[maemo-community] maemo.org infra safety - HiFo action URGENTLY needed.

From: joerg Reisenweber joerg at openmoko.org
Date: Fri Mar 7 01:19:15 UTC 2014
On Thu 06 March 2014 03:42:09 Andrew Flegg wrote:
> On 28 February 2014 06:57, joerg Reisenweber <joerg at openmoko.org> wrote:
> > OK, you say HiFo is doing system administration on maemo servers now,
> > either you or some proxy? Fine, I'm pondering to step down from that
> > position then,
Maybe you missed the irony tags? Or did you purposely edit them out by picking 
this quote without giving context?
For the record: I'm NOT fine with HiFo doing system administration. See below 
for reasons, why.
And obviously 2/3 of council and all of core techstaff isn't as well. Core 
techstaff (see below) actually isn't happy with how HiFo acted and still does 
act, and mood is to rather stop volunteering in maemo than to participate in 
what HiFo seems pushing to establish here. You already managed to alienate a 
few maintainers and supporters who actually drew that consequence and 

> Joerg, on behalf of the Hildon Foundation Board, I'd like to thank you
> for your efforts in the continued operation of maemo.org since Nokia
> stepped back. Without your work, we wouldn't be here today; nor have a
> tech staff who has been able to pick up where Nemein left off.
> There has, unfortunately, been an air of aggravation between the
> Foundation and you for the past few months, something for which I
> don't want to ascribe any blame. The Board recognises that the
> relationship has degraded, 

well, any good relations between me and HiFo never been a part of my job 
description for the position as maemo administration manager. Regardless of 
the lack of any 'official' mandatory relations between maemo admin manager and 
HiFo, see below.

> and thinks the immediate and ongoing
> assistance you've provided with regards to maemo.org system
> administration has run its course, 

You're free to think that. It's however neither relevant nor correct. See 

> as the tech staff team is now well
> established.

That's a severe misconception.
1) there is no "well established techstaff team", basically techstaff team 
consists of three people: Xes, Falk, and me. Then we have a (much too small) 
number of subsystem maintainers, like chemist (tmo) and Ivaylo (builder 
complex) and Christian (repos), who are considered wider techstaff. It seems 
this lack of understanding about such facts showing in HiFo's move and 
statement here tells a lot about why HiFo shouldn't interfere with techstaff 
duties and infra maintenance (which it nevertheless does *second* time here 
and now, during a few weeks)
2) any such techstaff team basically doesn't have *any* business with HiFo - 
thus *my* relation to HiFo as member and organizational lead of techstaff team 
is absolutely irrelevant.
3) my role as maemo administration manager/coordinator is not only to lead 
techstaff and to find and introduce new maintainers and sysops and coordinate 
their activities, I'm also the one point of responsibility for "keeping the 
keys", read: deciding and overseeing who gets access to maemo infra on which 
level, and thus securing integrity of maemo.org and defending it from any 
threat. This task isn't one that eventually is accomplished. 

From a maemo community organizational perspective HiFo (or rather council and 
you) once were responsible to find somebody for all those tasks, Ivan 
"shanghaied" me and I got installed to take care of that. The agreement been 
that only council and HiFo unanimously can accept any new position of core 
techstaff (excl the subsystem maintainers which maemo admin coordinator can 
appoint without their prior approval, basically because HiFo has proven own 
inability to handle any such task, despite me initially insisting in them 
taking responsibility instead of me), and both HiFo and council on their own 
can reject appointments at the time they are forwarded to those entities for 
approval, and after that they can suspend any techstaff member any time, based 
on clear rationale and reason for belief made publicly accepted that a real 
threat is coming from such techstaff member.  When I shall step down from my 
position as maemo admin manager, then regarding "how maemo works" there must 
be a successor agreed upon by both HiFo and particularly council, otherwise I 
CANNOT step down. (see below why not even that might suffice, regarding unclear 
state of handover from Nemein to maemo community).
Even while I'm tempted to retire, considering the uncooperative and actually 
incorrect and culpable behavior of HiFo, particularly Chemist, alienating and 
bewildering all techstaff and rest of council by ignoring our rules for 
maintenance, our concerns, and doing an unassigned sneaky stealth job 
tampering with techstaff responsibility domain without discussing that publicly 
or at least in official techstaff admin channels beforehand, so that at very 
least techstaff could relax and delegate their duty of e.g. securing 
uninterrupted backup (though again, this responsibility can't get easily 
delegated). Rather HiFo comes to techstaff at large with a "don't worry" 
catchphrase and abuses their position and the liberal maintenance management 
to do "secret" negotiations with parts of techstaff, here talking Falk into 
something he didn't even consider that it might not already have been 
discussed in a normal way with rest of techstaff and council (according to what 
Falk reported to me). In the end it been up to me to do the right thing to 
heal this mess and ask Falk to send a info mail to all techstaff and publicly 
report about that skunk work done by Chemist, in last Thuesday's council 
meeting, so council and community are finally officially informed. While HiFo (as 
usual) left techstaff, council, and thus community without any notice about 
what's going on, denying all best common practice of teamwork and peer review 
and blatantly ignoring the agreements between them and council and techstaff, 
the maintenance rules, and the democratic structures in maemo community at 
There's been a clear agreement between HiFo and council that HiFo does NOT 
deal with any technical and/or organizational aspects of infra maintenance. 
Seems current HiFo and particularly Chemist doesn't care or is willing to 
violate such agreement, thus putting the carefully balanced maemo 
organizational structure at peril.

The communication failure and trespassing of responsibility domains is clearly 
on HiFo side in this case, and I conceive this request of yours regarding my 
dismissal inappropriate and in line with this communication failure of HiFo, 
smelling like targeted towards a shift away from long established and 
community-approved democratic structures and towards an almighty HiFo that 
thinks it has the power to control everything on own discretion and not being 
obliged to search for support/feedback/approval from community in their 
decisions, something that community been concerned about regarding HiFo from 
very beginning of discussions about HiFo foundation.
This together with recent efforts to abolish HiFo and replace it by an e.V. 
that's not even been elected by community and outright denies any authority of 
well established maemo council actually rises severe concerns on my side and I 
can't and must not support this.

> Please can you work with the tech staff to complete any handover, and
> disable your access.
(I *am* part of techstaff, see above)

"*Complete* handover"? To *whom*? I didn't even know any handover started yet. 
I don't even know of any *planned* handover. Neither do I see anybody fit for 
the task (yes, a sad situation I tried to relieve but couldn't find anybody 
willing to dedicate the needed amount of learning and working hours and 
availability/visibility by community [and yes, acceptance in community] to it)
"Disable your access"? So you want to dismiss me not only from role as maemo 
admin coordinator, but also from role as one of the techstaff sysops (and 
implicitly maintainers)? That's great¡<-irony tag!>  Please deliver rationale 
for that step. (Not implying I'd acknowledge any power in HiFo to do so, 
without public discussion)

And for the record: de jure, maemo.org still is handled by Nemein who granted 
root access to Falk and me, to help in administration (soft assets). Also the 
server hardware been transferred to IPHH by Nemein and with support of Nokia 
(who paid for the shipping) but afaik the server isn't property of HiFo yet 
since it never been handed over officially to HiFo, it either is owned by Nemein 
still, or by Nokia, or maybe even by Falk who received it at IPHH.
I'm just saying this to make clear that my role as admin coordinator got 
suggested by former HiFo member Ivan and _got_accepted_ by Nemein. With 
accepting this duty I also accepted legal responsibility for the soft and hard 
assets, and thus I can't simply hand over this role to whomever and shrug it 
away, my liability for maemo safety would stay. 

> We hope you'll find other ways to continue to contribute to the
> community, for which you've done so much, and - on a personal note - I
> hope we can work together in future.

Well, I dunno if you find ways to work together with techstaff in the future, I 
don't even know what's been your problem in doing so during  the recent past. 
Anyway please note that no "working together" between techstaff and HiFo is 
supposed to be part of how maemo works. HiFo is responsible for money and 
contracts (to put it simple), techstaff is responsible for securing and 
maintenance of the infra, and council is responsible for decisions about all 
that. Any HiFo cooperation is with council. Any techstaff cooperation is with 

> Many thanks again,
You'll excuse my refusal to thank you for that.

> Andrew

()  ascii ribbon campaign - against html e-mail     
/\  www.asciiribbon.org   - against proprietary attachments
(alas the above page got scrapped due to resignation(!!), so here some 
supplementary links:)
http://www.gerstbach.at/2004/ascii/ (German)
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