[Fwd: Hats and Ethics]

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[Fwd: Hats and Ethics]

William A Rowe Jr
I posted the following observations to members@, and heard no negative
feedback.  I'd like to begin a dialog about what such a statement of
ethics should contain.

Unfortunately, it's been pointed out that noise on [hidden email] can
be very confusing to new participants; when you see every point in the
evolution of a policy, but focus on a earlier 'revision', it's easy to
lose the end result of the dialog.

Eric pointed out this 'topic' generally belongs to incubator's charter
at the moment, but I'd suggest we conduct a dialog on community@ (which
is open to all members/committers and is archived) to come to a conclusion
on an ethics statement...

but I need a vote from the incubator committee that such a statement is
really needed to help guide new committers, and seasoned committers.
Can I hear i.a.o's vote to begin an i.o.a dialog on committers and bring
back a finished draft to this list?

Mine is +1, obviously.

Bill

Fellow members,

if all you saw was the subject, don't freak out :)  I'm not raising any
concern about the membership.

Something that's occurred to me, and that we see more and more in the
incubator, is the number of "corporate participants".  In and of itself
there's absolutely nothing sinister about such an individual offering
great patches (or docs contributions or support etc etc).

But for those new to open source, it seems there is a chasm for such
newcomers in understanding their relationship to the project versus their
relationship to their employeer/products/propritary technologies.  Most
of the time we end up working through this on an individual basis, which
isn't a really effective use of all the mentors time, if we could bring
them up to speed more quickly.

My personal view is that to contribute (code/docs/community) requires
nothing of the contributor/committer except to bring things to the table
and not undermine the project.  It doesn't matter if it's their day job,
their contribution is for the benefit of their employer or their own itch.

But my view of project committees is that once someone commits to becoming
a manager of the project, part of the PMC, they leave their employer at the
door and act in the interest of the *project* first.  If they can't do that,
the PMC member recuses themself from the issue at hand, or at an impasse,
they recuse themself from the committee.

This doesn't mean they are required to be on a PMC forever, or even a day
longer than they work for their company who's interested in the project.
Simply that as long as they participate in project "X", they work in the
interest of the reputation of the Foundation and project "X", even before
their employer, with respect to their project.  That means that private
conversations on project "X" are treated with confidence, etc etc.

(And of course, this goes for doubly so for membership in the foundation
itself, and respect for the privacy of communications on *this* list etc.)

It's really no different than being on two boards of directors, one doesn't
reveal the confidential/internal dealings of one of their companies to the
other, even if that would have a negative impact of withholding such
information.  Many here found open source before our companies even noticed
its existence, so it seems to me this is second nature to most everyone
of the membership.

So first, a sanity check; do others feel similarly about the ethics of
those participating in a project management committee?

And second, how do we record that, so that new contributors coming into the
incubator feel secure knowing where they are hanging their hat, and if they
are actually interested and willing to abide by the ethical restrictions
that being on the PMC would impose on them?

Third, how do we come to a statement on this?  My thought is that this would
be another good item to task a "community" committee with drafting.  (With
full review and feedback loop of the membership, of course.)  It's a good
example why "diversity" etc are too narrowly focused, and why "community"
is a pretty darned good name for a committee to deal with the entire
breadth of people-issues.

Finally - and if the membership entirely buys into the statement of ethics
that is arrived at - how do we feel about modifying the CLA to reflect the
acceptance of the statement of ethics?  (Yes - this would intersect with
legal, but I trust Cliff will chime in as a member long before it even
approaches the point of legal review.)

Various failures over the years in treating this list in confidence make
it pretty clear that if we don't always 'get it', or remember it, then
we can be sure our brand new participants sure won't without some education.
And w/o that education, we will keep needing to put out fires and playing
catchup, after the fact.

Feedbacks please?

Bill





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Re: [Fwd: Hats and Ethics]

Leo Simons
On Thu, Aug 10, 2006 at 10:28:49PM -0700, William A. Rowe, Jr. wrote:
> but I need a vote from the incubator committee that such a statement is
> really needed to help guide new committers, and seasoned committers.
> Can I hear i.a.o's vote to begin an i.o.a dialog on committers and bring
> back a finished draft to this list?

I refuse to vote on whether an appropriate discussion is appropriate
enough. Just do the work, and someone will complain if there is some
kind of problem. Take a look at how Robert's been handling his documentation
work wrt feedback and use it as an example.

LSD

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Re: [Fwd: Hats and Ethics]

William A Rowe Jr
Leo Simons wrote:
>
> I refuse to vote on whether an appropriate discussion is appropriate enough.

I'm asking for permission to have a dialog on community.  Sure, I could write
the thing and finish it; heck, could send that on to board and ask for a
resolution that it's ASF-wide policy.

But I think that discussion would be good and am asking that incubator would
sponsor the discussion on community@.  It's a sort of twisted but entirely
appropriate relationship, so just asking for objections before I begin.

Feel free to ignore till a finished draft document comes back here :)


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Re: [Fwd: Hats and Ethics]

William A Rowe Jr
William A. Rowe, Jr. wrote:
> Leo Simons wrote:
>> I refuse to vote on whether an appropriate discussion is appropriate enough.
>
> ... I think that discussion would be good and am asking that incubator would
> sponsor the discussion on community@.  It's a sort of twisted but entirely
> appropriate relationship, so just asking for objections before I begin.

Most important, I'm inviting anyone interested who's not -yet- subscribed
to community to participate, if my suggestion's acceptable to the incubator
community.  Sorry - forgot that point.

Bill

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