
> infrastructure?

I gave up. I have a Boost library to get ready for review, and job
interviews to do as I'll be unemployed from the 17th onwards. Indeed
I just did one there before this email with Google Dublin.

> Perhaps we can come up with a list of items and who in
> the community has permissions or control. If you found a list we could
> use that as a starting point. Otherwise, I suspect you and I have a list
> of things we have been trying to do that require knowing a responsible
> party. I'd be happy to try and keep such a thing up-to-date.

This is exactly where we don't agree. You, and most on the SC,
believe that it's just a matter of business as usual - community
members carve out some time to do boring stuff like keep lists fresh.

I've been saying that isn't working because it hasn't been working.
If you put processes and systems in place where it is automatically
the case that these lists are kept fresh as part of those processes
occurring, nobody needs to carve out time any more.

One way, as I proposed, was an annual election of a Strategic
Planning Committee. The newly elected members, as part of deciding
how to spend their monies, would have to unavoidably maintain lists
of people responsible for infrastructure. That's what I mean about
instituting systems and processes which makes this stuff automatic.

> > It definitely shouldn't be the case that Boost infrastructure is
> > rotting away, and nobody is doing anything about it and any attempts
> > to get the steering committee to move on this go nowhere, despite
> > repeated attempts by myself and others.
> Well, I don't think this is a completely accurate characterization. You
> have been trying to do something. I am trying to do something. I have
> several infrastructure test servers running evaluations of things my
> team is trying to pull together for Boost. It sounds like Rene is
> working on some things. Maybe we should have a location that our
> non-library ventures and efforts are described/updated so people can
> know what is going on and get involved if they are interested?

Nothing poisons and embitters someone who volunteers and invests
their family time into endeavours as quickly as their efforts being
undervalued by the community to which they were contributed. There is
a ton of that happening here, indeed I myself on more than one
occasion have undervalued or not been aware of substantial efforts
made by others into infrastructure.

The consistent theme that I have been repeating since Dave left is
support, support, support (not the financial kind, the emotional
kind). Boost needs to emotionally support its community members far,
far better than historically, and because we are all busy with
uncertain schedules, instituting systems and processes which support
those who volunteer makes that support automatic, same as keeping
lists fresh.

All the proposals I've sent to boost-steering have all been designed
to make support better, and automatic, for anyone contributing
outside the libraries they maintain i.e. at a holistic level. Hence
the idea of a Strategic Planning Committee with ring fenced funding,
you are really establishing an elected support group for anybody
making changes to ten or more Boost libraries in some area or matter.
The ring fenced funding makes people take them seriously as a group,
plus forces them as a group to make decisions annually on how to
spend which is far more important than spending the money itself.

The money value itself is actually unimportant, it is the behaviours
in people it generates.


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