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From Benoit Chesneau <>
Subject Re: [DISCUSS] dont't abuse of "lazy concensus" on mail tagged [DISCUSS]
Date Thu, 09 May 2013 06:10:58 GMT
On Thu, May 9, 2013 at 2:02 AM, Noah Slater <> wrote:
> On 7 May 2013 20:07, Benoit Chesneau <> wrote:
>> Lazy consensus give this false idea that because no-one objected in
>> time then it's OK to process.
> This is not a false idea. This principal sites at the very core of how we
> do things at Apache.

It is, the way I described it. Lazy consensus aren't here to obtain a
real consensus. I won't repeat myself. I will just re-quote the apache

    Reasons for Votes

    People tend to avoid conflict and thrash around looking for
something to  substitute - somebody in charge, a rule, a process,
stagnation. None of these tend to be very good substitutes for doing
the hard work of resolving the conflict.

Looking for consensus is harder than simply asking to a a vote where
you can't really object and that is not really waiting an answer.

>> That could be true if the expected
>> response was not in a short delay or asked before a we
> 72 hours to gauge lazy consensus is a standard across all 130 Apache TLPs.

It isn't a standard, but a convenience.

> It strikes the balance between being able to move quickly, and being
> considerate of other people's time.
> 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.
> I think this is much too long a time to expect people to wait before they
> can assume lazy consensus  We need to become *lighter* in our decision
> making process, not heavier.
> Having said that, you are free to try and build consensus around your idea.
> Please note that unless consensus can be established to change the notice
> period, the status quo will be maintained, which is 72 hours.

Sorry? I didn't ask for a lazy consensus, nor set a delay. I am trying
to reach a... consensus ... I will summarize what have been discussed
in time.

>> If nonone object I would like to push the delay of such discussion to
>> 2 weeks by default .
> I am -1 on this. I do not want to slow down the decision making process. We
> cannot stall our already embarrassingly slow velocity because some people
> in the community only check their Apache email once a fortnight.
> If you want to be involved more, check your email more. If you can't check
> your email more, then recognise that some decisions are going to be made in
> your absence.

Lazy consensus were designed for votes on the code originally. Voting
on the code is only requiring a lazy consensus most of the time.
Voting on a decision that engage all the community shouldn't be lazy
most of the time.

Decisions on things that engage community should be presented as a
choice. And since the objections made on lazy consensus can be
properly ignored ( at least they had in the past) then it should only
be used for things that doesn't require a real consensus or agreement
from most. Lazy consensus should be used to determine the sense of the
community when you estimate it doesn't require a real consensus.

Lazy consensus should be used as a last resort not as a common tool to
pass decisions. This is how they are described.

Urgent thing should be marked as is on the ml, and probably only
require some people.

>> Also i really would like that such concensus
>> should be optionnal not a common thing to use to pass ideas. This
>> isn't natural at all.
> Lazy consensus is the *default* decision making process at Apache. We do it
> like this precisely because it is hard to co-ordinate a team when people
> are unreliable, busy, and distributed across the globe.

It isn't. Lazy-consensus is a way to vote. We have different ways to vote:

- Votes
- Votes on release aren't lazy consensus, they require a majority (but no veto)
- Lazy consensus : lazy consensus are generally used for a code
update, change a word in a page, etc but not for other things.

But votes aren't the default way to get decisions. Votes are a way to
ask for a decision but shouldn't be used as the default to take these
decisions. I won't quote the voting page again.

> As for the "abuse" of DISCUSS threads, I can only assume that
> is targeted at me, as I have been doing most of the project co-ordination
> the last few months. If you could provide specifics, that would be useful.

No it isn't targeted at you. When I want to fix problems with people I
contact them privately.  I'm targeting the use of the lazy consensus
to take decisions  as a default.

> I would be happy to use the subject tag PROPOSAL when lazy consensus is
> being used, to separate these threads out from general DISCUSS threads.
> Please note, however, that in my mental model of how Apache works, a
> DISCUSS thread *is* a discussion that will default to lazy consensus. That
> is how I have always used that tag. If you think it's confusing, let's
> propose a new tag.

I can see a lot of discussion threads that didn't ask for a consensus.
Mail can be tagged or not, i have no strong opinion on that.  Proposal
doesn't fit well though, the general use of this term distinct it from
the  decision. This is another topic though.

I've created this thread in the hope we go back to a more natural
process. I hope I've cleared the intentions here.

- benoit

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