Subject: Re: Inappropriate use of private meetings & lists - Communication of Decisions

Greg Smith gregsmitholpc at
Tue Jul 8 11:24:38 EDT 2008

Hi NoiseEHC,

I agree that the key problem is communication of decisions more than
what decisions are being made.

Several people have said that recently (e.g. localization team recently 
  made the same point).

I hope we can address this at the high level with an agreed process that
include milestones for when and how we communicate release status. Scott
suggested (ironically on an internal thread) that we use the Fedora
process.  I put his comment on the talk page of the process home:

I'll try to flesh out the milestones and key communication steps ASAP.

More comments on milestones and communication points welcome.

However, that wont address your need for a more granular communication
of technical design decisions. People could try to communicate all of
those decisions here but that can be a flood of e-mail. The only other 
thing I can think of is for you to ask for a final call when you need an 

Is that viable? Any other suggestions?

We need to get better at settling threads to a conclusion. Sounds like
this thread was discussed but never closed. I encourage people to
ask for consensus and then record a decision. The most important aspect 
is to say what decision has been reached. If people still object 
strongly you can revise as needed or in the worst case objectors can 
decide not to participate. Regardless, we need to communicate the 
current working decisions so everyone is on the same page.

HTHs. We could dig deeper in to this specific example if you think that 
will help teach everyone better communication strategies in the future.

You have been a great contributor for many months. We need more people 
like you in the project so I hope we can keep you happy and show that 
others like you will be happy participating.


Greg S

Date: Wed, 02 Jul 2008 09:19:52 +0200 From: NoiseEHC
<NoiseEHC at> Subject: Re: Inappropriate use of private
meetings & lists. To: OLPC Devel <devel at> Message-ID:
<486B2C18.7020901 at> Content-Type: text/plain;
charset=ISO-8859-2; format=flowecd
> >
> > There are top-down decisions being made by a few people that drive the
> > direction of OLPC. These decisions are not waiting for consensus, and
> > they are made by a small number of people. I don't believe this is
> > going to change (at least not in the short term).
> >
I, personally, do not care who makes decisions, as long as he is smart
and makes "good" decisions. The problem is that usually I am not
notified of such decisions.

For example, the move from 32 bit to 16 bit frame buffer just happened
silently. One day people debated its merits on this list without
reaching any conclusions. Some months later it was 16 bit. Nobody told it.

A similar thing is that I am trying to get an answer to the question
whether the XO image will be moved to LZO compression or not when we
will be rebased to F9. The reason is that I am currently tuning the LZO
decompression code and want to know whether this effort is moot or not.
Most likely this was already decided by somebody, and frankly I am not
qualified enough to debate this decision, I just want to know what it is.

Note that I had to reply all to this message and then delete all
recipients and then replace CC devel with TO devel. The reason is that
this devel list is not set up that the reply-to would be the devel list,
and if I do not delete others then the conversation often slips outside
devel. See, even the main mailing list is configured wrong.

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