Subject: Re: public? Re: Call for Votes: New OSI-Editors List
From: "Zak Greant" <>
Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2007 14:13:00 -0800

Hey Ben, Greetings All,

On 11/27/07, Ben Tilly <> wrote:
> On Nov 27, 2007 12:45 PM, Zak Greant <> wrote:
> > Hi Ernie, Greetings All,
> >
> [...]
> > In their role as editors, editors do not raise issues or give input on
> > the issues. If an editor has an issue to raise or input to give as an
> > individual, then they may not act as an editor for the relevant issue.
> [...]
> I'm not really happy with this clause.
> I find that if I am paying close attention to a discussion, then I'll
> have something to say on it.  I'll also be in a better position to
> summarize it.  Conversely if I haven't been involved in the
> discussion, I'm generally not paying close enough attention to
> accurately summarize the points that were made by various people.

I metaphorically hear you - I developed opinions on every issue that I triaged.

> My involvement may just have been to ask some clarifying questions, or
> else to point out an issue with a particular argument.  I may not have
> a strong opinion on the license under discussion, but I'll be asking
> myself, "Could someone think that I expressed an opinion?  Should I
> stay away from this topic?"

Asking for clarification is different than submitting an opinion (of
course, there are rather deep shades of grey here...)

> I understand the benefit of avoiding conflicts of interest.  But I'd
> prefer to see a clause like, "Editors shall not let their personal
> opinions influence their editing.  If doubts are raised about an
> editor's ability to be impartial on a particular issue, that editor
> shall refrain from editing that issue."

I could accept that, but let me present my case more fully.

> Yes, that's a more subtle judgment call.  But it leaves me free to act
> on discussions that I've been following closely.  And the fact that
> editing is publicly attributable gives an appropriate check on
> editorial abuse.

This approach still allows editors to more easily bend the tickets in
their favor.

For example, if I submit a set of opinions to address all of the open
concerns for a given issue and then immediately triage them (and
perhaps even close the relevant tickets), it tends to reduce the
validity of my opinions - even if they are generally held to be

Much worse, it puts the editor in the position of defending a stated
opinion for the issue that they are triaging. They should be the
neutral party that collects views, not one of the engaged parties who
is holding to a position.

So far, we have 11 editors nominated, accepted and validated; another
5 nominated and validated editors just need to accept to bring us up
to 16 editors.

There should be more than enough of us to triage issues. If one or
five of us needs discontinue triaging a given issue, it shouldn't be
that bad - another editor can pick things up.