[maemo-community] maemo.org paid contributors (was Re: Monthly Sprint Proposal)

From: Jeremiah Foster jeremiah at jeremiahfoster.com
Date: Thu Apr 9 14:24:09 EEST 2009

Excellent email Qole.

On Apr 9, 2009, at 2:55, Qole wrote:

> I just want to apologize for my poor wording. I do not intend to  
> "police" and "boss" anyone.

I apologize if I over-reacted.

> I am taking my role as Councilor very seriously, but I need to know  
> exactly what that means before I can do a good job at it. I can't do  
> a good job if I don't really know what a "good job" looks like.  
> Thanks to Jaffa's work on the wiki page, that is getting clearer,  
> and this thread is making things clearer still. (I think Jaffa could  
> probably update our page with some of the things in this thread)
> Jeremiah, I think you need to realize that the community and the  
> Council needs you to do a bit more reporting, with more detail and  
> precision, than perhaps is "usual", for the simple reason that your  
> position really is unprecedented. We mostly know what a webmaster is  
> supposed to do. Webmasters have been around for a few years, and  
> there's lots of them out there.

Excellent point, and something that I did not consider. I will create  
a report with more detail, perhaps on the wiki so people can add  
"todo" items when they see I am missing something?

> But what does a debmaster do? Well, since there haven't been any  
> debmasters before (that I know of), we are relying on four things:
> (1) our own expectations: what do we think you should do?

I would love the council to come forward with a fairly detailed list  
of expectations, it makes it easier to fulfill them.
> (2) your job description: what were you hired to do?

We have this document: http://maemo.org/community/council/now_hiring-maemo_community_debmaster/ 
  But that link appears dead unfortunately. I have saved all the  
correspondence with the previous council regarding the interview  
process and job. That material is most likely kind of sensitive, but I  
can make it available if you think it would make a difference.

I think the job description should be created by the community, placed  
on a wiki page, constantly updated, and then compare the debmaster's  
actual work with the wiki page. Then the entirety of the process is  

> (3) your past activities: what have you been doing so far?

- currently removing old diablo packages from the repos to save space
- evaluate dak for repository management
- creating a build order to pass packages through the automated build  
system created by Nokia
- hacking a little on the build scripts for fremantle, or maybe the  
build setup scripts
- creating a Virtual Machine here locally that matches the garage.m.o  
environment as close as possible so that packages can get built as  
they would on garage and I don't bring garage to its knees
- set up a development environment on garage for lintian transition to  
maemian, including contact with upstream and reading lots of lintian  
- presenting maemo to the IT University here in Gothenburg
- worked on synergy for maemo, needs a blog and some further  
- chatting informally in #maemo and other channels

There are things that take a lot of time for me that I do not include  
in my reporting for maemo, like;

- maintain my upstream work (i.e. debian packages, being involved in  
debian-perl and reading debian-devel when I can)
- conference work, presentations mostly. (i.e. I will present a talk  
on packaging for debian at Go Open in Oslo)
- continue to keep my skills updated by reading and learning about  
virtualization, perl 6, python, etc.

There are also things that would normally fall under the rubric "work"  
but I do not bill Nokia for;

- New hardware configuration and purchase (If I worked in an office,  
this would be done for me.)
- Development environment replication and mirroring. (Some of the work  
has to moved off of Nokia owned servers)
- Broadband connection, telephone, office space, bookkeeping (yuck)

> (4) your future goals: what are you (and the community) planning for  
> you to do in the future?

Excellent question - and something that we can use to align our goals  
and see if the relationship is working and if we want to continue. I  
wish I had thought of this.

My future goals are to continue to work with Free Software. Debian has  
given me so much in my life it is hard to quantify. I fundamentally  
believe in the community, so much so that I have turned down jobs  
because I would have to sit and develop on Microsoft software. If you  
think that is zealotry, then I am guilty. I have noticed in this  
current downturn however a significant upswing in linux use and  
commensurate interest from recruiters.

So a quick list of my future goals;

	- Work in/with free software (i.e. GPL'd, etc.)
	- Continue to be able to commit work bi-directionally, i.e. upstream  
and downstream
	- Stay involved in the communities I am involved in
	- Develop my knowledge specifically of

		* debian
		* perl
		* maemian (I am going to be involved in this project whether I work  
for maemo or not. :) )
		* linux server administration
		* virtualization

> The problem I had at first, and I think this is the source of the  
> frustration you sensed in me, is that I was relying on (1) too much,  
> if not entirely; I had a set of preconceived ideas about what you  
> were going to do, and when I perceived that you didn't seem to be  
> doing some of the things I wanted you to do, I became somewhat  
> disappointed. But I've since realized that this was an unfair  
> assessment, since, of all the things in my list, (1) is the least  
> useful measurement.
> In fact, I would say that (1) is not only useless, but quite  
> dangerous. It should be eliminated as quickly as possible, to be  
> replaced by the other three things. So I've set about trying to get  
> some of the other three things into place. Items (3) and (4) are the  
> subject of this thread, and it seems that you and Tim are working on  
> (2) right now, too.
> I sincerely believe that getting good reporting, processes and  
> documentation into place here will benefit everyone, and reduce the  
> chances of things "getting ugly" in the future. I want lots of  
> transparency, and I really want good will.

Excellent points, I totally agree.
> I'm really sorry if I have caused any loss of good will here; that  
> was not my intent and it isn't useful in building community or  
> developing a working relationship.

Thank you very much for your open, and honest email Qole. Addressing  
these issues head-on in a frank manner is valuable to the community I  
feel, it will smooth the path for other council members and paid maemo  

Let's keep this dialog going so that we ensure the debmaster focuses  
on the needs of the community and that the council has a direct line  
to the paid staff. I work alone, often in isolation aside from the  
screen chatter around me, so having the constructive feedback from the  
council is invaluable.

> As an addendum: Looking at the way people are quoting my hastily  
> chosen words, everyone seems to have access to the logs of the maemo- 
> meeting channel for that meeting. Where are they to be found? Can  
> someone provide a link?


Thanks Stskeeps!

> On Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 6:10 AM, Tim <tim at samoff.com> wrote:
> Hi,
> Jeremiah: I understand where you are coming from, but...
>  > ext Jeremiah Foster wrote:
>  > This is exactly what is happening now. When Alan writes
>  > "I'm still unclear about the council's role in "policing" the paid
>  > maemo.org team.
> I hope I'm not assuming too much by saying that Alan just asking a
> question here. As a new member of a Council who is only just beginning
> its second term of existence, he is honestly unclear about some of the
> processes... Which, as a Council member, I am too. These are the  
> things
> that we've been elected to work out, as Alan is attempting to do -- in
> an open, community-oriented discussion.
>  > The current council is ignoring this and looking for ways to  
> "police"
>  > and "boss" before the roles are defined.
> I disagree. In fact, I've asked you (twice now) to send a statement of
> your own roles/responsibilities to the community for review and
> discussion. I still haven't seen it.
> I'm not saying that I think you are doing poorly -- from what I've  
> seen,
> I think you are doing a great job -- but what Alan is doing is what I
> have asked you to do. (Two way street?)
> --
> http://tim.samoff.com
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