[SoaS] SoaS decision panel: Do we ignore/protest two week deadline?/Starting deliberations?

Martin Dengler martin at martindengler.com
Wed Oct 7 21:03:24 EDT 2009

On Tue, Oct 06, 2009 at 03:37:59AM -0400, Samuel Klein wrote:
> On timing: 2 weeks is a recommendation, but a deadline is not a bad
> thing.  Rather than debate it, why don't we plan to draft a statement
> this week.

The draft is http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Decision_panels/SOAS#Report

Please can someone else help with it - right now a few people have put
their names down next to votes, but nobody's gone further than my
skeleton draft.

> > 1. "Should Sugar Labs be a GNU/Linux distributor, rather than just an
> > upstream producing Sugar releases?"
> >
> > 2.  "Should SL be neutral about distributions containing Sugar, and
> > refuse to endorse one over another?"
> >
> > 3. "Should 'Sugar on a Stick' be a phrase that SL asks its community to
> > avoid using unless they refer to the SoaS-Fedora distribution?"
> #1 is a question of whether SL should channel development effort into
> producing distributions.

Substitute "development" with "significant" and I agree this is a good

> #2 is a question of whether SL should be neutral in its promotional
> materials.

Not just that - its infrastructure effort and resource choices, as
well as many other non-artifact-generating activities, like conference
participation, deployment pitches ("here's our software and our CD"
vs. "here's our software and you have to get someone else to give you
a CD") .  For example, it makes sense to spend infrastructure team
time to support an endorsed distro with a bugtracker.  It makes less
sense to spend infrastructure team time to support every distro that
ships Sugar.

> #3 is about encouraging the community to avoid confusion in naming


> [...] which can be done neutrally.

Can be done neutrally but is hard to do.  Witness the flamewar about
SoaS naming in June:


It's hard to be neutral unless the confused things come into existence
roughly concurrently.  For example, if SL were to ask the owners of
sugaronastick.com, which weren't distributing SoaS-Fedora, to stop
using "Sugar on a Stick", the (long-time) prior marketing of
SoaS-Fedora would make most people consider that SoaS-Fedora had some
prior claim, which is hardly neutral.

> > 1. "Should Sugar Labs be a GNU/Linux distributor, rather than just an
> > upstream producing Sugar releases?"
> >
> > My answer is Yes.   Without it Sugar Labs has nothing to encourage the
> > use of or promote that is of direct use to anyone other then
> > programmers or the people who assemble Linux distributions.
> Can someone articulate the opposite position here

I'll have a go:

1) SL isn't doing it officially now

2) It's not in SL's mission statement

3) It's being done by major distro vendors already (Debian, Fedora,
SuSE, Ubuntu)

4) It's really hard and labour-intensive, and nobody arguing SL should
do it has ever done it before.  Nobody's whose done it before thinks
we have a chance of doing it without more people at every stage of the
workflow (developing, testing, collecting feedback, documenting, etc.)

> preferably on a wiki page where we can iterate?

I prefer iterating on email right now, since we seem to be getting
more involvement in the process that way (to say the least and to not
say much at all).

I've linked to people's on-the-email-record statements when ascribing
votes to them:


> > Perhaps a straw poll is in order on this question (with comments
> > either for or against).
> First let's get the various opinions and positions onto a single page,
> then we can think about straw polls.

Straw polls are necessary given it's so late in the day and we need to
spend discussion time wisely (on the contentious issues).

http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Decision_panels/SOAS#Question_1_2 is a
straw poll of sorts.

> SJ


1. I actually can't find this email right now, but Bill refers to it
as "in a previous message, I" in

2.  I saw someone (I think it was Ben Schwartz) suggest - as a
throwaway example - for SL to produce a "reference" distro for
developers, which is one of the very few sets of circumstances in
which sense could obtain.
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