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From Christopher <ctubb...@apache.org>
Subject [DISCUSS] Majority voting without prior discussion
Date Tue, 06 May 2014 20:58:58 GMT
Devs,

As something that came out of the vote thread about EOL'ing 1.4, I was thinking:

The purpose of a majority vote seems to be when we've already
discussed and planned, and we just need things to come down to a final
vote. Things like releasing, for example, occur after discussions,
planning, and aren't a surprise in any way. It seems to me that there
are two main points I want to make:

1) Prior discussion/planning should be a prerequisite for things which
are majority vote.
2) The default for any ambiguous or arbitrary vote item that does not
fall into a predetermined type, should require consensus.

The problem with majority votes without discussion is that there may
be serious concerns a minority of persons voting have about something,
that could be resolved with compromise.... where there is plenty of
room for gathering consensus. Coming together as a community to move
forward with a mutually agreed upon path should always be preferred
where possible. In some cases, differences are irreconcilable and
action just needs to be taken to move forward (releasing, for
instance) on a majority decision, but even here, there is up front
discussion about those differences (code development, release
planning, etc.) prior to such a vote.

Binding actions to a majority vote that has insufficient prior
discussion, especially when there is no mechanism to extend a vote, or
sane way to alter the contents of the majority vote while in progress,
leads to actions that don't have the consensus of the community, even
in circumstances where consensus was possible to achieve.

I think our bylaws should be updated to reflect the two ideas above.
I'm not sure the exact wording needed *(please submit proposals in
response to this), but I think it should declare that any voting that
does not clearly fall into a vote category explicitly enumerated, or
if there's any doubt, should default to consensus. Before we had
bylaws, this appeared to be the precedent... as we often took great
care to respond to any objections, delaying, canceling, or extending
the vote to do so. We should continue to operate with that same sense
of community in future decisions as well, and I think consensus voting
whenever possible is the way to do that.

It was also discussed that it may be helpful to enumerate end of life
procedures in the bylaws as well. I'm not sure this is as important of
an issue if we agree that the default should be consensus... but I'm
willing to entertain that discussion in this thread as well.

Thanks for your time and input.

--
Christopher L Tubbs II
http://gravatar.com/ctubbsii

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