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organization for policy decisions

From: Graham Percival
Subject: organization for policy decisions
Date: Sat, 18 Sep 2010 16:48:12 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.20 (2009-06-14)

One of my main goals for the past two years has been reducing the
amount of "oral tradition" in lilypond development.  Knowledge of
the internals, techniques for debugging, and our policies have
been explained in bits and pieces in emails, which makes it hard
for beginners to get started.  This led to our beloved
Contributor's Guide.

I've shied away from directly tackling large policy questions.
Partly because these tend to spawn discussions with a huge
noise-to-signal ratio, partly because we've survived for now
without such a mechanism, and partly because I thought that other
stuff were more urgent.

However, a couple of independent occurrences over the past few
months has convinced me that it's time to bite the bullet and
tackle these questions.  I wish I could say that we could do this
without negatively impacting GLISS, GOP, or development in
general, but of course I can't.  This *will* suck time and energy
away from productive areas.  But I think (hope?) that
clarifying/deciding some of these questions will be good in the
long term (say, 1-3 years from now).

With that in mind:
- I'm making an agenda for these questions.  We'll do this in an
  organized fashion (think GDP for those of you who were around
  in 2007/8).
- the tentative plan is to introduce one question each week, but
  it might slip to one every two weeks.  Most of these questions
  are not terribly urgent, and I think this will help to
  minimize the negative impact on productive work.
- deciding to postpone any decision  is always an option.
- decisions (including "postpone this") will be recorded in
  Contributor 11 Administrative policies
- some questions (typically "should person X get git push access?")
  will be discussed privately by senior developers on the
  lilypond-hackers mailing list.
  This is nothing unusual in the open-source world; it will follow
  the pattern of subversion-private, freebsd core, debian-private,
  etc.  The list of members of this group will be public.
  (this list hasn't been used for a few years, and I'm currently
  in the process of finding out who's on it, and adding new people
  who should be there -- don't worry if you haven't been contacted
  yet but think that you should be on this list)

- nothing starts until 2.14 is out

I'll probably post the list of questions next week (I want to
spend time working on 2.14 now); if you want to add anything, just
email me.

I know this message is fairly devoid of content, but I wanted to
let people know that yes, we *are* working on a way to settle (or
at least clarify) our policies.  Including code style.

- Graham

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