[all][tc] Moving PTL role to "Maintainers"

Bal√°zs Gibizer balazs.gibizer at est.tech
Tue Mar 3 16:56:28 UTC 2020

On Tue, Mar 3, 2020 at 16:44, Jean-Philippe Evrard 
<jean-philippe at evrard.me> wrote:
>>  Off hand, I feel like my initial mental response was "Noooo!". Upon
>>  thinking of this and talking to Mohammed some, I think it is a
>>  necessary evolutionary step.  As a burned out PTL who cares, I 
>> wonder
>>  "who will step up after me" and carry what I perceive as the
>>  organizational and co-ordination overhead, standing on stage, and
>>  running meetings. Nothing prevents any contributor from running a
>>  community meeting, standing on a stage and giving a talk or project
>>  update! We are a community, and single points of contact just lead
>>  community members to burnout.
>>  Possibly what we are lacking is a "Time for a meeting!" bot.
> I am not sure to understand what you are proposing.
> Wasn't the liaison's system meant for avoiding burnout by delegating
> tasks, while staying clear on duties? It avoids the back and forth of
> communication to some maintainer, solving the question "who is 
> handling
> that?". It still allows delegation. IMO, there was never a limitation
> of the amount of liaisons for a single "kind" of liaison. You could
> have 2 ppl working on the releases, 2 on the bugs, etc.
> Don't get me wrong: on the "drop of the PTL" story, I was more in the
> "we should drop this" clan. When I discussed it last time with 
> Mohammed
> (and others, but it was loooooong ago), I didn't focus on the 
> liaisons.
> But before side-tracking this thread, I would like to understand what
> are the pain points in the current model (explicitly! examples!), and
> how moving away from PTLs and liaisons will help the team of
> maintainers. At first sight, it looks like team duties will be vague.
> There are various levels of success on self-organizing teams.

My context: We have a shortage of PTL candidates in Nova but we still 
have a core team.

I think the real problem is that contributors think that being a PTL is 
a huge extra burden. I haven't been a PTL yet but I share this view. I 
think being a Nova PTL is a sizable amount of work. E.g. the PLT is the 
liaison by default if nobody steps up. And in Nova, according to the 
wiki, most of the liaison spots are filled by people who already left 
the community. So a nova PTL has a lot of hats by default. It could be 
that those hats does not need real work to be fulfilled. Still the list 
is long.

So for me a better solution would be to rationalize (review, clarify) 
the list of expectations on the project teams. Then let the project 
teams commit to it either in a single person (a PTL) or by the whole 
team sharing the responsibilities between each other some explicit way. 
I can even accept that the project team explicitly rejects some of the 
responsibilities due to shortage of bandwidth in the team. For me 
explicitly not doing something is better than simply ignoring that such 
responsibility exists.

I think Mohammed's proposal helps in a sense that removes the need to 
_find a single person as PTL_ in a situation where nobody wants to be a 
PTL. Basically removes the Nova core team from the 
wait-for-a-PTL-candidate state where we are in now. And in the same 
time it allows the core team to start discussing how to fulfill every 
responsibilities as a team.


> Regards,
> JP

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