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From Benoit Chesneau <>
Subject Re: [DISCUSS] dont't abuse of "lazy concensus" on mail tagged [DISCUSS]
Date Fri, 10 May 2013 08:39:13 GMT
On Thu, May 9, 2013 at 7:26 PM, Noah Slater <> wrote:
> I'm not sure what you find offensive in my email.
> I was pointing out that your understanding of lazy consensus is incorrect.
> And the arguments you make from that misunderstanding are similarly
> incorrect.
> You came close to making a concrete proposal, but fell slightly short of
> the mark. Things like this, for instance: "So I think that something tagged
> [DISCUSS] should at least let 2 weeks or better 1 month to expect a
> response and make any assumption." This is too vague to really talk about.
> What is "something tagged as [DISCUSS]"? What gets tagged with "[DISCUSS]"?
> Is it two weeks, or one month? There are many things that need clarifying
> before we can move forward productively.
> When I commented on some of the inaccuracies in your email, you started to
> rail against me. Coming up with things like suggesting that people have
> ignored objections, or that people are "abusing" the process, or that
> things are "borderline". But you have not actually given any concrete
> examples. So, again, it is practically impossible to have a discussion.

The purpose of this discuss thread was discussing hence the tag
[DISCUSS]. Though I failed in this bad (imo) habit we took recently to
propose decisions before discussing the foundations of this
discussion. All I wanted is discussing what I considered an abuse and
make some proposals.  It should have been more clear.

Anyway If you didn't found it clear or wanted it more precise then
it's all that should have been asked.

Also I don't have to give concrete examples since the problem I
describe " use lazy-consensus all the time and only  propose 72 hours
to react" is the abuse. You may disagree with that but this is what I
call an abuse. And sorry but you have no authority on my mind to
define what *I* call an abuse.

> I am not suggesting that we don't discuss things, or that some thing
> shouldn't be discussed. I am saying that you do not need to "give the whole
> community a set of options" before you make any sort of decision. That is
> the surest way I can think of to make sure that no decisions ever get made,
> and that CouchDB continues to grow more and more sclerotic.
> The problem the last few years is actually more like this: a smart,
> passionate user comes along with an idea that they believe will benefit the
> project. When they suggest it, they are met with a bunch of objections. But
> they are objections in the form of "I don't like this idea because it's not
> exactly like how I would do it." Which wouldn't be so bad, if those people
> actually went ahead and did anything. But they don't. So what this forms is
> a big wall of stop energy that nothing ever gets passed.

Not only the problem is that some proposed threads didn't have
discussions at all, either purely or violently objected or simply
ignored. Worst case an idea/code from an ignored thread came 1 year or
2 year after is  presented as a new thing.

The problem is not to force decisions (yes I call it forcing) by using
lazy consensus without prior discussions to make an idea happen, the
problem is more like: working on taking all new ideas in a positive
manner, and being open even if the idea sounds stupid at first. Also
listening about differences. Something that we still have to work on
imo. That and taking ideas in consideration more rapidly. But that has
nothing with lazy consensus. Not everything require to take decisions,
some are just questions to validate a point or a concept related to
the project or an idea someone can have.

> I see hints of this in your response. It sounds like you're saying that
> before we do anything, we have to discuss it, and everybody needs a chance
> to review the options, and then we can move forward. But to me, that sounds
> a big sticking pile of bureaucratic crap that we're heaping on to the
> project because we're too afraid of change or loss of control.

That exactly my thinking about the lazy concensus *by default*: a
buraucratic crap and a way to  not share the control with the
community or make it harder to do it.

And this discussion make me think that my next proposal to go to a RTC
policy [1] will have the same kind of reaction. But this is another


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