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Not being party to the discussion in Berlin I have just this page to go on as to the purpose of the new proposal and I realize it is a draft so if i might play advocate here ask some probing type questions...

REF#1 - In the Berlin Conference 2007, we recognised that the decision making process could be improved in the community

I am trying to remember what problems there are with decision making? I can't think of any at the moment... can anyone remember some examples? From here it seemed to me that there was no issue with discussion & voting but with implementing. We can all vote for some new process QA (as an example) but if those doing the work do not agree then there seems little point. The only decision to make, really, is whether to participate and "do" something or decide "not do" something - so actions not words! But is that an issue with voting?

REF#2 - This can cause problems with a formal decision making process.

To what does a formal decision refer? And what are the problems if the person(s) are not active? Does not active mean they don't vote?

REF#3 - by granting the privilege of ADempiere citizen

So we had an Adempiere-Team and hte SF project team - those considered to have contributed were added. What is the difference? Is this purely a way to formalise who is on these lists? Is this an exercise to clean that list and remove people without causing debate? :D

There seems to be a contradiction between... REF#4 - People are free to apply for citizenship as long as they agree with these rights and obligations.


REF#5 - Prospective citizens should be proposed by a current Citizen


REF#6 - Two supporters who are active Citizens

Do citizens apply? or nominated? is the proposer one of the two to support or are then in addition to the proposer?

So is this proposal process a formal definition of the process conducted by red1 now on our behalf to decide who should be on the adempiere-team mailing list? or listed as a SF project team member?

REF#7 - Citizen's should be subscribed and read on a regular basis the Citizen Mailing List

Is this mailing list for debate or only voting?

In the early days we had the "council" but it was felt that, for 99% of the topics, discussion in the privacy of the council was not a very open approach and that for the vast majority of topics there was no reason why these should not be debated in public and allow the whole "community" to participate. Personally I always felt this was brave decision and one that added greatly to the "openness" of the project which encourage many to join. Are we proposing stepping back from that? Or is it a case of debate in public but only "citizens" have a voice in the debate? or is it only the vote that is restricted to citizens? is the vote published at the end or the voting period?

REF#8 - We propose that the PMC be an arbitrator of such cases.

I always understood the PMC as a product technical/functional decision group ... why would it be arbitrator in such a case and not the community at large?

So I hope some who were present at the round table can take some time to clarify and help me understood fully the proposal and its purpose? --Croo 05:06, 9 July 2009 (PDT)

In response to Colin:

Re: Ref #1 and #2. A large part of the issue is that we have no formal decision making process which means decisions are not actually made. Things are just done and if disagreements occur there is no process for achieving a resolution. From personal experience, this makes it a difficult environment to contribute to.

well I've seen lots of proposals followed by +1's that got implemented. So it can work. It's true though, that, for some topics of great debate the community was divided and in the end nothing happened... but perhaps this is as it should be, i.e. when there is no clear agreement on the direction we continue direction we were going until such agreement is found? Majority rule has its place but it can easily split a community too. Likewise, I agree, if we are hurtling towards a cliff and we cannot decide to turn left or right that is not good :). So I take the point - on occasions it can be very bad to not decide definitively!--Croo 07:28, 10 July 2009 (PDT)
Also I can see that, currently, if no (or few) people vote then contributors can seem unsure of their authority to make changes. And in this I agree, officially bestowing those rights in a clear and unambiguous manner is a benefit. But if we said (just for arguments sake - not a suggestion) all those who have SF membership are entitled to make a proposal & vote on proposals, and if you achieve a majority of such a vote then you may proceed as per the proposal. Would the structure we had been any different from that for the community as proposed here? Again I'm just playing devils advocate here to clear my own understanding!--Croo 07:28, 10 July 2009 (PDT)
There was another issue discussed in Berlin about trying to avoid the anonymous status of some voters, allowing sf users to vote on important things put us on risk of people opening several accounts, or people making noise in forums just to make damage to the project. So, the intention of citizenship is also to put names behind the nicknames, to know who is who in adempiere, no more anonymous votes allowed CarlosRuiz_globalqss 21:44, 16 July 2009 (PDT)
Good point Carlos. I think it's important that people should not be anonymous when they vote. Should it just be names and emails that should be disclosed? It's easy to create a lot of them if someone really wanted. One point raised when discussing this subject with Norbert in IRC was; if a someone is representative of a company should the company have many representatives? If SAP sent 100 of their employees to speak as domain experts in the forums could they then have 100 votes on how the project should develop? Or are those 100 employees really representatives of one entity and so should have 1 vote? I can think of arguments for both ways myself--Croo 15:05, 17 July 2009 (PDT)

Re: Ref #3. My understanding is that by defining a citizenship base we can legitimate the establishment of governance procedures, and things like the Project Charter and Best Practices. It was agreed that it was better to start from scratch rather than adopting the SF team list (on the assumption that the end result will be the same, though possibly a little slower).

ok. so that kind of answers my point above. This is the same thing as the SF membership list but how people are added is formalized and the members list is being recreated according to those rules. But to differentiate people are citizens rather than members, right?--Croo 07:28, 10 July 2009 (PDT)

Re: Ref #7. I think it is one of the things that citizens will have to decide (once there is a sufficient base). At least initially it looks like it will run as a direct democracy with everyone voting on everything, but that could include voting to establish subsidiary decision making bodies to take over the day-to-day running of the project.

ok - so this statement is a proposal --Croo 07:28, 10 July 2009 (PDT)

Re: Ref#8. I agree, that the community at large is the ultimate arbitrator.

ok - again this is just a proposal --Croo 07:28, 10 July 2009 (PDT)

Phib 17:39, 9 July 2009 (PDT)

Re: Ref#8. I thought that the Council were going to be the arbitrator as last resort as the PMC is the key leadership organisation and we would need a 'privy council' type judiciary - who are not tied to any decision making and only is there to represent and uphold the values of the project. --Juddm 06:14, 10 July 2009 (PDT)

ok. well I'm just going by what is on this page. I understand its a draft to be agreed. So this is a point that should be discussed further?--Croo 08:01, 10 July 2009 (PDT)

So in Summary then can I take then that the only thing from this page I need to agree with is that "citizens have a right to vote" and the rest is a proposal and as yet undecided?--Croo 08:01, 10 July 2009 (PDT)


Thanks Paul Phip. Thanks Mike Juddm. Thanks for taking the time to expand on that for me. I hope nobody is annoyed at me questioning the decisions reached at Berlin! But, you guys discussed the ins and outs for hours I'm sure and that is the background to your understanding... I simply wanted to make sure I too fully understand before I agreed to anything! So I appreciate those taking the time to help me (and I hope others too who could not attend) understand fully the intent of the porposal.

Any more input is always welcomed! --Croo 07:28, 10 July 2009 (PDT)

Thanks to you too Colin for asking the necessary. There seems to be initial confusion while reaching a fuller list. Now that there is a good initial list of more than a dozen names things will accelerate and eventually we should get some 50 names by short measure. I am not counter commenting on any of these because i know for sure there is no safe or sure governance by any stroke. But what i like of this process is that it has some communal initiative and interactivity, hoping that at the end of it, ambiguity as to 'right to vote' no longer arise as before. Also a citizen may get a rap on the door if they dont seem to cast some ballot. Hmm.. interesting, aint it?! - red1 D. Oon 07:52, 10 July 2009 (PDT)

How to become a Citizen (comments)

Norbert, I think in the section "How to become a Citizen" we need to add that the new citizen must agree to be a citizen, and get out of the anonymity giving his real name and contact information.
Now, the question is if agreement and disclosure of contact information must be done before or after the votation, for this initial round I would think that it can be made after, and then we can implement the mechanism that people must agree and disclose before being voted.
On the same section, I think that we could think testimonial to be written just by one member, not necessarily two.
CarlosRuiz_globalqss 07:30, 17 July 2009 (PDT)

re disclosure; you could in this first step ask the nominees to accept AND provide a name & email at the same time. We have long discussed committers "signing" Contributor Agreements (to protect against me as an employee of SAP contributing code that does not belong to me but to SAP for example!). I know citizen does not mean committer but I guess this principal could apply to all content or potential IP... so might this be the time to ask everyone to agree to a Contributor Agreement? Here is a link I'm sure Apache wouldn't mind us using as a template - if you agree I can recreate this with our logos and reword were I think it appropriate as a first draft?--Croo 06:49, 18 July 2009 (PDT)
okay a draft of the Contributor Agreement here
--Croo 09:29, 18 July 2009 (PDT)

How you might lose your Citizenship (comment)

Hi, now that I was learning a little about athenian democracy (thanks to my little trip to Greece) I found something interesting in ostracism, and wondering if we could apply something similar to disruptive cases :-D CarlosRuiz_globalqss 07:50, 17 July 2009 (PDT)

This word is still used in English Carlos. Someone is said to be "ostracized" when no one in a community/society will speak to them. Seems an extreme action to take to me!--Croo 15:12, 17 July 2009 (PDT)

Proxy Voting

Can a citizen delegate their vote to another person? If so under what conditions? --Tony 05:31, 24 July 2009 (PDT)