[Council;DR] Council Discussion Summary, Weeks 2020/52-53

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Dirk Steinmetz (rsjtdrjgfuzkfg)

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Jan 10, 2021, 8:10:19 PM1/10/21
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Council;DR Weeks 2020/52-53: 2020-12-21 to 2021-01-04

Things slowed down due to the holidays. We hope you all started safely
and healthily into the new year!

Employment:
- There are discussions about hiring somebody for HR tasks, which were
deferred to a future strategy meeting after we have a vision.

Project Strategy:
- We're still drafting the result / discussion-kickoff email for the
vision survey.
- We're scheduling a second strategy meeting.

Communication / Transparency:
- There are ongoing discussions on how to handle voting records for
motions that include personal information or confidential data.
- We're scheduling a separate meeting to discuss CPG.
- Reminder: we're considering discontinuing meeting minutes. Speak up if
you miss something in Council;DR that is currently covered by meeting
minutes.

Miscellaneous:
- We will add a few missing entries to the 'Get involved' page:
https://www.thunderbird.net/en-US/get-involved/

___

Voting record for official motions in this period:
There were no motions in this period.

____
"We" is the council speaking in the name of the Thunderbird project.

Some aspects may be missing or intentionally vague, as the council works
with confidential information that cannot be shared with the public.
_______________________________________________
tb-planning mailing list
tb-pl...@mozilla.org
https://mail.mozilla.org/listinfo/tb-planning

Chris Ilias

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Jan 11, 2021, 6:40:04 PM1/11/21
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Dirk Steinmetz (rsjtdrjgfuzkfg) wrote on 2021-01-10 8:10 PM:
> - Reminder: we're considering discontinuing meeting minutes. Speak up if
>   you miss something in Council;DR that is currently covered by meeting
>   minutes.

Why are you considering discontinuing the meeting minutes?

Dirk Steinmetz (rsjtdrjgfuzkfg)

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Jan 11, 2021, 7:19:41 PM1/11/21
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Hi Chris,

The idea is that we try out communication channels, keep what is useful,
and scrap things that are obsoleted to reduce the overall workload.
While we sadly did not see new channels other than Council;DR yet, we
did receive feedback that Council;DR makes meeting minutes obsolete.

If the meeting minutes serve no purpose anymore, there is no reason to
keep up the effort to produce them. If you do still see purpose in them,
please share what you get from meeting minutes that you don't get from
Council;DR. Then we can think about how to preserve that – for example
by keeping minutes around, expanding Council;DR or doing something new.

Kind regards,
Dirk / rsjtdrjgfuzkfg


Am 12.01.21 um 00:39 schrieb Chris Ilias:

Ben Bucksch

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Jan 13, 2021, 2:16:33 AM1/13/21
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Am 11.01.21 um 02:10 schrieb Dirk Steinmetz (rsjtdrjgfuzkfg):

- Reminder: we're considering discontinuing meeting minutes. Speak up if
  you miss something in Council;DR that is currently covered by meeting
  minutes.


It's difficult for me to express it in these terms of choice A and B, because neither give me the information that I need.
For meaningful participation, I need to know what is being discussed right now.

I also need to know who said what and voted how. That is needed a) to get an understanding how a particular Council member is representing my interests and those of the end users at large, and b) to know how to make an argument.

Right now, both reports only tell me the general topic discussed, but not
  • what are the specific problems discussed
  • what solutions were discussed, and
  • what or who is blocking the progress
Participation means to be able to be part of the solution. If I don't know what the real problem is (whereas the problem is often simply that person C is against it, for whatever reason), I cannot contribute a solution. If Council Member C is against something, I cannot contribute in a meaningful way.

This goes directly to the Mozilla Manifesto:
"08 Transparent community-based processes promote participation, accountability and trust."

As we could see in the last election, the current method of hiding information of what happens "upstairs" has not helped trust, but severely eroded it. One of the primary lessons from the last few months must be to regain that trust by actual transparency and real participation from the outside.

The information I need is:
  • What will be discussed at the next Council meeting (so that I can prepare arguments to be considered, or even add topics that I notice missing)
  • What exactly was discussed at the last Council meeting.
  • Which arguments (pro/contra) were made, and by whom.
  • I absolutely need to know who said what, in order to participate meaningfully - otherwise I cannot communicate. Without that information, I cannot participate in the discussion. The goal must be to involve the community in the discussion, not shut it out.
  • If there were votes, what was the exact question posed, and which Council member voted how.
  • I need the report within 1-3 days after the meeting happened. Reports that come in a week or more later are useless for active participation.

I do accept that any names of employees (other than Council members) or partners will be strikken/blacked out, likewise any money numbers about specific persons/partners/suppliers, but we do need the donations and overall revenues and costs of the project, summarized by department/subproject.

So, as to how that alignes with TL;DR or meeting minutes, I don't know. The meeting minutes given some information about who said/voted what that TL;DR doesn't have. TL;DR is far more timely (but still a week late), but TL;DR is far too superficial and vague for my needs.

I hope that helps as feedback.

Ben

Magnus Melin

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Jan 13, 2021, 5:40:10 AM1/13/21
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"Real-time" information of what's going on in extreme details is rather unfeasible. It's also unclear why anyone would "need" that information. This certainly isn't about hiding any relevant information. Most things we discuss are fairly dull details of running operations.

But let's not derail the discussion. A big thanks to Dirk for taking the time to put Council;DR together! The question atm is not whether you can get detailed real-time information or not - you can't. The question is which format is better, and how we could improve Council;DR to be complete enough to replace minutes. I don't think having both formats makes much sense especially given how much time is put into the minutes: many times we've spent 20-30% of meeting time discussing those even when there are not any major problems in them. I don't think that's best use of peoples time, and my feeling is that there's not a lot of support in the council for keeping both formats. Which is why we've asked for feedback on discontinuing them.

 -Magnus

Ben Bucksch

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Jan 16, 2021, 11:26:08 AM1/16/21
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Am 13.01.21 um 11:40 schrieb Magnus Melin:
> many times we've spent 20-30% of meeting time discussing those even
> when there are not any major problems in them. I don't think that's
> best use of peoples time


I agree. The solution is: Do *not* discuss about the minutes. The
meeting minutes only need to reflect what happened at the meeting. There
is no approval process necessary. You trust the person who created the
minutes, because he's your direct co-worker. If somebody deliberately
reports facts wrongly, you take it up with him, and let somebody else do
the minutes. But that's something you deal with after the fact.

So, simply: Let somebody take notes, post them immediately after the
meeting, and that's it. Nothing complicated.

It's only complicated, because you make it complicated with your
approval process.

Berna Alp

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Jan 17, 2021, 2:46:35 PM1/17/21
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Hello all,

On 1/16/21 5:25 PM, Ben Bucksch wrote:
> Am 13.01.21 um 11:40 schrieb Magnus Melin:
>> many times we've spent 20-30% of meeting time discussing those even
>> when there are not any major problems in them. I don't think that's
>> best use of peoples time
>
>
> I agree. The solution is: Do *not* discuss about the minutes. The
> meeting minutes only need to reflect what happened at the meeting.
> There is no approval process necessary. You trust the person who
> created the minutes, because he's your direct co-worker. If somebody
> deliberately reports facts wrongly, you take it up with him, and let
> somebody else do the minutes. But that's something you deal with after
> the fact.
>
> So, simply: Let somebody take notes, post them immediately after the
> meeting, and that's it. Nothing complicated.
>
> It's only complicated, because you make it complicated with your
> approval process.

Here is how I see it:

I agree that we should post these minutes timely, however I do not agree
that we publish them immediately based on a single person's notes, it
should at least take two council members to make sure that the
discussions are accurately presented.

We need to take minutes during the meeting to capture what has been
discussed/decided anyway, why would not publish them as we will not
refrain from taking minutes of the meeting during the meetings as
decisions need to be documented.

Kind regards,
--ba

pEpkey.asc

Will Mische

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Jan 20, 2021, 7:14:30 AM1/20/21
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On Wed, 13 Jan 2021 12:40:00 +0200
Magnus Melin <mkmelin...@iki.fi> wrote:

> "Real-time" information of what's going on in extreme details is
> rather unfeasible. It's also unclear why anyone would "need" that
> information. This certainly isn't about hiding any relevant
> information. Most things we discuss are fairly dull details of
> running operations.


Because this is how transparent organisations do business - open and
clear.

It isn't for the 'Council' to decide what is important or not.

They should have a published Agenda - pre meeting. Interested
participants should be able to ask for items to be added to said
Agenda for discussion within say 72 hours of a meeting.

There should be a secretary to take minutes - it isn't hard - and
possibly someone independent.

Those minutes should be clear, accurate, comprehensive, and disseminated
promptly - by all means do a short TL;DR for those who don't want to
see the full minutes. But full minutes should be available somewhere
accessible, and that should include who said what.

If you are too embarrassed for your opinion to be published then
you probably should not be on the board.

Unless there are serious privacy issues then finances or other
information should be published.

That's all pretty standard in any form of management, particularly
where public money is concerned.

You have a responsibility to show how it is being spent.

Personally I have never seen a supposedly 'public' organisation that is
so opaque.

That breeds suspicion - you can see it written everywhere.

People ask a simple question. If it is all so boring and mundane,
what have they got to hide and why don't they publish it?

It is up to the Council to start building some trust where currently
there is none.

The only way to do that is to be completely open and honest - and all
I see is the Council, or at least some members, taking every opportunity
to stop that.

> I don't think that's best use of peoples time

Is this just you? What does the Council think?

> there's not a lot of support in the council for keeping both formats

Ok, so who is on what side then? Lets see shall we?

What do those watching think?

Mihovil Stanić

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Jan 20, 2021, 7:15:01 AM1/20/21
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I'm interested in what "real-time" are you talking about?
"Real-time" right now is 3+ months.

There is no excuse whatsoever for that. Meeting notes should be published inside 7 days from meeting.
I write meeting notes every week for one organisation I participate in and it takes around 30 minutes to write them from notes I taken during meeting. If I remember correctly, you have at least one employee which isn't developer, but probably few more. One of those employees should write meeting notes and have deadline of 7 days to publish it.

Current behaviour is just lazy and unprofessional.

Mihovil

13.01.2021 u 11:40, Magnus Melin piše:

Magnus Melin

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Jan 20, 2021, 7:32:29 AM1/20/21
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The real-time reference was in response to Ben's mail, see below.

Sure, it shouldn't be as long as it's been now. The aim is to get notes approved on next meeting and out then - so that's currently 2 weeks. If one mail gets delayed since the notes weren't done on time or such, then sending the other mails will also get delayed at least a bit since we want to send them in sequence.

 -Magnus

Magnus Melin

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Jan 20, 2021, 7:47:38 AM1/20/21
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On 2021-01-15 13:22, Will Mische wrote:
> On Wed, 13 Jan 2021 12:40:00 +0200
> Magnus Melin <mkmelin...@iki.fi> wrote:
>
>> "Real-time" information of what's going on in extreme details is
>> rather unfeasible. It's also unclear why anyone would "need" that
>> information. This certainly isn't about hiding any relevant
>> information. Most things we discuss are fairly dull details of
>> running operations.
>
>
> Because this is how transparent organisations do business - open and
> clear.

That's not how any operation do business, sorry.

We're not a nation state, and it's not "public money". Even for nations
where it actually is public money, many things have good reasons to
first be discussed at internal committees; procurement offers to be
handled by relevant people until contracts are awarded, etc.. You could
not do business all just out in the open: you don't want to give your
competitors the upper hand, you want to be able to discuss with
potential partners in confidence, there's plenty of personal information
involved, and so on.

>
> It isn't for the 'Council' to decide what is important or not.
>
> They should have a published Agenda - pre meeting. Interested
> participants should be able to ask for items to be added to said
> Agenda for discussion within say 72 hours of a meeting.
>
> There should be a secretary to take minutes - it isn't hard - and
> possibly someone independent.
>
> Those minutes should be clear, accurate, comprehensive, and disseminated
> promptly - by all means do a short TL;DR for those who don't want to
> see the full minutes. But full minutes should be available somewhere
> accessible, and that should include who said what.

This is the "real-time" requirement which is clearly not possible.

> If you are too embarrassed for your opinion to be published then
> you probably should not be on the board.

I seriously doubt anyone is embarrassed for their opinions. Why would
you think that?

>
> Unless there are serious privacy issues then finances or other
> information should be published.
>
> That's all pretty standard in any form of management, particularly
> where public money is concerned.
>
> You have a responsibility to show how it is being spent.
>
> Personally I have never seen a supposedly 'public' organisation that is
> so opaque.
>
> That breeds suspicion - you can see it written everywhere.
>
> People ask a simple question. If it is all so boring and mundane,
> what have they got to hide and why don't they publish it?
>
> It is up to the Council to start building some trust where currently
> there is none.

I'd say there is mistrust when no such mistrust was ever warranted.

>
> The only way to do that is to be completely open and honest - and all
> I see is the Council, or at least some members, taking every opportunity
> to stop that.
>
>> I don't think that's best use of peoples time
> Is this just you? What does the Council think?
>
>> there's not a lot of support in the council for keeping both formats
> Ok, so who is on what side then? Lets see shall we?
>
> What do those watching think?

Well that's what we're asking. I don't see your opinion on what could be
improved in this mail, taking aside that you "want it all". It would be
more productive to say what's missing, so that we can add that.

 -Magnus

Ben Bucksch

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Jan 23, 2021, 7:57:26 AM1/23/21
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Am 20.01.21 um 13:32 schrieb Magnus Melin:
> The aim is to get notes approved on next meeting and out then - so
> that's currently 2 weeks


How often do you real newspapers that are 2-3 weeks old?

Ben Bucksch

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Jan 23, 2021, 8:16:41 AM1/23/21
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Am 15.01.21 um 12:22 schrieb Will Mische:
Because this is how transparent organisations do business - open and
clear.

It isn't for the 'Council' to decide what is important or not.

They should have a published Agenda - pre meeting. Interested
participants should be able to ask for items to be added to said
Agenda for discussion within say 72 hours of a meeting.


Exactly.

+1



There should be a secretary to take minutes - it isn't hard - and
possibly someone independent.

Those minutes should be clear, accurate, comprehensive, and disseminated
promptly - by all means do a short TL;DR for those who don't want to
see the full minutes. But full minutes should be available somewhere
accessible, and that should include who said what.

If you are too embarrassed for your opinion to be published then
you probably should not be on the board.

Unless there are serious privacy issues then finances or other
information should be published.

That's all pretty standard
...


+1


Magnus answered:

This is the "real-time" requirement which is clearly not possible.


You've misunderstood what we asked for. "real-time" would be a public Etherpad, where non-Council member can see every keystoke, as the secretary types, while the meeting is ongoing. That's certainly possible with Etherpad. Nothing stops you from doing that. While I was on the TB Council board, we took notes during the meeting on a Wiki. To my knowledge, nothing substantially changed since then. So, yes, it is definitely possible to have actual real-time notes.

But nobody asked for that, and nobody asked for "real time". You're doing your classic "straw man" rhetoric strategy again, where you're claiming that something is impossible, which actually nobody asked for.

We asked for 2-3 days after the meeting, not "real time". And that *is* standard. I can confirm what others said here. I am on other bodies where decisions are taken, and there's somebody appointed to take notes, and he sends them within 1-3 days. It's very rare that anybody objects the notes. This works in other bodies. Claiming that it's "impossible" is quite obviously false.

A body that's quibbling about the meeting notes is a clear sign of a dysfunctional body. Because the notes are just the most basic thing.

Ben

Andrei Hajdukewycz

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Jan 24, 2021, 9:09:35 PM1/24/21
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> It is up to the Council to start building some trust where currently
> there is none.
>
> The only way to do that is to be completely open and honest - and all
> I see is the Council, or at least some members, taking every opportunity
> to stop that.
I keep seeing people on this list insist that the community doesn't
trust the Council and that the Council
 MUST do this, that, or some other thing. I'm generally in favor of
transparency and have pushed for it
for several years now.

However, this attitude that there is some big rift between the community
and the Council is pure nonsense.
We know that because we literally just had an election, and apart from
people who did not run again, previous
members were all re-elected. And it isn't like there were no viable
alternatives, there absolutely were.

The problem this community ACTUALLY has is a few individuals who make
questionable statements and insist they represent
the community when in fact they represent no one but themselves.

Andrei Hajdukewycz

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Jan 24, 2021, 9:14:03 PM1/24/21
to Thunderbird planning (moderated)
On 1/10/2021 5:10 PM, Dirk Steinmetz (rsjtdrjgfuzkfg) wrote:
Miscellaneous:
- We will add a few missing entries to the 'Get involved' page:
  https://www.thunderbird.net/en-US/get-involved/

I'm vaguely puzzled why this would even be a Council topic lol, if someone thinks there's something that should be added or removed from the website please just file an issue and I'll take care of it.

Andrei Hajdukewycz

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Jan 24, 2021, 9:26:11 PM1/24/21
to Thunderbird planning (moderated)
On 1/16/2021 8:25 AM, Ben Bucksch wrote:
> Am 13.01.21 um 11:40 schrieb Magnus Melin:
>> many times we've spent 20-30% of meeting time discussing those even
>> when there are not any major problems in them. I don't think that's
>> best use of peoples time
>
>
> I agree. The solution is: Do *not* discuss about the minutes. The
> meeting minutes only need to reflect what happened at the meeting.
> There is no approval process necessary. You trust the person who
> created the minutes, because he's your direct co-worker. If somebody
> deliberately reports facts wrongly, you take it up with him, and let
> somebody else do the minutes. But that's something you deal with after
> the fact.
>
> So, simply: Let somebody take notes, post them immediately after the
> meeting, and that's it. Nothing complicated.
>
> It's only complicated, because you make it complicated with your
> approval process.
>
Yeah, this sounds like a broken process to me. The Council has a
Secretary which is chosen internally, last I checked. Normally in this
type of group it's the responsibility of the Secretary to keep minutes.
If you can't 99% trust this person who has been selected twice(by the
community to be on the Council AND by the Council itself) to do a good
job with minutes, then why'd you pick 'em?

I could see sending the minutes to the Council list and offering members
24h to object if they want, otherwise it gets published, but I don't
know why simple minutes need to go through so much discussion and
approvals. As far as I can tell from previous minutes, they are pretty
thoroughly redacted of all sensitive issues anyways...

Philipp Kewisch

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Jan 25, 2021, 1:54:07 AM1/25/21
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> On 25. Jan 2021, at 3:26 AM, Andrei Hajdukewycz <san...@thunderbird.net> wrote:

I think Andrei's perspective is very much worth considering here. Approving minutes is my least favorite part of council calls. We don't often have a lot to discuss with them, most time spent is scrambling to find that email someone sent, or the fact that a minuter hasn't had time to review the notes and create a draft.

I'm not sure I want to see the full burden of creating all notes on our secretary, but the approval by default - even with 48 or 72 hours - would make a lot of things easier.

Philipp

Magnus Melin

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Jan 25, 2021, 2:38:55 AM1/25/21
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I suspect such a burden would make it impossible to find a secretary.
It's hard enough finding one time minuters. That it would be about
"trust" isn't quite accurate: if the person writing the notes is not
super familiar with the exact issue at hand, it's easy to misunderstand
important nuances of the discussion. Getting those clarified before
confusing the larger public is a good thing.

Re getting information out quickly, well, Dirk has offered to do
basically this. That's what Council;DR is.

 -Magnus

ace

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Jan 30, 2021, 2:38:37 PM1/30/21
to Thunderbird planning (moderated), Andrei Hajdukewycz
Dňa 25. 1. 2021 o 3:09 Andrei Hajdukewycz napísal(a):

>
>> It is up to the Council to start building some trust where currently
>> there is none.
>>
>> The only way to do that is to be completely open and honest - and all
>> I see is the Council, or at least some members, taking every opportunity
>> to stop that.
> I keep seeing people on this list insist that the community doesn't
> trust the Council and that the Council
>  MUST do this, that, or some other thing. I'm generally in favor of
> transparency and have pushed for it
> for several years now.

Good, but there was no transparency in the cases we are discussing.
Of course, the Council is not obligated to anything and is free to not
earn any respect from the community.

> However, this attitude that there is some big rift between the community
> and the Council is pure nonsense.
> We know that because we literally just had an election, and apart from
> people who did not run again, previous
> members were all re-elected. And it isn't like there were no viable
> alternatives, there absolutely were.

The distrust is against the members of the previous Council.
As we know, the new elections were sabotaged (illegally removing at
least 2 candidates), so it is unclear how the new Council is legitimate.
Yes, the same people may have been re-elected, because they were acting
in secret and have not commented on the illegal bans and CPG processes.
So community members not closely following the details and walls of text
about the problems on the list could have re-elected them. But the
uncovered suspicions should have made the previous Council members
automatically disqualified from being candidates again or the elections
should have been postponed.

> The problem this community ACTUALLY has is a few individuals who make
> questionable statements and insist they represent
> the community when in fact they represent no one but themselves.

Of course, nobody represents the whole community (not even the Council
does), and does not claim so. But ignoring voices or executing illegal
bans using CPG is not the proper way to silence inconvenient individuals.

Thanks

aceman

Will Mische

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Feb 3, 2021, 8:48:51 AM2/3/21
to Thunderbird planning (moderated)
On Sat, 23 Jan 2021 14:16:30 +0100
Ben Bucksch <ben.b...@beonex.com> wrote:

Saved me a lengthy reply thank you.

>
> Magnus answered:
>
> > This is the "real-time" requirement which is clearly not possible.
> >
> But /nobody asked for that/, and nobody asked for "real time". You're
> doing your classic "straw man" rhetoric strategy again, where you're
> claiming that something is impossible, which actually nobody asked
> for.

Exactly.

Too many people also take things personally. I was as careful as I
could be to NOT be personal and address the Council in its entirety.

He also said:

> Well that's what we're asking. I don't see your opinion on what could
> be improved in this mail, taking aside that you "want it all". It
> would be more productive to say what's missing, so that we can add
> that.

I never said 'I want it all'.

I actually made some positive suggestions that are de rigeur in most
bodies, especially when most of your income is derived from public
donations......

Allow matters to be submitted for discussion up to say 72 hours prior
to the published meeting.

Publish an Agenda, including those matters.

Disseminate minutes within a reasonable time period there after, with a
TL;DR summary for those who won't want the full version.

48-72 hours should be more than enough time.

> We asked for 2-3 days after the meeting, not "real time". And that
> *is* standard. I can confirm what others said here. I am on other
> bodies where decisions are taken, and there's somebody appointed to
> take notes, and he sends them within 1-3 days. It's very rare that
> anybody objects the notes. This works in other bodies. Claiming that
> it's "impossible" is quite obviously false.
>

Indeed. It is complete fabrication.

If the Council cannot manage this itself (and then you have to ask what
the Secretary actually does) then I am sure they can employ a
specialist who can do it for them. Pretty sure there are companies
that specialise in this sort of thing. It really is not rocket science.

Perhaps if they widened the pool of people that could actually be on
the Council instead of the horrendously strict regime which
offers little choice to the very small group of people who can actually
vote then they may get a larger pool of talent to assist with some of
these things. Just saying.

Personally I'd have tried to have done more myself in the past (I do
have other skills), but as a non codey person it is a pointless and
almost impossible exercise.

> A body that's quibbling about the meeting notes is a clear sign of a
> dysfunctional body. Because the notes are just the most basic thing.
>

+1

Dirk Steinmetz (rsjtdrjgfuzkfg)

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Feb 3, 2021, 7:12:36 PM2/3/21
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Hi *,

TL;DR:
- Having more discussions in the public (instead of in the council)
seems like a better idea than to try to make non-public council
meetings semi-accessible to the public
- A motion passed that describes the council's intent to do that
- To get more transparency and interaction on a natural way, we need
high-quality community involvement and less hostility

This is not a specific response at specific people, but I feel like this
thread would benefit from some general thoughts from 'the other side'.
To be clear: while I am on the current council, this is only my personal
opinion.

I feel like there is a basic misunderstanding in this discussion. There
seem to be multiple voices of people that want more direct involvement
with the council meetings: asking for real time meeting notes and the
agenda to be published before the meeting, some even to add their own
topics. The discussion then moved to the feasibility of these concrete
changes, without considering if these changes actually would have any
positive impact.

What would anybody gain by amending to the agenda of a meeting they
cannot participate in? I feel like that is an inherently flawed idea.

To me, it would seem a lot more reasonable to just have more discussions
out in the open instead. In fact the council has just passed a motion in
that direction (last Monday, will be officially published in the next
Council;DR and the corresponding meeting minutes):

"The council should not make major strategic or organizational
decisions, including but not limited to restructuring the project or
significantly changing policies for public services or products,
excluding confidential matters, without having had at least 7 days of
public discussion regarding the specific decision. These discussions
are announced on tb-planning, but can occur on any public discussion
channel."

My personal impression is that most councilors consider this to be a
formalization of an intention the council already had, although not
always reliably acted upon. We now have a few topics in the pipeline
where that intention becomes relevant, though (vision, strategy,
reorganization). So the purpose of that motion is, at least from my
point of view, to clarify what to expect regarding public discussions.

I feel like public discussions address the underlying perceived problem
of missing interactivity with the council meetings in a much more
productive way: the are completely open and interactive, and come with
free transparency, without council members having to write minutes or
summaries!

Of course, this does not affect minor things and confidential matters.
The latter can not be public for obvious reasons, while the former would
usually not benefit from a public discussion, so having an additional
delay would not help much here. But the transition between major and
minor is a very subjective gradient, and there is certainly a learning
curve here: the more discussions we have, the better both sides can
gauge where to reasonably draw the line.

To better understand the exclusion of confidential matters in the
motion: anything related to employment, including major changes in that
field, is usually confidential and thus unlikely to get publicly
discussed. The same goes for partnership agreements, things involving
personal information of other people, contractual details, etc.

That also includes CPG – while I do think that more aspects could and
should be public, I doubt that it would be possible to have the
discussions we're currently having in the council without all
participants having unfiltered access to the underlying data. That being
said, I do think that once we progressed to the degree that we have an
idea which rule changes and/or clarifications are necessary and
feasible, these changes can and should get publicly discussed.

I also want to point out that most decisions in the project are not
council decisions: which bugs to fix and which features to implement is
not usually decided in the council. So while I expect big questions like
'should we fund a separate Thunderbird app for Smartphones' to be
council matters and result in a public discussion, added or removed
features in the regular Thunderbird updates are not usually affected by
this motion.

So to be clear: the motion for public discussions does not target most
day-to-day decisions. It also does not mandate preparation work to
happen in public: changes will still get drafted by interested /
involved parties to get to the point where a open discussion becomes
useful. It also does not mandate the council to change their plans
because of the feedback they receive. Many things remain judgement calls.

I know that some people want more. The good news: that is something
every community member can actively work on. If you want to show
everyone that more transparency and interactivity will lead to good
results, participate in the vision discussion and future discussions to
come – the more productive public discussions are, the more topics will
naturally converge to the open.

But this sadly also goes into the opposite direction: I feel like some
people occasionally forget that councilors are unpaid human beings. If
people demand changes or rant with an inappropriate level of hostility,
it is only natural that councilors gravitate towards more friendly, but
less public places – or at least switch from being constructive to being
defensive. I explicitly do not exclude myself there, that's just natural
social behavior (this very post might even be partially defensive!).

I hope the community joins the council in taking small steps towards a
future where we will have more consistent community involvement for
organizational and strategic decisions – even if some members would
prefer to make even larger steps. ;)

Kind regards,
Dirk / rsjtdrjgfuzkfg

PS: In a more on-topic way if that was not clear from above: I agree
that the meeting minutes process is unnecessarily slow and
time-intensive. There are indeed potential improvements, like adapting
Council;DR's passive review process and permitting minutes to be sent
out-of-order – but the near-real-time delays some of you propose do not
sound realistic to me.

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