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GOP-PROP 6: private mailing lists (probable decision)

From: Graham Percival
Subject: GOP-PROP 6: private mailing lists (probable decision)
Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2011 20:08:49 -0700
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.20 (2009-06-14)

Most people seem to like the status quo.

** Proposal summary

Potentially sensitive or private matters will be referred to
Graham. He will then decide who should discuss the matter on an
ad-hoc basis, and forward or CC them on future emails.

For emphasis, the project administrators are Han-Wen, Jan, and
Graham; those three will always be CC’d on any important

The lilypond-hackers mailing list will be removed.

** Status quo

At the moment, this seems to be our custom. Whenever something
comes up, somebody sends me a private email, and I pick an ad-hoc
collection of people to discuss it with. Always Han-Wen and Jan,
but often Carl, Trevor, and others.

Other than the obvious “giving git push ability”, recent questions
included a university project who wanted to have a focus group to
discuss development. I thought we could just discuss it on -devel,
but the university group wanted to keep it private. I didn’t see
any harm in that, so we arranged something privately with an
ad-hoc collection of lilypond developers.

** History

There is some unhappy history about this idea in our development

** Other projects

The idea of private mailing lists is hardly uncommon in
open-source software. For example,   about debian-private  private@   board members pledge
to keep certain matters confidential

every security team of every linux distribution and OS

In fact, Karl Fogel’s “Producing Open Source Software” explicitly
suggests a private mailing list for some circumstances:

[on granting commit/push access to a contributor]

But here is one of the rare instances where secrecy is
appropriate. You can't have votes about potential committers
posted to a public mailing list, because the candidate's feelings
(and reputation) could be hurt.

** Board of governers, voting, etc?

Many projects have an official board of directors, or a list of
“core developers”, with set term limits and elections and stuff.

I don’t think that we’re that big. I think we’re still small
enough, and there’s enough trust and consensus decisions, that we
can avoid that. I would rather that we kept on going with
trust+consensus for at least the next 2-3 years, and spent more
time+energy on bug fixes and new features instead of
administrative stuff.

Project administrators are Han-Wen, Jan, and Graham.

** Implementation notes

Graham’s email address will be added to the website “contact”
page, at the bottom of the “Developer discussion” box, with the
  Private matters should be sent to Graham Percival, who
  will discuss it with those concerned.

- Graham

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