[ox-de-raw] Maintainership in Oekonux
- From: Stefan Merten <smerten oekonux.de>
- Date: Tue, 02 Jan 2007 09:39:39 +0100
[ liste: Sorry für Englisch, aber ich schätze mal die Mail kann jedeR
First of all: I wish you all a happy new year 2007 :-) .
Because this is of major importance for the whole project I'd like to
post the following to the discussion lists.
Several years ago I assumed the maintainer role for Oekonux. However,
this was meant only for organizational issues then and over time for
various reasons even for this I sometimes refused a clear maintainer
role. So far I never intended to assume a maintainer role for content
questions or the general direction of Oekonux.
On the other hand as some of you may have noticed again and again
people see me as the Oekonux front man and maintainer and even see
Oekonux as my project. In fact I founded the project in 1999 and I'm
still very much interested in it. And yes: In a way it is my baby and
there is no use in denying that I actually want to have a major
influence on it. This is probably also the way people perceive it and
that is why beyond the official "we-are-all-equal" ideology they see
some hidden, personalized maintainership.
A few months ago a few people suggested that I officially accept a
role as the clear Oekonux maintainer for all issues of the project
including content related issues. They argued that such a step would
make things clearer in Oekonux because then the perception of people
would match the official roles.
Because such a step is a major change in the Oekonux history I thought
long about this and I asked a few people in the project what they
think about such a step. The result was that the people I asked
responded positively or even welcomed it. Frankly I was astonished
that even from one person from whom I expected a clear rejection there
were an ambivalent position instead.
One point made in the replies was that a clear, personalized
maintainership would also match how things are in most Free Software
projects. Indeed when I think about it I understand that the
"we-are-all-equal" ideology I held so far comes from my political
tradition where things like a clear personalized maintainership are
simply taboos. Well, this tradition is probably shared by a lot of
people in Oekonux. But I always thought that to be able to think in
new ways we need to be able to be critical about our personal
traditions also. Today I think organizing Oekonux with clear,
personalized maintainership would turn some lessons learned into
I also thought about the question whether I want to have that greater
responsibility which is connected to a general maintainer role. In
fact a hard question with a couple of things to consider. To make a
long story short: I want to have that greater responsibility but
certainly need help in various ways.
Well, after lots of consideration and asking a few Oekonux
participants for their opinion I think it makes sense that I accept a
general maintainer role. For the foreseeable future I hereby promise
to do my very best as an Oekonux maintainer. It is my hope that this
will be a useful move for the project. Of course any help, tipps and
suggestions are highly appreciated.
Now what does this mean for the overall organizational structure of
the project - namely for [pox]? At present I see no reason to change
something as far as [pox] is concerned. IMHO [pox] makes sense as a
roof for the whole Oekonux project where volunteers from all parts of
the project can contribute to organizational questions. I see no
reason why this should become different.
Also I think the transparency I always tried to maintain in Oekonux
needs to be kept. For this transparency [pox] also is a useful tool.
As a central institution it can be used by those interested in this
transparency but doesn't bother others which are only interested in
the content discussion on the main lists.
Decision making processes on organizational issues should continue to
happen on [pox]. This is to involve all interested persons in such a
process in a clearly organized way. However, final decisions are made
by me as the maintainer.
As far as content related maintainership is concerned in the future
I'll outline the borders of Oekonux on the main discussion lists where
necessary. I probably did this in the past but from now on this will
have a more binding character. I always thought and I still think that
openness is one of the core characteristics of Oekonux and this will
be my guiding line here. However, openness needs borders to not become
arbitrariness. Where I think that these borders are stressed too much
I'll ask people to move their threads to [chox] which shall continue
to be the place where Oekonuxis put their content which is off-topic
for the discussion lists.
Finally I'd like to ask for support for this step. I know a few people
will appreciate it. Personally I feel that this change will replace
ideological concepts with really working ideas. I also think that the
clarity the project gains by this step will make a few things easier
However, I also expect that some people will refuse clear,
personalized maintainership in Oekonux. Those who can definitely not
live with this but still want to stay for some reason IMHO can show
their support for Oekonux by standing back in the future.
Mit Freien Grüßen
PS: A similar, more extensive mail went to [pox] already: