Re: Technical decisions?

Havoc Pennington <> writes:

> Hi,
> The X Consortium, and IETF, are both organizations that make technical
> decisions.
> I think GNOME _already_ makes technical decisions by the "rough
> consensus and working code" technique, right? And so far, I don't
> think the steering committee has even discussed any technical issues,
> except when they relate to something else, like the release schedule.

i.e., only controversial technical decisions - which is what one would
want and expect.

> I'm not sure technical decisions are a big problem that needs solving,
> we seem to be OK at it as is.

The thing is that having no formal mechanism is OK when there are no
problems, but it's much better to have the mechanism _before_ you need
it. I think the way the people at the San Diego meeting saw it, the
board and the foundation membership at large would not have the power
to override maintainer decisions; they'd only be able to issue
reccomendations, and to decide what is and is not part of GNOME, or
part of a given GNOME release. Someone has to have ultimate
responsibility for those sorts of decisions.
> I'm pretty sure the GNOME Foundation isn't supposed to be a technical
> decision-making body. The project maintainers are supposed to do that.

But it should be a way to help set overall technical direction. That
doesn't mean making the decisions, but it does mean being an arbiter
of conflicts sometimes, and proposing general guidelines (e.g. do not
break source or binary comptibility within a single platform cycle).

One big problem cited by corporations that would like to work with the
GNOME Project is specifically that they don't know who to talk to in
order to find out about and potentially influence overall technical
direction. For these entities, posting to a list and getting sucked
into flamewars about things is not a good mechanism.

One exaplme Brian raised of a case where the Apache Software
Foundation was very useful was when comapnies like IBM and Sun wanted
to donate big chunks of code to Apache. It really helped the process
for them to have someone to talk to, and show them the right way to do

 - Maciej

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