[IAEP] [SLOBS] Governance.

Walter Bender walter.bender at gmail.com
Sat Jan 31 20:14:22 EST 2009

I am a bit behind in my email again... my nose had been in the Python
manual all day--I think I figured out a cool way to interface TA to

Here is my short-term suggestion:

Why don't we appoint you as a monitor of the slobs list. Any message
that you think should be public, send to iaep (blipping out names if
necessary). That'll prevent us form inadvertently keep secrets from
the community. Worth a try?


On Sat, Jan 31, 2009 at 4:03 PM, Michael Stone <michael at laptop.org> wrote:
> Dear Ombudsman, Bernie, Mako, and other slobs members,
> This mail is to notify you of a couple of things which I think are relevant to
> SugarLabs continued development as a community. Please take the following
> remarks as heart-felt concern and criticism from someone who cares deeply about
> all of you and about our common goal.
> Regards,
> Michael
> P.S. - I look forward to all of your responses -- this mail discusses a concern
> which cannot be resolved by unilateral means. (Preferably, I will find your
> responses in public fora such as iaep@ or planet.sl.o)
> -----------------------
> Facts:
>   1. Yesterday, I discovered a private mail thread (the "olpcfriends" thread)
>      between five of the seven SugarLabs' oversight board members and two of
>      their colleagues strategizing about how SugarLabs ought to view its
>      relationships with other important parties like deployments and
>      distributions and containing some excellent and valuable criticism of some
>      work which I happen to be presently engaged in as a volunteer.
>      (Bernie kindly forwarded me several excerpts from the thread in order to
>      try to reassure me of its benign nature.)
>   2. After I spoke to Bernie, Walter, and Chris at some length about my
>      unhappiness over this discovery (logs available on request), Bernie
>      decided that he should subscribe me to slobs@ so that, I assume, I could
>      see for myself that it was being used properly and that its participants
>      were behaving in good-faith with respect to their obligations.
>   3. Today, after reading 17 slobs@ messages (received in just 12 hours) and
>      then being warned by Bernie to treat the content of slobs@ as
>      confidential, I unsubscribed myself.
>      [Editorial remark: To the best of my ability, I will not be complicit in
>      what I consider to be immoral behavior; hence this note.]
>   4. SugarLabs' founding documents -- which I take to be
>        http://sugarlabs.org/go/Sugar_Labs/Governance
>      specifically mention the following "necessary" attributes of good
>      governance:
>        meritocracy, transparency of process, open access to anyone who has
>        demonstrated the skills to contribute, and a means to ensure a balance
>        of control so that no one special interest wrests control of either the
>        discourse or the decision-making.
>      Similarly, Mako is quoted on
>        http://sugarlabs.org/go/Sugar_Labs/Funding
>      to the effect:
>        Regardless of the steps that a project chooses, transparency will act in
>        a central role in maintaining volunteerism. — Mako Hill
> Conclusion:
>   In my opinion, several SugarLabs members and the SugarLabs oversight board
>   have reneged on their commitment to act in accordance with the attributes of
>   good governance set out in their founding documents.
> General request:
>   Please either act consistently with or publicly renounce your commitment to
>   these attributes of good governance.
> Specific personal remarks:
>   1. Private mail threads on sugar-related business between a majority of
>      oversight members are not consistent with SugarLabs stated means of
>      governance.
>   2. Please use your oversight list for oversight work, not for general
>      coordination, criticism, or venting.
>   3. Please publish your coodination, criticism, and venting whenever possible,
>      making use of pseudonyms when necessary.
>      (None of the traffic that I saw in my brief sample of slobs@ needed to be
>      private; furthermore, it seemed to me that only one thread might
>      conceivably have benefitted from masking names. In all cases, I regard the
>      value of the content of those threads to the public as far outweighing the
>      value of their confidentiality among the 14 or so listed members of
>      slobs at .)
> _______________________________________________
> Slobs mailing list
> Slobs at lists.sugarlabs.org
> http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/slobs

Walter Bender
Sugar Labs

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