Our decision process

This was originally posted by me in the dev chat, so context might be lacking a bit.

We should work on getting rid of the process-vaccum for deciding “major” questions. I favour a system like the one laid out here: https://producingoss.com/en/consensus-democracy.html. This would involve defining a group of maintainers who would ultimately vote on an issue, if no concensus through discussion can be reached.

I also think this could be a good idea, but want to stress, that the linked article talks about using consensus whereever possible and only if that’s not fruitful going on to have a vote.

I’m not sure how to best decide who should be able to vote. The article suggests binding it to the Commiters (in our case the members of the HedgeDoc community on GitHub), which seems fine and pragmatic to do, but I want to bring up two points regarding this.

  1. Those people should then be visible, meaning this should be set to public.
  2. How do people get to be Commiters? Do the other Commiters vote on new people? Should they apply? Be nominated? How’s that going to work?

I agree that the current members of our organization on GitHub are probably the best starting point.

Those people should then be visible

Very good point, as we want to make these decisions more transparent, it’s only logical that information about who makes the decisions is public.

How do people get to be Commiters? Do the other Commiters vote on new people?

That would be the (at least mine) idea. To quote the “Producing OSS” book:

The voting system itself should be used to choose new voters, both full and partial. But here is one of the rare instances where secrecy is appropriate. You can’t have votes about potential new maintainers posted to a public mailing list, because the candidate’s feelings (and reputation) could be hurt. Instead, the usual way is that an existing maintainer posts to a private mailing list consisting only of the other maintainers, proposing that someone be invited to join. The other maintainers speak their minds freely, knowing the discussion is private. Often there will be no disagreement, and therefore no vote necessary. After waiting a few days to make sure every maintainer has had a chance to respond, the proposer mails the candidate and makes the offer. If there is disagreement, discussion ensues as for any other question, possibly resulting in a vote.

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Maybe it’s enough to define, that we want to have a discussion for a defined period. If nobody has objections, the proposed solution will be done.

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