Proposal to move Change discussion from devel-list: technical implementation discussion

The reason is because policy requires it.

I wish. Everything is manual for reasons that I won’t get into here.

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Thinking about implementation details, particularly with @decathorpe’s suggestion of having @fesco members moderate the discussions

Tags are generally lightweight, with permissions and workflow automation tied to categories. For that reason, we try to use categories lightly — but this may be a case when we do want one. A Changes subcategory of Project Discussion could be configured so FESCo members are moderators, and the Change Wrangler allowed to create topics and use a set of appropriate tags.[1]

Alternatively, I can grant FESCo members moderation for Project Discussion and keep it to just the tag.

The good news is that it’s pretty easy to go back and forth as we figure out what works best — topic URLs won’t change.

  1. including release-number tags like f39 ↩︎

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I don’t want to start with this much complication, but if we want, we could do something like the Common Issues / Proposed Common Issues / Archived Common Issues setup. [1]

Then, we could (for example):

  1. Allow submissions through a proposal category
  2. When ready, the Change Wrangler would move the topic to the discussion phase, which could automatically generate the devel-announce post)
  3. After discussion settles, move to a vote via a poll limited to FESCo members
  4. Move approved changes to “in-progress”
  5. And then to an archive, tagged as either completed or not.
  6. This archive could generate a version of the change formatted for for the historical record (and we could migrate older-release changes from the wiki there as well)

None of that is necessary, of course. And some of it requires coding that someone would need to do and maintain. But so many possibilities. :classic_smiley:

  1. We could even use the kanban theme component to give a visual overview… ↩︎

Hey @fesco and @amoloney (and @catanzaro) … as we’re going through the first post of these, I’d like to introduce a process change — I think we should change the owner of the first post to to change submitter. As it is, the quoting looks like

… which is more confusing than it is in plain text.

Anyone opposed to this?

Fixing this would be a nice improvement. In the mail-based approach, people would often be confused by the fact that the sender of the email was not the actual author of the change. If we can avoid this in the new workflow, that’d be great.



as the thread has gotten very large, I think we should intentionally split off some of the sub-topics that emerge. Particularly, I am seeing:

  • process questions / should there be a council vote?
  • concern over opt-in / opt-out?
  • technical implementation details of privacy?

emerge. @ngompa, I know you’re concerned about this hiding things. That’s not the intention — rather, it is to organize things into threads. I propose that we edit the top post to contain clear links to these various topics.

But, I also want to raise the meta-question — where should things like this be coordinated? This topic? A new topic for that in general? A FESCo / changes moderation-coordination matrix chat room? (That last one is actually my vote.)

I’m going to go ahead and change it now.

I’d vote for this topic. Everybody who cares is subscribed here and it’s easy enough to find… A matrix chat room would be useful if we needed real-time or otherwise close cooperation. But IIUC, you mostly just need to announce/discuss some high-level choices.

Over what? I think we (FESCo) approved the change with a limited scope. Let’s see how this goes before making other steps.

Can you expand a bit on this? (Or give a link, if this was discussed somewhere already.)

I mean, there are a number of people calling for something like this in the big topic. I’m not suggesting making a decision, but simply making that a separate linked topic. (See Thoughts about the earlier proposal to use Discourse for change discussions).

I’m just seeing these as particular and significnat emerging sub-topics. Ideally, I’d like to see FESCo members (in consultation with the Change Wrangler) make these calls as the discussion evolves (on this and on future proposals).

When a thread is split this way, there is a message in the original topic saying so. Links to the moved messages still work, and email replies get attached in the right place.

I can go ahead and do some of this now, but I want to make sure there’s at least some FESCo support before doing it. (It kind of is a close real-time collaboration thing.)

You (and other FESCo members) should be able to do this. To the top right of any topic in the Change Proposals category, you should see a wrench icon. That brings up a menu like this:

screenshot of topic moderation menu

Choose “Select Posts…” and then you’ll see buttons appear on each reply, like this:

… when you select some, you’ll get this[1] on the side …

screenshot of selected-post menu, withoptions to delete, move, or change ownership

And the rest is straightforward.

In this case, my proposal would be to create a new topic for each identified sub-topic, explain what’s going on (with a link back to the main topic), and then move the appropriate posts there. Make sense?

  1. The options might be slightly different as I am an admin vs. moderator — not sure if you’ll have Change Ownership ↩︎

You have my support.

FWIW, I don’t see “change ownership”:

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Okay, then, in the interest of experimentation, I’m going to go ahead and do this.

Okay, one topic broken out, with two lessons learned :classic_smiley:

  1. We should definitely do this earlier for big topics, because it’s really hard when it’s gotten to 200+ messages.
  2. In order to have an explainer post at the top, do not check “Preserve chronological order”, because with that checked, the new “first post” in the topic will get moved under whatever was the first one selected, which is really confusing. (I’ve fixed this but it was ugly to fix!)

I think that if nothing else, this exercise has proven that the forum is a more accessible medium for many of our community members. Even if this particular proposal is polarizing, we are hearing feedback from lots of people that I suspect would never had been able/willing to contribute to a mailing list.

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I came here specifically to say this. As someone who’s been in the community for over a year, I’ve never felt that the change proposals were as accessible as they are now - not only because they are in Discussion instead of a mailing list, but also because the conversation is easier to follow in the main thread and with the breakout threads. I know that Discourse is a new challenge in the way the communication is handled, but I would like to see more of this happen as it helps me be more connected with the distro itself.

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So I just read through this thread to try and figure out how to write a pull request to change the SOP for announcing changes and the Change process doc - neither of which reflect any of this Discourse stuff at all - and…I’m still confused.

There was a confusingly large amount of discussion, and nothing appears to have actually been decided. In practice, AFAICT, @amoloney has been doing the following:

  • Create a Discourse announcement, like this one
  • Send a full announcement mail, like this one, to devel-announce@ - not also sent to devel@ - with reply-to set to devel@
  • Send a reply to that mail, like this one, linking to the Discourse thread and saying discussion should happen there

…but AFAICS this exact procedure doesn’t seem to have actually been proposed and agreed upon at any point.

So, what should we do? Do I write that procedure into the SOP and the Change process doc? Or was that not what was actually intended/expected, and I should write something else which we should follow for future announcements?

I was just trying to be helpful in supporting the decision to have discussions on discourse by adding that reply. The rationale was if I provide the link to the topic for folks, they might find it easier and contribute to the discussion there. It wasn’t meant to be seen as a formal process change, so I apologise for adding to the confusion by doing that.

Please let me know how you would like to handle announcing change proposals going forward, I’m still quite happy to help where I can, without accidentally blurring the lines of what to do/not to do :slight_smile:

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Also I don’t have the wrench icon to allow me to move the ownership of each topic to the proposal owner either. Quick question on that too - if there are more than one change proposal owners, is the default to select the first name on the ‘name’ line, or the person who submitted the proposal to the wiki?

@amoloney I didn’t mean to suggest you were doing anything wrong! I mean to suggest that nobody has provided the person actually doing the work or documenting it with sufficient clarity on what they intend :slight_smile: I think you’re doing the best anyone could with the current state of the FESCo ticket and this thread.

I think discourse admins (so, just Matthew?) and FESCo members have the necessary permissions to get the wrench icon. It would indeed make a lot of sense for whoever’s wearing the Change Wrangler hat to have it too.


Phew :sweat_smile: and thank you too for clarifying. I was just a bit hyper-conscious about causing any additional confusion to an already tricky change in process, so let me know if it is better to announcing on devel-announce and cc development as well as creating a topic in discourse?
I’m happy to cover all bases for community folks until there are more concrete guidelines and a procedure in place for change proposal processes from F40 and onwards.

I honestly have no idea! That’s why I posted. Just about every possible option was floated in this thread, and unless I missed it, nobody seems to have made any definite decisions (except you, because you had to pick something). They all seem to have benefits and drawbacks, it just seems like we need to pick a choice, but I just thought it should be a bit more intentional - it’d be nice to have some input from Matt and FESCo on what they think is the best option, I think.