#70 Need official list of sub-projects
Closed: Fixed None Opened 4 years ago by bex.

This page needs to be edited to reflect the officially recognized sub-projects of Fedora:

https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Subprojects?rd=Projects

As an example, apparently the campusambassadors group has possibly been reactivated. The FAS is accepting new applicants and there was confusion about the requirements. Additionally, the new folks didn't know they weren't ambassadors and the wiki wasn't updated ... confusion abounds.

Without an official list of projects it is hard to know what is ad-hoc or working toward acceptance and what is real. Also when things go inactive we need to be able to gracefully close them.


Just as an aside comment to campusambassadors, the group isn't reactivated - it seems like this was a slight miscommunication. More details on that [https://pagure.io/fedora-commops/issue/91#comment-6352 here] (I know this was just an example group for the bigger topic of this ticket, but wanted to clarify here for the sake of preventing this idea from spreading further).

I'm going to push back on that slightly. Namely because there will never BE a complete and accurate list of "officially" recognized sub-projects. If someone takes the initiative to form a group of people to work on a topic of interest, I don't want to immediately discount their efforts by saying they aren't official. It isn't friendly, it discourages innovation that we need, and we've consistently said if you want to get things done in Fedora you do not need to be on the Council or FESCo or some other group. You just need to show up and do work consistently.

What is the actual problem we're trying to solve here?

Agreeing with Josh here. We could think about cleaning the group list up a bit, but on the other hand this action would impact on elections, where we often require CLA+1.

This might be not what Bex was meaning, but this was my first idea on the problems of 'official' recognition. In many countries, saying something is 'officially' sponsored has multiple legal and cultural implications:

  • The sponsoring agency will give it legal protection. [Lawyer fees are covered]
  • The sponsoring agency will give it monetary protection. [Debts are covered]
  • The sponsoring agency will support the program as best as possible in keeping it active. [Recruitment etc]

The subparts have a feudal relationship to the recognizer, and as long as they are 'loyal' are expected to be 'protected' by their overpart.

In the US and some other countries, the general population have different views of this, but the legal system in some are still set up to recognize that saying something is 'official' or not has these obligations. This is why various organizations are very very careful in labeling things official or not. It isn't that they are stiffling innovation, it just means that they are on the hook in saying it whether they knew or not.

I understand your concerns Josh. I also was implying parts of your points smooge. I am less concerned with FAS groups (though in some cases they may be problematic) and I am not trying to strip anyone of a vote. Rather, I am thinking of two goals:

1) Being able to point people toward groups working in Fedora

2) Determine who is allowed to ask for Budget, officially represent us, etc. When we talked about opening up the budget process to try and allow for greater input, I seem to recall there being a requirement that you be a recognized sub-project.

The wiki hints at a process to become a SIG, etc. If we have this kind of a process then it implies that some groups have completed it and some groups are in process and others have not started. I think we just need to bring some definition.

Lastly, I would like to consider trying to codify this information somewhere other than in the Wiki. It is a long term goal and a project I am not even ready to outline as a request for comments yet.

FWIW (as least as I recall it) there used to be a formal process for forming a SIG which then did a bunch of things to become a official subproject (things like elections and charters and regular reports and such). This process was complex and long and was mostly scrapped for what we have now:

Anyone can form a SIG at any time and just start doing things.

The subprojects I see added I don't think followed the old formal process, they just added themselves.

So, this entire thing might just be revisiting the SIG/subproject definitions and what each can do, and actually documenting that better. Or perhaps just scrapping subproject in favor of everything being a SIG or only allowing a very few subprojects and giving them some advantage for being such.

Replying to [comment:5 bex]:

I understand your concerns Josh. I also was implying parts of your points smooge. I am less concerned with FAS groups (though in some cases they may be problematic) and I am not trying to strip anyone of a vote. Rather, I am thinking of two goals:

1) Being able to point people toward groups working in Fedora

That's orthogonal to any kind of "official" status. It's mostly on the groups themselves to advertise, organize, and grow their SIG. Put another way, if they are working on a particular area it should be fairly evident they are doing so. If it isn't, then I would question how sustainable their activities are.

2) Determine who is allowed to ask for Budget, officially represent us, etc. When we talked about opening up the budget process to try and allow for greater input, I seem to recall there being a requirement that you be a recognized sub-project.

I don't recall that requirement, but I would suggest that anyone can ask for budget. We reserve the right to tell anyone "no", including FESCo or Edition workgroups. Clearly we're going to factor in the effort that has already been done into those requests. What I would hate to have happen is something truly innovative being killed because we denied the budget needed to take it from niche to a spectacular success story for Fedora simply because it wasn't "official".

The wiki hints at a process to become a SIG, etc. If we have this kind of a process then it implies that some groups have completed it and some groups are in process and others have not started. I think we just need to bring some definition.

Learn this now: THE WIKI IS FULL OF FORMER TRUTHS, HALF-TRUTHS, AND LIES.

Lastly, I would like to consider trying to codify this information somewhere other than in the Wiki. It is a long term goal and a project I am not even ready to outline as a request for comments yet.

I'd be interested in hearing more about that.

I'm not sure if the old process was ever really followed. If so, it certainly fell out of practical use and kind of got forgotten and people just started... working together and doing stuff. That's not really bad - but it is bad when things stop being active but still look like they're a going concern.

Maybe instead we need a list of active projects rather than official ones.

Maybe that list could even be automated — there could be a "last group activity" counter triggered off of fedmsg activity related to the group, for example. Like, this trac ticket shows that the council still is a thing. And IRC meetings, mailing list posts (that aren't spam), etc.

Or each group could have a designated lead or coordinator and it'd be their responsibility to respond to an email every Fedora release affirming that the group is Still A Thing.

Replying to [comment:8 mattdm]:

Maybe that list could even be automated — there could be a "last group activity" counter triggered off of fedmsg activity related to the group, for example. Like, this trac ticket shows that the council still is a thing. And IRC meetings, mailing list posts (that aren't spam), etc.

Or each group could have a designated lead or coordinator and it'd be their responsibility to respond to an email every Fedora release affirming that the group is Still A Thing.

For what it's worth, I'm pretty sure I've seen the basics of this implemented in Hubs. You can look at the hub for a sub-project / team / group / SIG/ $YOUR_PREFERRED_WORD_HERE, and there is an indicator at the top saying how long ago this team was active based on fedmsg events (and also a warning saying that there hasn't been activity here for a while if the hooks haven't been triggered for some time).

I think Sayan, Mo, or another Hubs dev could probably offer more on that if needed.

Replying to [comment:7 jwboyer]:

Replying to [comment:5 bex]:

I understand your concerns Josh. I also was implying parts of your points smooge. I am less concerned with FAS groups (though in some cases they may be problematic) and I am not trying to strip anyone of a vote. Rather, I am thinking of two goals:

1) Being able to point people toward groups working in Fedora

That's orthogonal to any kind of "official" status. It's mostly on the groups themselves to advertise, organize, and grow their SIG. Put another way, if they are working on a particular area it should be fairly evident they are doing so. If it isn't, then I would question how sustainable their activities are.

Orthogonal maybe, but I think we need to consider how we are presenting ourselves to the world, ala your wiki comment below. Other commenters have mentioned "active" vs. "inactive" and that works great as well.

My goal is not control or centralization. My goal is to know that if I wanted to talk to all of the groups that I could feel reasonably certain I did so. It is highly likely that a group could exist that is very active and who is doing a good job keeping their presence up to date, but who are doing it only in channels related to their activity and where I have no personal overlap.

2) Determine who is allowed to ask for Budget, officially represent us, etc. When we talked about opening up the budget process to try and allow for greater input, I seem to recall there being a requirement that you be a recognized sub-project.

I don't recall that requirement, but I would suggest that anyone can ask for budget. We reserve the right to tell anyone "no", including FESCo or Edition workgroups. Clearly we're going to factor in the effort that has already been done into those requests. What I would hate to have happen is something truly innovative being killed because we denied the budget needed to take it from niche to a spectacular success story for Fedora simply because it wasn't "official".

I also don't want to see a group fail to know they can ask for budget because they thought there was a process. This list represents a way to keep a group on the radar.

The wiki hints at a process to become a SIG, etc. If we have this kind of a process then it implies that some groups have completed it and some groups are in process and others have not started. I think we just need to bring some definition.

Learn this now: THE WIKI IS FULL OF FORMER TRUTHS, HALF-TRUTHS, AND LIES.

Saying this over and over again doesn't make it less true or less of a problem. The inability to move forward with editing this information also isn't making it less true or less of a problem.

Lastly, I would like to consider trying to codify this information somewhere other than in the Wiki. It is a long term goal and a project I am not even ready to outline as a request for comments yet.

I'd be interested in hearing more about that.

It is a goal of mine to write it up after I tame the budget process.

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