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Subject: Re: [boost] RFC.. Steering Committee Bylaws Proposal
From: Stefan Seefeld (stefan_at_[hidden])
Date: 2017-10-19 23:47:09

On 19.10.2017 17:49, Niall Douglas via Boost wrote:
> Let me repeat once again: if we don't invest as a community in
> infrastructure, admin and bureaucracy, you get these outcomes. And it's
> not like we can't afford to do so.

While I can't argue about specific infrastructure questions in this
context, I'm again puzzled how almost arbitrary important questions /
issues almost inevitably gravitate towards technical "solutions". The
fundamental issues that I don't see addressed anywhere are not of a
technical nature, but organizational and social:

* What is the relationship between the Boost organization and its member
projects ?
* What decisions are to be made by projects, and what by the organization ?
* How are conflicts between the two entities resolved ?

As long as we don't find clear answers to the above we aren't going to
get out of the current stall.

> There is no one discussion place. Some of it happens face to face at a
> conference. Some happens when Jon skypes you out of the blue. Some
> happens by private email. Some happens on the boost-steering mailing
> list. Some happens on Slack.
> I absolutely agree that this stuff should be encoded into a formal
> process. But once again, *somebody* has to admin formal processes. And
> we have no somebody dedicated to doing admin. So it gets done ad hoc,
> and not always to the highest quality. Nobody professional is being
> employed to solely dedicate their time on making formal processes happen.
I'm not sure how formal the process needs to be, as long as it is
transparent. Private communication (including channels that aren't
publicly archived) should be discounted, at least as far as
audit-trailing the decision-making process is concerned. Read: any
formal decision needs to be based on a "process" that can be followed
publicly, such as via a mailing list archive.

> I should also mention how hard it is to volunteer people into doing
> things free of cost. That's why so many discussion and roping people in
> avenues exist. That's why there is no formal process. Cajoling people to
> do stuff is hard enough as it is. Formal processes scare volunteers off.

Having well-documented "success stories" (i.e., past decisions that had
a positive effect for the community) would likely help attract volunteers.
On the contrary, the past debacle surrounding the B2 / CMake "decision"
certainly had the opposite effect: a decision almost out of the blue,
which is unlikely to have the intended effect. That doesn't seem very
attractive to me.
What's needed is a healthy dose of pragmatism (a good sense of what
decisions can be made that will be supported by everyone), with the
willingness to seek and build consensus, rather than operate in obscurity.


      ...ich hab' noch einen Koffer in Berlin...

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