Proposed Organization

Mike Prince
Thu, 3 Nov 1994 10:49:11 -0800 (PST)

On Wed, 2 Nov 1994, Kyle Hayes wrote:

> Hmm, I think that a single coordinator will be able to handle several
> projects at once.  Again, I cite the fact that due to the kinds of
> connections and time differences we all have, it will be very hard
> to have much tight collaborative work.  Also, consider that for many
> technical projects, projects tend to have a single project leader for
> each 4-6 team members.  Perhaps it would be better to have a single
> person responsible for a given project and a couple of coordinators
> each responsible for several projects.  Or, perhaps the project leader
> and coordinator could be the same.  I think I prefer the last solution
> though it will involve a lot of work for said coordinator.

I was actually expecting that one person would be the Coordinator for 
many projects that are more of discussion groups.

> As Daniel Newcombe noted, there are only 16 people on the list.
> If you have a coordinator per project plus someone who is actually
> doing the project, you are getting too top heavy.

I expect that for many of the projects the Coordinator will be the one 
doing the actual programming.  I.e. Joe Schmoe does a RFP, gets it and 
dissappears for three weeks, and comes back with something useful.  
(Hopefully he would still check his e-mail in case we have questions).

On the flip side, for many "projects" they would be discussion forums, 
with one person presiding over many.

> I think that the coordinator should be chosen either by general vote
> or by the people who will work on the project.  Whether or not this
> will lead to better coordinators is moot.  I think that the feeling of
> getting everyone involved would be very beneficial.  I further
> think that the secretary should only vote in the case of a tie.  This
> helps break ties that could otherwise cause stalls in the pipeline.

Let's talk this one through as it is very important.  I said Secretary in 
order to expedite things.  Someone has a hot idea, Secretary gives the go 
ahead and they are off.  I think we should funnel all proposals through 
the secretary and give him/her the discretion of appointing someone, or 
offering the position up for election.  Would anyone like to word this 
for me?  If not I'll crank it out.

> Another note on voting: there is an electronic voting program out
> there that I have seen referenced.  I believe it runs under X windows,
> but I am not sure.  It might be good for tempers to be able to have
> secret ballot voting and having a program count the results would help
> reduce the temptation of partisanship on the part of the vote counter.
> Basically, anything that can increase people's confidence in the 
> fairness of the vote itself will help a lot.  Secret ballot voting
> is probably not necessary for 95% of the issues we will run across,
> but for those 5% I think it will be necessary.  Any ideas on this?

I am all for automating this process as much as possible.  There are two 
sides to the above argument.  In order to prove the vote was fair we HAVE 
TO post the results of the counts plus who voted.  That is the only way.  
On the other hand tempers can flare over some issues and a secret vote 
might be necessary.  I need to hear more arguments about this, I don't 
have an decisive opinion.

> Also, some attempt should be made to assure that things remain stable
> while guaranteeing that change can be made if necessary.  Consider the
> case where a divisive vote is taken and course of action A is chosen by
> a very narrow margin.  Suppose that after quiet lobbying, course B is
> then reproposed two days later and passes.  Then A's supporters start
> lobbying...  I think you get the idea.   If something passes a vote,
> I think we should have more than 50% + 1 votes to overturn it.  Perhaps
> the 2/3 rule used in most US government would work.

How about 2/3 for everything?  Anyone against it?

> > [The RFP would be submitted in ASCII directly to the Secretary.  The 
> > Secretary must respond within 5 days.]
> With some exceptions for holidays etc.  I.e. if you file it on
> December 22nd, don't expect a response until after the eggnog
> wears off.  Why not say one week?

One Week it is, if no one disagrees.

> > Only the Secretary or a Coordinator can post to announce.  This will 
> > minimize noise for that topic.  I suggest we use announce to update 
> > members on the status of projects and proposals for projects.
> I would say that only the Sec can post for general issues and the
> coordinators will post (within their project(s)) for project and subproject
> level issues.  Since the coordinators already have to take major changes
> to the Sec, let the Sec deal with the big stuff.

I wanted to take the Secretary out of the loop a little.  And I wanted 
Coordinators to be able to update the general public about what's going 
on in their project.  I'd like to leave this policy the same unless 
others feel strongly against it too.

> > Modification/removal of projects.  A project is defined by it's RFP.  To 
> > make a change to the RFP (including changing the Coordinator) a member 
> > would e-mail the Secretary a Request for Project Deviation (RFD).  The 

> Hmm, I think that deviation from the goals of a project should be
> handled by the project coordinator.  That person should act to get
> a coherent description together of the proposed changes and take it
> to the Sec.

Ooops, that's what I meant.  Participants -> Coordinator -> Secretary.

> > The Secretary shall have a term of 1 year.  Beginning November 1st.  All 
> > votes shall be registered by members after Octerber 20th and before 
> > October 26th.
> Some of you are in school (I am not, it just looks like it
> from my address).  Are you sure that you will be available for
> twelve months?

I was a bit torn over this one too.  I want the term to be long enough 
that we don't have to the hassle of re-voting all the time.  On the flip 
side 12 months is a LONG time.  How does eveyone else feel?

> > The organization project will have several additional files;
> > 	.contributors  A list of those who have made significant

> I am not sure what you mean by contributors.  Do you mean people
> who did more work than was called for?  Do you mean people whose work
> we build on?  Is this a bibliography?  (I think there should be one,
> it helps immensely to be able to trace where ideas came from.)

Contributors was meant to recognize people for significant achievements.  
But I don't know the exact format of it yet either, or even if it's 
necessary.  Another file could be .history, serving the same purpose by 
tracking the development of ideas as a story line.

Thanks for the feedback,