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First TWiki Community Council Background

This is the TCC background as seen and interpreted by KennethLavrsen and will be biased. The purpose of this is to give the community the background of how the TCC was formed.

The TWiki Community Council - Intro

The TWiki Community Council (TCC) has its idea from the Ubuntu equivalent. The Ubuntu TCC is appointed and never elected.

The first TCC is appointed by the BDFL - Peter Thoeny. It is not elected. The reason for this is that Peter feels there is not enough trust in the community and he fears that the current situation could result in a TCC consisting of mainly people with a very critical oppinion against Peter and his interests. This will for sure disappoint some but remember that the period is short and if we all make an effort the TCC can be elected already 6-7 months from now. If a miracle happens maybe even before. YOU have an influence on that.

In the TWikiGovernanceProposal1 topic the TCC is described as

The TWikiCommunityCouncil is responsible for the social structures and community processes. The TCC approves the creation of a new Team or Project, and appointment of team leaders. The Community Council is also responsible for the CodeOfConduct and is responsible for dispute resolution, should it be required. Community Council members are appointed; in the future they may be elected when the community is ready.

Since this was written the following has been added as result of the Codev discussions, IRC chats and the two governance conference calls.

  • The TCC not may but will be elected.
    • Earliest in Q1 2009 (ie in 6-7 months)
    • Latest in Q3 2009 (a year from now)

The Choice of Members

The Governance idea including the TCC was first time shared with me (Kenneth) in an email only 24 hours before it was published. I was asked to be a member and I accepted right away. Peter asked for advice and gave a short list of 4-5 people for the TCC. Kenneth suggested that the first TCC should be broadly representing the community across both commercial and technical interests. Kenneth said that a TCC could only be trusted to be neutral if there was max one person from the same company or interest group. Kenneth suggested right away Michael Daum and Arthur Clements. Peter suggested Martin Seibert. Additional people were on the list. But we agreed that the TCC should be max 5 members to be efficient and able to make decisions.

Other candidates were on the list and a few more were suggested. But both Peter and Kenneth felt that the 5 members chosen were the best at this given time. Noone were rejected because they were not found suited. The 5 first TCC members are characterized by being.

  • Known to be very active in the community and shown an interest in making the community work.
  • Not two people with the same commercial or organizational interests and they are not 5 marketing guys or 5 programmers or 5 skin guys etc.
  • Some old and some recently joined the project without being recent like a few months ago
  • Some critical to Peter - some more supportive.

The good thing is that we could list at least 10 other people that would be suitable for the TCC.

The initial members

  • Peter Thoeny as founder will always be in the TCC. Also after elections. As the BDFL his role is to ensure that the original idea and dream behind TWiki is not lost.
  • Arthur Clemens - was suggested by Kenneth because Arthur represents the usability view well. He has always been focused on making TWiki a beautiful product. Very few of the rest of us have focussed on this like Arthur has. Arthur has always remained very neutral in conflicts and never chosen side.
  • Michael Daum - was suggested by Kenneth because Michael is member of the Wikiring which must be represented in the initial TCC. Michael has recently shown great interest in making the community work and took the important initiative to "break the ice" with his emergency call. He is customer focused and known to be very critical of Peter Thoeny and his BDFL position. This view must also be represented in TCC to maintain the right balance between oppinions.
  • Martin Seibert - was suggested because he has shown great interest in the marketing and image (of TWiki itself) aspects. He is one of the newer guys on the project without old . He represents the user/customer side and has a good view on what it takes for TWiki to be a serious product.
  • Kenneth Lavrsen - is known to be Peter's friend and support in most matters. Especially in the essential backwards compatibility issue. But Kenneth can also be very sharp and aggressive when the free open source principle is violated (banner) and will represent the community side if and when Peter or TWiki.net cross the line of what is acceptable. Kenneth represents the user side more than the developer side.

Please Give Us A Chance

This project has been in a crisis. There is now a new TWikiGovernanceProposal1 proposal. We could have chosen 10 other governance proposals. Let us give this one a chance.

It is a framework which is very open and if you take responsibilities you can have huge influence.

Please support the initial members of the TCC. Do not try to make us not accept the job. Do not make us look like Peter's sock puppets. We did not take the task to support Peter. We want to save the project, the dream, the idea that drives us all. And we will all do our best to represent the entire community.

Let us make is a common goal to rebuild the trust in each other so that the TCC can be elected already in Q1 2009.

The Questions

add your one line questions below

  • Why is CrawfordCurrie not on the initial TCC?
    • It was him or Michael. The main reason is that Peter and Kenneth thinks Crawford should lead the Technical Board. This is a very powerful role. Probably more powerful than BDFL which is a role Peter cannot use much without risking a fork. Crawford is the natural candidate for the tech board chairman role. In fact the whole governance proposal relies on Crawford taking this role.

  • Is the TCC the core team with new members?
    • No. The old core team had too many roles. We were the leader team that never lead anything. We were automatically the sys admins and administrators of twiki.org. We were originally the team that approved new code. It was a mix of responsibilities and made little sense after the development was opened up with the introduction of the develop.twiki.org Subversion and easy access for anyone that wants to contribute. The TCC will focus on making the community work. We are secretaries and not managers!

  • Will the TCC communication be secret?
    • No. There will be a TCC mailing list with public access to the archive.

  • No secret communication on the project?
    • Yes. Security bugs will be processed non-public to ensure that hackers do not learn about open security holes before admins have a chance to plug them.

  • What about the other old Core team members?
    • The only other core team member that has been active has been SvenDowideit. His role in the core team has mainly been administration of develop.twiki.org and twiki.org and member of the security team. In fact this is the only real activities that happened in the old core team. It is natural that Sven continues being the administrator of our servers. A very important task for the community. Probably one of the most important. Sven is also a natural candidate for the important technical board.

  • What is this code of conduct all about? Do we have to sign something? Does it mean that people commit to not criticize anyone? Or that we are not allowed to fork?
    • No - not at all. The idea of the code of conduct is to be a declaration of intension. Read the documents at http://www.ubuntu.com/community/conduct. It is very likely that the Twiki code of conduct will be a near copy/paste of this. The Ubuntu document is a pretty good document which main purpose is to make the experience of participation in the project a nice one. The Ubuntu code of conduct is very hard to disagree with. After all - it fits pretty well how we have to behave in our normal work environments and in our private social network.

  • So this TCC will decide everything about the other teams?
    • In practical - we will have problems finding enough volunteers for the roles. The role of the TCC will more be to persuade people to take tasks that may be less sexy but needed than it will be to be a power institution.

  • How will TCC resolve conflicts?
    • Good question. TCC will need to find its way of working for this one. It is in the conflict situation that the TCC vs BDFL conflict can occur. And probably the areas where Peter still owes the community some more declarations of intentions of his use of the BDFL. It is my (Kenneth) hope that the BDFL will mainly be something we all know is there and know the purpose of so we simply avoid the situations where the BDFL would need to act.

  • What has TCC done so far of secret meetings and emails?
    • There has been some emails concerning if an additional member should be added. And that is it. As of 22 Jul 2008 the TCC has not discussed anything. TCC will communicate in public whenever practically possible. And you are all invited to participate with debate and proposals.

-- Contributors: KennethLavrsen - 21 Jul 2008


Let me make clear, once again, that the WikiRing is not a business. It is a network of consultants who work together to better address clients. One of our common interests is in making the TWiki project successful. However that does not automatically mean that all members of the WikiRing all have the same interests. For example, Michael has several times expressed an interest in competing directly with TWIKI.NET. I, on the other hand, currently have no interest in this. Please, do not assume that views expressed by a consultant who happens to be a WikiRing member are necessarily the views of all members of the WikiRing.

Secondly, the fact that three of the five proposed TCC members are former core team members makes me uncomfortable. The business of the core team has always been opaque to me; for example, I have no idea if what you say about Sven's contribution there is true, but knowing Sven, I suspect he has been rather more vocal than is reflected by "His role in the core team has mainly been administration of develop.twiki.org and twiki.org and member of the security team". One way of regaining my trust in this area would be to open up the last 4 years of core team communications for community review.

Third, while I welcome MartinSeibert to the community, and like a lot of what he says, I really know nothing about him. I would like to be able to place trust in Martin, but to do that I have to hear his position statement (perhaps a PersonalRoadmapForMartinSeibert).

-- CrawfordCurrie - 22 Jul 2008

Hi Crawford!

I will create PersonalRoadmapForMartinSeibert after my honeymoon from August 1st on. Please give me some time until then. But you can start reading and commenting TWikiOrganization as a first step.

I am looking forward to convincing you and others, that I can add value to the TWiki-Community.

-- MartinSeibert - 22 Jul 2008

Crawford. from what I can recollect the core team emails that have not been sent to twiki-dev mailing list also - or been related to the security team is

begins here

ends here


What I wrote about Sven was positive. Why is it received negative? Read it again. I wrote that the only one in the core team that did any core team work was Sven. That is a positive message towards Sven. No negative in between the lines meaning. The core team has the past 3 years been a sys admin group with Sven doing most of the work.

So now Crawford? Can we see the last 4 years of Wikiring emails now?

-- KennethLavrsen - 22 Jul 2008

If I'm not wrong, Sven has not only focused on the servers, albeit having difficulties in spreading the workload to other volunteers, but he has also contributed much to the TWiki core. The role of him being the TWiki sysadmin, IMHO, is less effective than his role as a core developer.

No offense, but since the time that I've been around, I haven't seen much analytical and support in decision making in Arthur's role. The recent TWikiGovernanceProposal1 issues & related continues to support my personal view that he lacks keeping in step with brainstorming and discussing of current issues. I may be wrong, and I hope I'm wrong. And, I must say, I am not discounting his ample work in attempting to facelift TWiki.ORG, and his recent (commercial?) work on revamping the PatternSkin.

That said, I'm completely perplexed by the said criterias of being the council member, due to the fact that it lacks two most important criterias when choosing the right person for this case. 1) Experience required, where the experiences of the individual rightly fits the role as the council member to guide, analyse and formulate the future of TWiki and 2) Involvement, granted, the above elements do somewhat speak of "involvement", but the lack of expanding on the term "active" and "interest" for the benefit of 1) is quite disappointing.

Am not saying any of elected individuals lack experience, but what I'd look out for is the needed experiences for TCC to work properly. Not just people who are known as "active" and "interested" in TWiki, which is a very vague requirement.

It's a job for goodness sake, let's treat it more professional please. wink

-- KwangErnLiew - 22 Jul 2008

Kenneth, I don't think I suggested that what you wrote was negative, just that my perception is that it is incomplete.

Remember that those of us outside the core team have no visibility of what goes on within it. If you look at TWiki.org, it describes the core team as the governing body for TWiki, so it's reasonable, I think, to assume that its function has been rather more than sysadmin. Certainly, that has been my assumption.

No, I'm not about to share 4 years of WikiRing emails with the community. Even if the only topics we discussed on those lists were TWiki-related, emails between members of the TWiki community are irrelevant to governance of the community. The core team, on the other hand, has been identified as the governance body for TWiki for many years.

I don't honestly expect you to publish a digest of the core list, as I'm sure you all wrote to it in the belief that it would be held in confidence, and said things that you might not have said in a more public form. No, my point is that from the outside, it looks like the old core team is manouevering to consolidate it's future, and that you need to counter that to establish the credentials of the candidates. You have stated that the core team mailing list has been empty, which I assume means the members have acted independently in the past, and can be expected to do so again in the future. At this time I am willing to accept your word on that point.

-- CrawfordCurrie - 22 Jul 2008

Kwang. I did my best to be clear. I am talking about Svens role in a core team. The core team has nothing to do with the core code. The core code is developed by the now large group of people with check-in access to subversion. Naturally I recognize Sven's work with the code and with extensions as well. Lots and lots of work. Please try and read this topic in the right context. I was stating that the core team has done nothing but system administration the years I have been in it and that it has been Sven doing most of that work. Ie. there is nothing in the old core team that has anything to do with the TCC and that Sven's good work on system administration is appreciated and should continue under his skilled supervision IMHO. I hope it is clear now. Otherwise I just give up.

So the personal attacks on TCC members can begin. Please give us a chance! Arthur has more than most helped very early to fix the 4.2.0 bugs related to PatternSkin updates and to get all the plugins that broke because of it back working. He also made significant updates to some of the plugins after 4.2.0 release. Arthur is one of the few that pushed for a 4.2.1 release all of Q1 and Q2 2008 supporting me as release manager at release meetings. His code contributions is close to 150 checkins just since January. This is why I recommended Arthur. He is a good and significant contributor. He has a strong sense of quality and cleans up his own bugs (we all make bugs when we work) and maintains a neutral role in the personal conflicts. We need someone who works hard for the project and has a neutral point of view. That is my humble opinion.

People asked me to give the background of the TCC. Now you have it. Even if the TCC was elected you would not agree with some of the members.

The question to the community is - will you give the TCC members a chance?

Or will you just continue provoking a fork? Is that what you want?

-- KennethLavrsen - 22 Jul 2008

It's quite despicable to hear that you see my view about Arthur as a personal attack rather than a critical view on the criterias on TCC member. Did I not give praise to Arthur's work in TWiki? And of course, you don't know us Chinese, we don't take business as personal when we don't personally know that person. And I clearly don't know Arthur personally nor do I need to resolve to low-life attacks as you claimed I did. Did I mention that I don't have any commercial interests as any of you? wink Heh.

I see others as part of TCC, though I would love to hear more about Martin besides his introduction at his user page.

No offense, but to base a recommendation due to the effort of releasing 4.2.1 is rather bias compared to looking at the grander picture of the TCC role. TCC is not about releasing nor about effort in the core code, IMHO. Though if that holds true, I am surprised why Gilmar wasn't picked out due to his persistent attitude and effort in the core engine of TWiki that greatly shifted TWiki's position in the wiki industry.

Am not provoking anything but the choice of TCC member and its future.

Didn't I mention to you countless times that my personal opinion of forking is not the way? Or is this a personal attack to desuade, de-motivate and discourage my involvement in TWiki? Part of the OSS philosophy is to take critical views and transform it into a strength. Is TWiki embracing it?

-- KwangErnLiew - 22 Jul 2008

Kwang, you are entitled to criticize any proposal. But please think before you type! 'Despicable' is not well-balanced against 'no offense' I would say...

On my role I can be clear:

  • My current daytime job is a project in Germany (I live in Rotterdam) and that means a lot of travel next to my overloaded days and weekends. That may explain my absence since some time. In any case I won't be able to attend meetings on Mondays until I get internet in the appartment.
  • Against this I bring in my TWiki experience since 2003.
  • When I was asked in the council, I have replied that I felt uncomfortable being asked, not elected. It is my hope we can make this a democratic process sooner rather than later.

-- ArthurClemens - 22 Jul 2008

Kwang... at least make sure that what you write is what you meant smile even if Wikipedia:Daffy_Duck said 'despicable' a lot, it is quite insulting for English speakers.

-- RafaelAlvarez - 22 Jul 2008

Despond, despicable, despoil, depictive, depopulate, all English words. Everybody: Let's try to give each other a break, that helps depopulate the community smile

PS: Thank you Kenneth for openly sharing where the TCC currently stands.

-- PeterThoeny - 23 Jul 2008

Side note, I don't watch daffy duck wink And I mean "contempt" and "disrespectful" when I said "despicable", wrong usage I guess.

Again, I seeking for a clear guideline and roles that TCC will bring especially in its relation on the elected members. At the moment, I don't see it. If I'm wrong, I'd be glad that someone can point out my blurred vision. It's an open mature discussion, and if it's not that important at the big picture, fine by me. It surely doesn't affect me as much as most of you here, to be blunt.

-- KwangErnLiew - 23 Jul 2008

Arthur, thanks for what you said. I understand better where you are coming from now. You have my support, FWIW.

-- CrawfordCurrie - 23 Jul 2008

Good to see the arguments for the initial TCC appointments being published. Now I'm hoping for some positive and constructive results. Let's try to let them do their work...

-- CarloSchulz - 23 Jul 2008

Hm, I forgot about Arthur's comment. Apologise that I missed that. Thanks for the insight Arthur. smile

-- KwangErnLiew - 23 Jul 2008

There is too much to read. For outsiders like me, it is impossible to keep up. Now there is an appointed comitee that will decree the new rules? The community has not had even a saying in who is in the comitee?

I find this all very odd. I hope you guys have thought about this! 'no trust in the comunity' says it all, no? So now there is a comitee that doesn't trust the comunity and a comunity that has no trust in the comitee. Mao would have been so proud!

If the starting point of this comitee is 'we dont trust the comitee', how can something good come of it?

I have a background in psychology (which is my current occupation also, next to being the local geek), and i see things going wrong on so many levels here! You need some profesional help, really. A mediator or anyone who knows communication and group processes. This is an impossible thing going on!

-- JoostKattegat - 23 Jul 2008

Joost, I don't find your latest contributions that supportive. Being critical does not equal being rude, slashing members, the community as a whole or Peter personally. If you can't I would like to ask you to please shut up.

As Kenneth has pointed out, the TCC members are not Peter's sock puppets. There is nothing that suggests that the members do not trust the community, after all we are part of the community as well, and I don't want to speak of any divide.

-- ArthurClemens - 23 Jul 2008

I must say, I don't think there is any real alternative to having an appointed interem governance comittee. The work required to create an elective or consultative creation of a group would be even harder to do.

I think the TCC knows by now that they have to work hard to get the community to trust their conclusions, and given the feedbacks they have received, probly have a pretty good idea of the hard work that is expected :/, and the active and probably painful consultation they'll be forced to go through.

-- SvenDowideit - 23 Jul 2008

ArthurClemens ++
SvenDowideit ++

-- OliverKrueger - 23 Jul 2008

Joost, the problem is not that the TCC doesn't trust the community, is actually the opposite: The community don't trust a body like the TCC (even if we may trust its members).

I agree with Sven here, the first TCC had to be appointed. Even so, I think that the right people was appointed. It is quite telling that the most "active dissenters" are bidding their time giving TCC a chance to work.

So, please, give them a chance to work. Let's not see future ghosts, lets concentrate on today and perhaps tomorrow, and move forward. By 2009, if TCC does his work AND we mature as a community, we would have elections for the new TCC.

If we put too much pressure on the TCC members right now, we'll create a positive feedback loop (which is bad, BTW) of "increased stress --> bigger paranoia --> bad work --> more pressure & criticism --> increased stress"

-- RafaelAlvarez - 23 Jul 2008

I have created the PersonalRoadmapForMartinSeibert to give all interested community members more transparency about me.

-- MartinSeibert - 07 Aug 2008

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