Plasma 5 (KDE) In Testing

A few days ago, fellow Qt/KDE team member Lisandro gave an update on the situation with migration to Plasma 5 in Debian Testing (AKA Stretch).  It’s changed again.  All of Plasma 5 is now in Testing.  The upgrade probably won’t be entirely smooth, which we’ll work on that after the gcc5 transition is done, but it will be much better than the half KDE4 SC half Kf5/Plasma 5 situation we’ve had for the last several days.

The issues with starting kwin should be resolved once users upgrade to Plasma 5.  To use the current kwin with KDE SC 4, you will need to add a symlink from /usr/bin/kwin to /usr/bin/kwin_x11.  That will be included in the next upload after gcc5.

Systemsettings and plasma-nm now work.

In my initial testing, I didn’t see anything major that was broken.  One user reported an issue with sddm starting automatically, but it worked fine for me.  During the upgrade you should get a debconf prompt asking if you want to use kdm or sddm.  Pick sddm.

When I tried to dist-upgrade, apt wanted to remove task-kde-desktop.  I let it remove it and some other packages and then in a second step did apt-get install task-kde-desktop.  That pulled it back in successfully along with adding and removing a reasonably large stack of packages.  Obviously we need to make that work better before Stretch is released, but as long as you don’t restart KDE in between those two steps it should be fine.  Lastely, I used apt-get autoremove to clear out a lot of no longer needed KDE4 things (when it asks if you want to stop the running kdm, say no).

Here are a few notes on terminology and what I understand of the future plans:

What used to be called KDE is now three different things (in part because KDE is now the community of people, not the software):

KDE Frameworks 5 (Kf5): This is a group of several dozen small libraries that as a group, roughly equate to what used to be kdelibs.

Plasma (Workspaces) 5: This is the desktop that we’ve just transitioned to.

Applications: These are a mix of kdelibs and Kf5 based applications.  Currently in Testing there are some of both and this will evolve over time based on upstream development.  As an example, the Kf5 based version of konsole is in Unstable and should transition to Testing shortly.

Finally, thanks to Maximiliano Curia (maxy on IRC) for doing virtually all of the packaging of Kf5, Plasma 5, and applications.  He did the heavy lifting, the rest of us just nibbled around the edges to keep it moving towards testing.

Debian LTS Work June 2015

This was my second month as a Freexian sponsored LTS contributor. I was assigned 4 hours which was enough for me to update libclamunrar to the latest version we have, 0.98.5. This aligns libclamunrar with last month’s clamav update and resolved a potentially concerning double free error. This is consistent with the way clamav and its components are updated for Debian supported releases through proposed-updates. This is covered under DLA 250-1.  This update took longer than expected due to time spent wrestling with the git repository for the packaging, but that’s resolved now, so if future updates are needed, it should be much easier.

Debian LTS Work May 2015

This was my first month as a Freexian sponsored LTS contributor.  I was assigned 4 hours which was enough for me to update clamav to the current upstream version, 0.98.7.  This resolves a stack of CVEs and enables LTS users to take advantage of the latest anti-virus signatures and features clamav offers.  This is consistent with the way clamav is updated for Debian supported releases through proposed-updates.  This is covered under DLA 233-1.

I think I may be done …

I don’t have a lot more to say about the Ubuntu Community Council’s decision, backed up by the SABDFL, to, in secret, with no consultation with the rest of the leadership of the Kubuntu community (i.e. the Kubuntu Council) remove Jonathan Riddell than I’ve already said to them in the series of emails I’ve just made public.

Since I got involved in Ubuntu development in 2006, I’ve known we had a SABDFL.  I’ve never particularly liked it, but I understood it.  SABDFL created and funded both Canonical and Ubuntu.  His sand box, his rules.  Fair enough.  What I didn’t know until this week though was that we had more than one.

I invite people to re-read the Code of Conduct and consider how that relates to how the Ubuntu Community Council has handled their dispute with Jonathan Riddell.  I think their actions in no way comport to either the letter or spirit of the CoC.  I had held out some hope that this secret trial and expulsion decision was not supported by the SABDFL and that he would intervene to help de-escalate the situation so we could reach a reasonable resolution and move forward as a community.

Unfortunately, he didn’t.  What he said was, “The CC is entitled to choose who they will recognise as their counterparts and representatives in sub-communities like Kubuntu.”  The CC is entitled to choose.  So in addition to a SABDFL, we have a CC that can for whatever reason determine anyone is unsuitable to be in a leadership position.  I mention this specifically as a warning to others in leadership positions in Ubuntu.  You are very specifically not free to criticize the CC.  I’m sure they will push back and claim the issue isn’t the criticism, but the way it was done.  That may or may not be true, only they know, but I do know that there was no consultation done with the Kubuntu Council to try and resolve this.  Since they operate in secret, there’s no way to know when one is near or over whatever arbitrary line they choose to draw.

I don’t know what Jonathan did or did not do.  The CC have declined to provide any information to support their rather extreme accusations.  As far as I can tell (for example), regarding the accusation that Canonical employees have trouble working with him, I haven’t been able to find any despite several days of asking people who work for Canonical that I know work with him.  I suspect I know where to find the Canonical employees in question based on one of the replies in the extended discussion between CC and KC members, “It’s been stressful to everyone on the CC, particularly our members who work for Canonical and are powerless in this situation”.  It would be nice if they were adult enough to actually say specifically who they are and not hide behind anonymity in making this accusation.  Personally, I think this probably says more about the appropriateness of having Canonical employees on the CC than it does about anything Jonathan may have done wrong.

In the end, I don’t think it matters much what he did or not do.  For me, the primary point is about the CC’s complete failure to follow the CoC and the SABDFL approval of that.  Almost exactly six years ago, I wrote a blog post talking about being here for the freedom, Back home from UDS Karmic.  I still am.  In retrospect, I think I was a fool to expect freedom in a dictatorship.

Except in the unlikely event this somehow all gets undone, I plan to wind down my involvement with Ubuntu and move fully to Debian (where I’ve also been involved in development for some time).  I still have Ubuntu systems to support and they will take time to migrate.  Additionally, the CoC requires me to “Step down considerately”.  I’m not going to just dump everything so an appropriate transition won’t be fast.  It might not be a bad idea though that if you’re thinking I’m going to do something that isn’t finished, check with me and make sure I still plan on it, since my motivation level for Ubuntu work has about hit bottom.

This is not the Ubuntu project I joined in 2006.  I would like to have that one back, but it’s not my call.  I don’t think I will ever feel comfortable in what it’s become.  I’ll most regret leaving behind a lot of great people I’ve worked with.  Fortunately, many of them are active in Debian too, so I’ll still see them there.

Information Exchange Between the Ubuntu Community Council and the Kubuntu Council

Here is all that we have to share in terms of background information.  The Ubuntu governance goals demand that “Decisions regarding the Ubuntu distribution and community are taken in a fair and transparent fashion”.  To that end, here is all the correspondence between the Ubuntu Community Council (UCC) and the Kubuntu Council (KC).  In this post, I am, on behalf of the KC, merely trying to provide data.

I am choosing to redact the name of the UCC member that send one message as it was showing a great deal of personal vulnerability and there’s no public benefit to knowing exactly who sent it.  I think it is an important part of the record to gain understanding about the degree to which the UCC was able (or not – I will leave it to judge) be in a position to assess this situation fairly.

I also wish to extend my personal apology to the Kubuntu community for keeping this private for as long as we did.  Generally, I don’t believe such an approach is consistent with our values, but I supported keeping it private in the hope that it would be easier to achieve a mutually beneficial resolution of the situation privately.  Now that it’s clear that is not going to happen, I (and others in the KC) could not in good faith keep this private.

There are two sets of mails.  First is an official statement by the UCC followed by replies by Jonathan Riddell and an unanimously agreed response from the KC with a final reply from SABDFL.  These are the formal communications between the groups.  After that are all of the informal exchanges between UCC and KC members provided for background.  Time wise, these all happened between the initial reply from the KC and the SABDFL’s pronouncement that this decision is final.  They are replicated here as accurately as I could manage (including successfully resisting the temptation to edit typos out of the messages I sent).

Formal Communications:

Subj: Jonathan Riddell
From:    elfy <elfy@gmx.co.uk>
To:    valorie-zimmerman@kubuntu.org, ubuntu@kitterman.com, rohangarg@kubuntu.org, yofel@kubuntu.org, myriam@kubuntu.org
CC:    cc <community-council@lists.ubuntu.com>
Date:    Wed May 20 03:04:51 2015
Dear members of the Kubuntu Council:

It is with regret that we write this email to discuss an issue that we
feel is negatively impacting the Ubuntu Community. Over a long period of
time Jonathan Riddell has become increasingly difficult to deal with.
Jonathan raised valid issues and concerns, but reacted poorly when he
received answers he did not agree with. As things progressed Jonathan
made public statements impugning the integrity of the Community
Council(CC)and twisting the words of others. He was also argumentative
to the point we feel he violated the code of conduct. Out of respect for
Jonathan’s contributions we allowed this situation to continue in the
hopes it would self-correct, but that has not happened.

Over the past year, and increasingly over the past month, Jonathan

* has been overly aggressive and confrontational in his communication,
both in private with the CC and in public

* has not been responsive to multiple calls for moderation in this
communication

* has not accepted the findings and conclusions from the CC, even
though he was the one who requested them from us

* has taken private communications public when he did not like the way
they went

* has knowingly misrepresented the statements and positions of others

* made accusations about the integrity and honesty of members of the
community

* made accusations of apathy against the CC, in blatant disregard to
the time and energy he knows we have been putting into the issue he
raises

* has been disrespectful towards the CC and Canonical in both private
and public communication

* has abused his leadership position to cause divisions within the
community, rather than uniting it

At this time we have sent an email to Jonathan requesting that he step
aside from all positions of leadership in the Ubuntu Communityfor at
least 12 months. This request will require him to step aside from
leadership in Kubuntu as well. We apologize that this happens just after
the election of the Kubuntu Council and are willing to assist in anyway
to help with the transition.

Jonathan will be able to keep his upload and commit rights and is still
allowed to participate as a member of the Ubuntu Community. He is allowed
to request funds from the community donations program as an individual,
but requests for funding of Kubuntu activities, such as sprints, should
be requested by another Kubuntu leader. Likewise we would like for any
concerns that Kubuntu would like to raise with the Community Council be
brought to us by somebody other than Jonathan.

It is important to stress that this decision was not a result of his
raising issues of concern to us, or because of the issues that were
raised. The CC agreed that the issues were valid and important, and we
took them on and followed through with them to the best of our ability.
It was not the issues, but rather this response to our work and our
conclusions, and his continuing confrontational attitude in private and
public communication that has forced us into this position.

regards

Kev
on behalf of the Community Council

##

Here is a very similar message sent directly to Jonathan Riddell:

Dear Jonathan ,

It is with regret that we write this email to inform you that we, the Community
Council (CC), request that you step down as a Kubuntu Council member and
from all Ubuntu leadership roles for the next 12 months effective immedia
tely. You will be able to keep your upload and commit rights and are
allowed to participate as a member of the Ubuntu Community.

You have been involved in the Ubuntu project since the very early days
and through your contributions many people were able to experience KDE
and Open Source. We all respect you for that hard work. It is because of
this involvement that many see you as leader within Kubuntu.

As a leader it’s important to bring up issues. It’s also important, and
maybe even more so, to build bridges and create ties between teams and
individuals which bring the best to our project. We just don’t see you as a
uniting role in the project any more.

We work in an interesting environment, where companies, projects and
individuals come together and have different goals and shared visions.
Where success is so inextricably linked, it’s even more important that
communication between everyone is clear, and not shaded with personal
feelings, in order that we can all collaborate to get the most out our
work.

In the last few weeks we have come to the conclusion that you have lost
perspective on the bigger project and more importantly Ubuntu’s ideals.
It became harder and harder to work with you, up to the point where several
people involved in the conversations felt hurt and burned out. Whatever
problems you saw and wanted to see resolved could have been dealt with in a
much different way. No matter how much you felt was going wrong, the people
you are talking to are still human beings.

Over the past year, and increasingly over the past month you have:

– been overly aggressive and confrontational in your communication,
both in private with the CC and in public
– not been responsive to multiple calls for moderation in this
communication

– not accepted the findings and conclusions from the CC, even though you
were the one that initially requested them from us
– taken private communications public when you did not like the way
they went
– knowingly misrepresented the statements and positions of others
– made accusations about the integrity and honesty of members of the
community
– made accusations of apathy against the CC, in blatant disregard to
the time and energy you know we have been putting into the issue you
have raised
– been disrespectful towards the CC and Canonical in both private and
public communication
– abused your leadership position to cause divisions within the
community, rather than uniting it

You may still request funds from the community donations program as an
individual, however  requests to it for funding for Kubuntu activities,
such as sprints, should be requested by another Kubuntu leader.  Likewise
we would like for any concerns that Kubuntu would like to raise with the
Community Council be brought to us by one of the other Kubuntu council
members, we have also made this request to the Kubuntu Council.

It is important to stress that this decision was not  made as a result
of your raising issues of concern to us, or because of the issues that were
raised. The CC agrees that the issues you have raised were valid and
important, and we took them on and followed through with them to the best
of our ability. It was not the issues, but rather this response to our work
and our conclusions, and your continuing confrontational attitude in
private and public communication that has forced us into this position.

regards

Kev
on behalf of the Community Council

##

Kubuntu Council’s Reply:

Dear Community Council,

Sad to hear you feel this way, but we are not able to discuss your suggestion, as we simply lack the necessary information. We are specifically puzzled that you did in no way mention any problems in our last meeting on March 19.

Could you please specify in what way Jonathan has violated the Code of Conduct or Leadership CoC? Since this is the only reason you can have to suggest such a stepping back on his behalf, you need to be much more specific and provide clear evidence. Additionally, we are concerned that as at least some CC members are parties to this dispute, you may not have been an appropriately disinterested group to make this decision.  We believe full transparency on the discussions and process that led to this request is essential to avoiding a situation where the credibility of the CC might be at risk when this request becomes public.

FWIW: Jonathan has always acted in our name, so we as the Kubuntu Council stand behind his requests. We have followed the exchange you had with Jonathan on the mailing list and don’t see any acts or wording from him that would justify such a reaction.

Sincerly,

The Kubuntu Council

##

Jonathan’s Personal Reply:

I refuse your request to step down from the Kubuntu council because I disagree entirely with the accusations against me.  I have never been agressive and claiming that I have is insulting and bullying.  If you wish to pursue this request please send the CC meeting minute authorising it to the kubuntu-devel mailing list along with concrete examples of breaches of CoC and Leadership CoC.

It is a shame some CC members dislike that I have asked questions about problems in the community but it is a basic part of being in a community and I have followed all the correct avenues in doing so.

I’m leaving tomorrow morning for a long weekend offline and won’t be back online until Monday evening.

##

Mark Shuttleworth’s reply to Jonathan:

From: Mark Shuttleworth <mark@ubuntu.com>
Date: Sunday, 24 May 2015
Subject: Kubuntu Council
To: Jonathan Riddell <jr@jriddell.org>, elfy <elfy@gmx.co.uk>
Cc: cc <community-council@lists.ubuntu.com>

Jonathan

The CC is entitled to choose who they will recognise as their counterparts and representatives in sub-communities like Kubuntu. It is untenable for us to ask people to volunteer to the CC, and then expect them to have to work with people who they do not feel are constructive leads; they therefore have the same ability to short-list candidates for leadership of sub-communities that I have for nominations to the CC and TB.

It is therefore not a question of whether or not you accept the CC request to step down. This is a statement from the CC that we no longer recognise you as the leader of the Kubuntu community. This decision has been rather painful, but is judged necessary. Whether or not you agree with the position, it is the final position of the CC.

You may not realise the extent to which your conduct has strayed outside the bounds of acceptable behaviour for a leader in Ubuntu. I would suggest you get the benefit of some distance from the project.

Mark

##

Reply to Mark Shuttleworth from Jonathan Riddell:

Oh Mark, all I have ever done is the task you hired me to do a decade
ago.  I have created the most successful community team in Ubuntu and
the most successful community project.  I have never been agressive,
never misrepresented anyone and I have never ever done anything that
is not in the interests of the Ubuntu community.  Two very basic but
important questions were not being answered and I’m pleased they now
have been to my current satisfaction but the CC members need to deal
with why they couldn’t answer them years ago and need to ask
themselves why they are wanting to destroy the community they are
enrolled to help.  I have never claimed to be a leader of anything.

Jonathan

That is all the formal communications.

Informal Communications:

Quick answer to our mail from Charles:

Myriam:

I wanted to send you a quick email to let you know the CC has received your email and the one directly from Jonathan. We have a few members who are not on-line currently and have not read the email so I can not speak for them, but do you feel that a meeting with the Kubuntu Council and the Community Council would be a good step forward in this matter?

CP

##

Myriam’s reply to Charles:

I am sure a meeting would be useful to clarify the situation, but personally I am not happy with the threat issued to Jonathan, I think this would need to be resolved before we meet.

Again, that is my personal feeling, but I see this suspension as very divisive for the  community, especially considering his status as the Kubuntu project lead. If this really took effect it would be very destructive and demotivating for all people involved in the project who have absolutely no problem in collaboration with Jonathan. I am sure this is not the desired effect.

##

Charles Reply:

Myriam:

No worries about the late reply.

On Thu, 2015-05-21 at 23:30 +0200, Myriam Schweingruber wrote:
> Hi Charles,
>
> sorry for the late reply:
>
> On Thu, May 21, 2015 at 2:43 PM, CP <ubuntu@CP.com> wrote:
> > Myriam:
> >
> > I wanted to send you a quick email to let you know the CC has received your
> > email and the one directly from Jonathan. We have a few members who are not
> > on-line currently and have not read the email so I can not speak for them,
> > but do you feel that a meeting with the Kubuntu Council and the Community
> > Council would be a good step forward in this matter?
>
> I am sure a meeting would be useful to clarify the situation, but
> personally I am not happy with the threat issued to Jonathan, I think
> this would need to be resolved before we meet.

I do not view the request to Jonathan as a threat. I would like to
clarify the situation as well.

> Again, that is my personal feeling, but I see this suspension as very
> divisive for the community, especially considering his status as the
> Kubuntu project lead. If this really took effect it would be very
> destructive and demotivating for all people involved in the project
> who have absolutely no problem in colaboration with Jonathan. I am
> sure this is not the desired effect.
>
> Myriam
>

I can not speak for others on the Community Council, but I am positive
that no one wants to cause issues for the Kubuntu project. The issue of
concern is not Jonathan’s ability to work within the Kubuntu project,
but the interaction with the Ubuntu Community Council, Canonical
employees and its effect on the entire Ubuntu Community. I know we have
some folks out at conferences this weekend so it might not be until
Monday or Tuesday we can take a next step.

I would also like to make you aware that I have had people ask me about
this letter who were not included in the the people that we made aware
of the issue.

Charles

Scott’s reply to Charles reply:

On Thursday, May 21, 2015 07:07:56 PM CP wrote:
> Myriam:
>
> No worries about the late reply.
>
> On Thu, 2015-05-21 at 23:30 +0200, Myriam Schweingruber wrote:
> > Hi Charles,
> >
> > sorry for the late reply:
> >
> > On Thu, May 21, 2015 at 2:43 PM, CP <ubuntu@CP.com>
wrote:
> > > Myriam:
> > >
> > > I wanted to send you a quick email to let you know the CC has received
> > > your
> > > email and the one directly from Jonathan. We have a few members who are
> > > not
> > > on-line currently and have not read the email so I can not speak for
> > > them,
> > > but do you feel that a meeting with the Kubuntu Council and the
> > > Community
> > > Council would be a good step forward in this matter?
> >
> > I am sure a meeting would be useful to clarify the situation, but
> > personally I am not happy with the threat issued to Jonathan, I think
> > this would need to be resolved before we meet.
>
> I do not view the request to Jonathan as a threat. I would like to
> clarify the situation as well.

Regardless of what the CC intended, I certainly view it as such.  I don’t
believe I’m the only one on the KC to feel that way (as with you, I’m writing
this in a personal capacity – this is my view).

> > Again, that is my personal feeling, but I see this suspension as very
> > divisive for the community, especially considering his status as the
> > Kubuntu project lead. If this really took effect it would be very
> > destructive and demotivating for all people involved in the project
> > who have absolutely no problem in colaboration with Jonathan. I am
> > sure this is not the desired effect.
> >
> > Myriam
>
> I can not speak for others on the Community Council, but I am positive
> that no one wants to cause issues for the Kubuntu project. The issue of
> concern is not Jonathan’s ability to work within the Kubuntu project,
> but the interaction with the Ubuntu Community Council, Canonical
> employees and its effect on the entire Ubuntu Community. I know we have
> some folks out at conferences this weekend so it might not be until
> Monday or Tuesday we can take a next step.

Personally, I’m involved in many aspects of the Ubuntu project well beyond
Kubuntu, I haven’t noticed anyone outside the CC taking issue with him.  The
path the CC is on here will be highly destructive to the Ubuntu community and
I strongly encourage you to step back.  As far as I am aware (and I’ve been
here close to ten years) this CC action is entirely without precedent and
risks fracturing the community.

If there’s an issue with a member of the community, they shouldn’t be tried
and convicted in abstentia in a secret court.  This should be discussed will
all the relevant parties present and in public.  Who outside the CC filed
complaints?

> I would also like to make you aware that I have had people ask me about
> this letter who were not included in the the people that we made aware
> of the issue.

Personally, I am deeply uncomfortable that this is being done in private at
all.  It’s contrary to the values of the Ubuntu project I joined.

If the CC wants to have a discussion about a non-catastrophic path forward, I
think that would be wonderful, but I for one will not be involved in such
discussions what Jonathon is under immediate threat.  If following whatever
discussions we have, the CC still believes it’s necessary to remove an elected
member of that Kubuntu Council, having backed down a bit now doesn’t prevent
that.

It’s really up to the CC if you are interested in a discussion on this matter
or not.

Scott K

P.S.  I apologize at least a bit for tone if you find it overly direct.  This
is as restrained as I can manage.

mhalls’ reply to me:

There is no threat against Jonathan. It was a decision made with extreme
reluctance, after numerous attempts to address it with him had failed,
and is the result of long deliberations within the Community Council.

We have lost faith in his intentions when dealing with us, and we no
longer trust that he will treat us fairly or respectfully. If the
Community Council can no longer work with Jonathan, we would be
negligent to leave him in a position of leadership over others.

This is not a reflection on Kubuntu, the Kubuntu Council, or any other
member of the Kubuntu Council. Kubuntu is bigger than just one person,
even somebody as important to it as Jonathan. We know that this is going
to cause significant problems and disruptions to you, and we are
committed to helping minimize those and doing whatever we can to make
this transition as smooth as possible. The CC wants nothing more than
for Kubuntu to be healthy and successful. We are all part of the same
community, after all, and we all want what it to be the best that it can be.

Let’s get together on IRC, Google Hangout, or any other medium that
works for you so that we can work through this together. It’s not going
to be easy, but we all joined our respective councils knowing that there
would be difficult times and difficult decisions to make. However, I
know that if we come together we can move forward to a better outcome
than the paths we are on right now.

Michael Hall
mhall119@ubuntu.com

My reply to mhall:

Then there’s nothing to discuss from my point of view.  Personally, my level
of trust in the CC was low before this debacle.  It’s about zero now.

A path to a better outcome starts with the CC reversing this decision (or
holding it in abeyance) until after the conversation happens.  Your choice.

We don’t need your help to run Kubuntu, so I don’t see any point in any
discussion based on Jonathan’s removal.  We’ll figure it out or not on our own.

If the CC can meet in secret and eject people from the project with no input
from them or the community, then I’m not at all convinced I care to continue
to be involved in Ubuntu.

Scott K

Next reply from mhall:

If you feel there is a reason for the CC to once again trust Jonathan’s
intentions, then by all means let’s talk about it.The CC and the KC are
not adversaries, we are partners. We are eager to have this discussion
with you.

Michael Hall
mhall119@ubuntu.com

Scott K’s next reply:

The CC’s approach to this has been entirely adversarial.  While I agree that in theory the CC and KC aren’t adversarial, that’s not been the CC’s approach to this issue.  So far, all we have are unfounded accusations with nothing to support them.

If you don’t want this to be an adversarial process, go back and read Myriam’s initial reply from the KC.  There was nothing adversarial there.  We are seeking to understand the CC since from our point of view your action is completely unjustified.

I believe the CC’s choices are constrained by how you have chosen to respond to us.  Having the KC blindly accept what you are saying is not one of those choices.  I certainly don’t and won’t.  It’s not consistent with my experiences over nearly ten years with Riddell both in Kubuntu and in broader Ubuntu areas such as the release team.  Absent supporting information, your claims are not credible.

My judgment based on the information I’ve seen is that the CC can’t take criticism and is trying to turn a legitimate difference of opinion into a CoC violation somehow.  It’s not required for you to think Riddell is a wonderful guy.  You didn’t pick him.  The Kubuntu members did.  I’m perfectly willing to revise that judgment based on actual data.  “Because we said so” won’t do it.

Absent a really severe and sustained pattern of CoC violations (for which I’ve seen no evidence and I personally doubt exists) the proper way to deal with your concerns if you think he shouldn’t be on the KC would be to have a public discussion about it so that when he’s next up for re-election, the Kubuntu members can take your information into account when they decide how to vote.  Unlike the CC, the KC is an elected body and so that needs to be considered in deciding how to deal with issues with members of the KC.

Please, as I said above, go back and re-read Myriam’s initial reply (that was agreed to by the KC and isn’t just me spouting off my opinions).  There’s a clear path to working through this in a non-controversial way.  It’s up to the CC to decide if they are interested in that.  So far, that does not seem to be the case.

Scott K

[Redacted UCC member] reply to Myriam’s mail:

I’m at a conference this week so I haven’t had the opportunity to chat
with my fellow CC members about this thread, but I felt it was
important for me to reply on my own, speaking as a fellow community
member.

To be perfectly honest, I cringe every time I see an email from
Jonathan or have to face him in an IRC meeting. I have to prepare
myself for these interactions and feel drained and upset after every
one. This is the culmination of public and private interactions, and I
can’t work with him any more in any medium.

The CC has spent a nice chunk of the past 2 years working on issues
he’s brought up. These have been valuable issues and discussions and
we’ve spent a tremendous amount of time working on them with Jonathan,
Canonical and whoever else is involved. I’ll be honest, we’ve
struggled to get straight answers from the right people within
Canonical at times, and they’ve thrown up the “legal” card at times
that has significantly delayed things. It’s been stressful to everyone
on the CC, particularly our members who work for Canonical and are
powerless in this situation. I would like to be satisfied with the
progress we’ve made as we continue to make valuable contacts in
Canonical, now have the ear of more folks who will pay attention to
our questions and actually have answers to some of the things we’re
asking about (or they are coming soon[0])

However, Jonathan is not satisfied with our work.

Publicly on the legal issues that are now with Canonical legal and the
FSF he has said of us that we don’t “understand the basics of free
software or how it can be harmed by claims that our software is not
Free”[1] when we decided to wait on the upcoming statement from
Canonical and the FSF lawyers. This is really painful for those of us
who have built our whole lives, reputations and careers around
contributing to free software. It has taken over a year for the
lawyers to figure it out, claiming that we don’t understand because we
choose not to share his position is hurtful.

Earlier this month he said we were “unconcerned at the problem”[2] in
spite of all of our work that we’ve done and continue to do on these
issues.

What I’m most baffled by is that he *knows* we’ve been working on
this. We keep having IRC meetings where these things are brought up,
he’s been in contact with us via email. And yet he goes out into the
community and acts as if we’ve done nothing, don’t understand anything
and don’t care.

I don’t put up with this kind of behavior in my personal or
professional life, rarely put up with it in the broader open source
world and am shocked that it has come from someone who is not only a
member of the Ubuntu community, but a trusted leader. His behavior
toward us has destroyed my enthusiasm for the project this year and I
know I’m not the only one on the CC who has been feeling this way. I
am happy to accept criticism, but his continued negativity,
misrepresentation of our work and accusations toward us have just
continued to pile up. This is not how we agreed to treat each other.

Now, I don’t want to get into a point by point argument over these
things, I don’t have the heart or energy to do so. I highly doubt I’d
make it 5 minutes into a hangout without crying, so I trust others on
the CC to pick up my slack there. I know this means we should have
started this conversation before I got to this point, and I am very
sorry for that.

[0] https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-community-team/2015-May/000466.html
[1] http://irclogs.ubuntu.com/2015/03/19/%23ubuntu-meeting.html#t17:40
[2] https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-community-team/2015-May/000422.html


[redacted UCC member signature]
/>
A reply frim CP with Scott K response interleaved:

On Friday, May 22, 2015 05:20:11 AM CP wrote:
> Scott:
>
> Again I am speaking on my own accord here, but I wanted to summarize how I
> interpret your comments. What I interpret may or may not be what you
> intended me to understand so I am doing this in an effort to find a common
> ground we can begin a dialog from.

Thank you.  I believe this is a constructive approach to improve understanding.  Comments in line below (also just speaking for myself).

> —- On Thu, 21 May 2015 19:59:04 -0700 Scott Kitterman
> &lt;ubuntu@kitterman.com&gt; wrote —-
>
> The CC’s approach to this has been entirely adversarial. While I agree that
> in theory the CC and KC aren’t adversarial, that’s not been the CC’s
> approach to this issue. So far, all we have are unfounded accusations with
> nothing to support them.
>
> You do not trust the Community Council as a body. Your assumption is that
> they are making ‘stuff’ up.

As a general rule, I do not trust secret proceedings of this nature.  Without associated evidence, I wouldn’t accept it from anyone.  My assumption is that truth is better found via open dialogue and so any closed discussion by a small group is unlikely to have fully considered the problem.

To the extent I lack trust in the CC, it’s almost entirely a result of the lack of collaborative approach to trying to resolve this particular issue.

> My judgment based on the information I’ve seen is that the CC can’t take
> criticism and is trying to turn a legitimate difference of opinion into a
> CoC violation somehow. It’s not required for you to think Riddell is a
> wonderful guy. You didn’t pick him. The Kubuntu members did. I’m perfectly
> willing to revise that judgment based on actual data. “Because we said so”
> won’t do it.
>
> You feel that Jonathan’s criticism of Canonical and the Community Council
> are valid and legitimate.

I don’t think his phrasing was always ideal, but while I would have put some things differently, at the core of it, I agree with what I understand his complaints to be (note: this may be different than what his complaints actually are and it may be different that what the CC views them as).

> Absent a really severe and sustained pattern of CoC violations (for which
> I’ve seen no evidence and I personally doubt exists) the proper way to deal
> with your concerns if you think he shouldn’t be on the KC would be to have
> a public discussion about it so that when he’s next up for re-election, the
> Kubuntu members can take your information into account when they decide how
> to vote. Unlike the CC, the KC is an elected body and so that needs to be
> considered in deciding how to deal with issues with members of the KC.
>
> You feel that there has to be sustained and severe violations of the CoC in
> oder for the action the CC has taken to be valid.

As far as I am aware, there have only been two instances in the project history of people being “fired”[1].  One was temporary and one was eventually permanent.  In both cases there were multiple attempts at resolving the issues and multiple chances with a reasonably broad consensus in the Ubuntu development community (which is where these cases were centered) that it was appropriate.  The discussion that preceded the decision had been public and sustained enough that once the decision was taken, even if not everyone agreed, no one was surprised.

None of this seems to have been done in this case.  I’ve been involved in Ubuntu development for nearly a decade.  In that time, I’ve violated the CoC.  When I did, all that happened was me being called on it and it suggested I calm down.  I don’t think there’s any long term developer who’s been 100% perfect on the CoC.  Zero tolerance has never been the Ubuntu way to do things.

This action by the CC is completely unprecedented.

[1] I know that’s not the right word, but I don’t know a better generic term.

> To summarize you would like to see:
>
> 1. Your more likely to doubt anything the CC says because your trust in them
> is low. (I would like to know why that is, but that is not a question for
> this email)u 2. You feel that Jonathan’s public behavior towards the CC has
> been justified and proper. 3. In order to support the decision you require
> evidence of sustained and severe CoC violations (though a lawyer type could
> argue what both of those words mean)

1.  Yes, but it’s not primarily personally an issue with the CC.  I would doubt any secret deliberation of this kind.

2.  I share his concerns.  Since I’ve not seen all of the exchanges between Jonathan and the CC, I can’t speak for the totality of their propriety.  I believe that some of his choice of language came from a deep sense of frustration which is entirely (from my PoV) understandable and quite human.

3.  I reject entirely the legitimacy of decisions made in secret without any supporting information about how they were made.  Since the CC statement claimed Canonical employees have a hard time working with him, I asked around and checked with Canonical employees that I know he works with regularly.  They were 100% shocked that such a claim was made.  To the extent i have been able to attempt to independently verify the CC’s claims, they don’t appear to be accurate.

> I that accurate with regards to what you are asking?
>
> Common ground I think you, the KC and the CC share at this point.
>
> 1. There is a lack of trust in the current relationship of both bodies that
> needs to be healed for the better of the community.

I agree the current situation is not sustainable.  I’m not convinced the situation is repairable.

> Would you agree with that as a starting point?
>
> Charles

No.  The starting point is for the CC to withdraw their action.  Until that happens, there’s really not point in trying to move forward.

Speaking once again for myself, I do not believe based on the responses from various CC members to date that the CC understands at all the sense of outrage this action has engendered.

As I said in my last reply, go back to Myriam’s email where she was providing you with a statement that the entire KC had endorsed.  The first step on the path forward is clearly identified there.

Scott K

Reply from mhall:

This situation is absolutely repairable, all that’s requires is that we
work together to do so.

You are now aware of the CC’s feelings about working with Jonathan.
Those feelings might be changeable, but only as a result of discuss, not
as a precondition to it. You are more than welcome to try and change
those feelings if you think you can, but they can’t be changed by a
simple demand.

Again we are not on different sides here, we’re one project and one
community. We have problems, yes, and they need to be worked out
*collaboratively*. So I invite any members of the Kubuntu Council who
want to talk to pick a time and a place for us to talk.

Michael Hall
mhall119@ubuntu.com

Scott K’s replyto mhall:

On Friday, May 22, 2015 01:48:50 PM Michael Hall wrote:
> This situation is absolutely repairable, all that’s requires is that we
> work together to do so.
>
> You are now aware of the CC’s feelings about working with Jonathan.
> Those feelings might be changeable, but only as a result of discuss, not
> as a precondition to it. You are more than welcome to try and change
> those feelings if you think you can, but they can’t be changed by a
> simple demand.
>
> Again we are not on different sides here, we’re one project and one
> community. We have problems, yes, and they need to be worked out
> *collaboratively*. So I invite any members of the Kubuntu Council who
> want to talk to pick a time and a place for us to talk.

I’ll point you again at the last two paragraphs of my last email.  Your reply, to me, confirms the next to last one.

> > Speaking once again for myself, I do not believe based on the responses
> > from various CC members to date that the CC understands at all the sense
> > of outrage this action has engendered.
> >
> > As I said in my last reply, go back to Myriam’s email where she was
> > providing you with a statement that the entire KC had endorsed.  The
> > first step on the path forward is clearly identified there.

I think we’re going in circles now, so I’ll refrain from further comment until the KC as a whole has a response.  We’re not all available this weekend, so it may be several days.

Scott K

mhall119’s reply:

I didn’t join a council to win arguments or come out ahead in
negotiations. I doubt anybody else in this thread joined for those
reasons either. I joined it to work together with other people in the
community in order to do something good. That’s all I want to do.

You’re right, we don’t understand how angry you are. And we won’t
understand that until you start talking to us about it.

If anybody wants to talk to me, or yell at me, or tell me what a stupid
thing we’ve done and how big of a jerk I am, I am mhall119 on Freenode
and my email address is below.  If anybody wants reaches out to me,
person to person, I will keep everything that is said confidential
unless you tell me otherwise. At this point I don’t care what is said so
long as we finally start talking.

Michael Hall
mhall119@ubuntu.com

Scott K’s reply to mhall again:

I said I was going to stop, but I can’t quite manage it.

You (the CC) started this without any dialogue.  You the CC need to take action to demonstrate an interest in dialogue.  Words without action are cheap.

I’ve said several times what that action is.  Until you put things back where they were to a place where a dialogue can take place without this action against Riddell in place, there’s no point in having a discussion.

In one of the messages, I’ve lost track of who from, it was suggested that there be a discussion about how the CC can help Kubuntu move forward without Riddell in leadership.  I for one have absolutely zero interest in such a conversation.  In the unlikely event such a thing would come to pass, the CC is approximately the last place I would look for assistance.

Withdraw your action and then all kinds of discussions are possible.  Without doing so, they aren’t.  It’s entirely up to you on the CC to decide if you’re interested in a productive dialogue.  So far, I’ve seen virtually no evidence of it.

Scott K

Reply from charles:

Scott:

I also did not want to reply until others, who are at conferences and
unable to give their full attention to this, had a chance to weigh in.

This email compelled me to want to make a few points. I do not wish them
to appear aggressive and apologize in advance if that is how they
appear.

1)  The CC has made a request of Jonathan and he has refused.

2)  You have indicated that you are unwilling to discuss the matter
until the request is withdrawn.

3)  You assert there is no evidence of the CC wanting to have a
discussion despite the fact that we have asked to have one and mentioned
that we have several members who can not give their full attention to
this.

I can understand wanting to have this resolved. I can understand that
this is stressful. It is my belief that the Community Council has the
same feelings over this issue.

I think there will be two pieces critical to the dialog.

1) That no person and neither council issue ‘edicts’ about preconditions
to having that discussion (Myriam’s response did not do that, but yours
has).

2) That all parties find a common ground with regards to ensuring that
the Ubuntu Community, which included Kubuntu, remains healthy and
vibrant.

I have full confidence that, once all of our members have a chance to
weigh in, that the CC will send a reply to Myriam that offers a way
forward in discussing the issue.

Charles

Scott K’s reply to charles:

I guess I could have done with a bit of going back and rereading our initial message myself.  I thought it said that the decision had to be withdrawn first, but, as you suggest, it does not.  Fair enough, my mistake.

There are two dialogues we might potentially have:

1.  How to move forward with Kubuntu and Jonathan
2.  How to move forward with Kubuntu without Jonathan

The first one is the only one that’s of any interest to me.  If the CC is only interested in the second, I really don’t see any point in any discussion.  If you’re interested in the first conversation, there’s a clear way to indicate that.

Personally, I think the CC is completely beyond the pale in making this request.  Even if every single allegation is true (and I still didn’t find the Canonical employee that can’t work with Jonathan despite continuing to try), both the action and the way it was arrived at are wrong.

If the CC is unable to see the obvious conflict of interest (see the Code of Conduct statements on conflict of interest, particularly the bits about seeking advice and perceived conflicts for reference), I’m at a loss to think of what I might say to make it clearer.

The CoC says to be considerate and collaborative.  The CC doesn’t seem to be doing either of those.  Just this bolt from the blue and then “sorry, several of us are busy at conferences”.  What did you think was going to happen?  Did you seriously think Jonathan was going to read your email, think to himself “Wow, they’re right, I have been an ass and I totally get why they can’t work with me any more – I think I’ll quit this project I founded and have put a decade of my life into”?  It seems you ought to have been prepared for some discussion and (f you were going to do this at all, which I fail to comprehend why anyone on the CC ever thought this was a good idea) send it when the CC would be available to discuss it.

The CoC says to be respectful.  In particular is says, “A community where people feel uncomfortable or threatened is not a productive one”.  Apparently, today, in the Ubuntu project, the CC believes that it is entirely appropriate to have a secret meeting and decide people are not fit to be leaders in the project.  For all the message was phrased as a request, I don’t think anyone took that as anything other than the typical polite fiction for an order.  It’s quite common to request someone’s resignation in lieu of firing.  Let’s not be confused about what the CCs message said.  I certainly feel threatened by this unprecedented action and have not been very productive since this action was taken [1].

Except for step down considerably, I have a hard time finding a substantial part of the CoC the CC has not violated here.  When did “We gather opinions, data and commitments from concerned parties before taking a decision.” take place?  Does the CC not consider the members of the Kubuntu community concerned parties in this decision?

Given how far away from Ubuntu values this CC action is, if the CC can’t see that and is unwilling to withdraw it, I can’t personally see how further conversation is useful.

Additionally, the only reason (from my point of view) this is remaining private is to make it easier to resolve.  It is easier to reverse something that isn’t public yet.  Do not be confused and believe the fact that nothing has been said in public yet means this will stay private.  Unless the CC is going to withdraw this action, there’s no reason for this to stay private.  Working on major project governance issues like this in secret is counter to the Ubuntu way.  [2] says “Decisions regarding the Ubuntu distribution and community are taken in a fair and transparent fashion”.  The initial CC decision didn’t follow that and we certainly aren’t being transparent now.  To the extent I have the information to do so, I will rectify this as soon as I think it won’t harm the chances for a collaborative resolution of the issue.

If the CC is so wrapped up in their personal feelings about this issue that you can’t see how far from the Ubuntu way you’ve strayed, step back, and try again, then I don’t think any amount of sitting down and talking about it can fix that.

So there, in a somewhat longer form than I’d originally intended is why I don’t see any point of having a discussion until the CC steps back.

Scott K

[1]  I have found this sufficiently upsetting that it’s affected not only my productivity in Ubuntu (there’s been no productivity in Ubuntu as the only Ubuntu work I’ve done since I got the CC message was work on this issue), but it’s also affected my ability to focus on my paid work as well.

[2] http://www.ubuntu.com/about/about-ubuntu/governance

Reply from charles:

Response in-line. These are items I would ask you to reflect on. At
least enough to pause and try to see the other side. I am trying to do
my best to understand what you are saying as well.

>
> I guess I could have done with a bit of going back and rereading our initial
> message myself.  I thought it said that the decision had to be withdrawn first,
> but, as you suggest, it does not.  Fair enough, my mistake.
>
> There are two dialogues we might potentially have:
>
> 1.  How to move forward with Kubuntu and Jonathan
> 2.  How to move forward with Kubuntu without Jonathan

From my perspective I do not believe the intent was to remove Jonathan
from Kubuntu, but positions involving leadership.

> The first one is the only one that’s of any interest to me.  If the CC is only
> interested in the second, I really don’t see any point in any discussion.  If
> you’re interested in the first conversation, there’s a clear way to indicate
> that.

I think the point in the discussion would be to better understand why
the CC came to this conclusion that they had to make this request. It
may not change minds on either side, but we should have the discussion.

> Personally, I think the CC is completely beyond the pale in making this
> request.  Even if every single allegation is true (and I still didn’t find the
> Canonical employee that can’t work with Jonathan despite continuing to try),
> both the action and the way it was arrived at are wrong.

I do not want to nit pick here, but there are many Canonical employees
so eliminating a few does not mean the CC is being dishonest about this.
Unless you have no faith in every member of the CC I hope you would at
least entertain the notion that this is true.

> If the CC is unable to see the obvious conflict of interest (see the Code of
> Conduct statements on conflict of interest, particularly the bits about seeking
> advice and perceived conflicts for reference), I’m at a loss to think of what I
> might say to make it clearer.

I can understand the conflict of interest you are pointing too, but
again unless you have no faith in every member of the CC I would hope
you consider that there is merit to what was detailed.

<snip>

> The CoC says to be respectful.  In particular is says, “A community where
> people feel uncomfortable or threatened is not a productive one”.  Apparently,
> today, in the Ubuntu project, the CC believes that it is entirely appropriate
> to have a secret meeting and decide people are not fit to be leaders in the
> project.  For all the message was phrased as a request, I don’t think anyone
> took that as anything other than the typical polite fiction for an order.  It’s
> quite common to request someone’s resignation in lieu of firing.  Let’s not be
> confused about what the CCs message said.  I certainly feel threatened by this
> unprecedented action and have not been very productive since this action was
> taken [1].

From my perspective I do not see this as a ‘firing’, but a step back
from leadership for a period of time. Jonathan’s ability to contribute
was not removed.

<snip>

> Additionally, the only reason (from my point of view) this is remaining
> private is to make it easier to resolve.  It is easier to reverse something
> that isn’t public yet.  Do not be confused and believe the fact that nothing
> has been said in public yet means this will stay private.  Unless the CC is
> going to withdraw this action, there’s no reason for this to stay private.
> Working on major project governance issues like this in secret is counter to
> the Ubuntu way.  [2] says “Decisions regarding the Ubuntu distribution and
> community are taken in a fair and transparent fashion”.  The initial CC
> decision didn’t follow that and we certainly aren’t being transparent now.  To
> the extent I have the information to do so, I will rectify this as soon as I
> think it won’t harm the chances for a collaborative resolution of the issue.

From my perspective I always struggle with ‘open’ vs. dragging things
out in an ugly fashion in public.

> If the CC is so wrapped up in their personal feelings about this issue that
> you can’t see how far from the Ubuntu way you’ve strayed, step back, and try
> again, then I don’t think any amount of sitting down and talking about it can
> fix that.

I notice that you believe this is all personal feeling. You have
dismissed the possibility of anything else. I apologize for some people
being at conferences and the fact that this will be unresolved until
they are back.

Charles

Scott’s reply interleaved with his previous message and Charles reply:

On Saturday, May 23, 2015 05:46:50 PM CP wrote:
> On Sat, 2015-05-23 at 10:54 -0400, Scott Kitterman wrote:
> <snip>
>
> Response in-line. These are items I would ask you to reflect on. At
> least enough to pause and try to see the other side. I am trying to do
> my best to understand what you are saying as well.

I believe I understand it.  I believe you are missing my point.  Even if what the CC claims is 100% right, the process they have pursued to attempt to “resolve” it is utterly wrong.  In terms of the current discussion, what he did or didn’t do isn’t the primary factor.

Further responses in line.

> > > Scott:
> > >
> > > I also did not want to reply until others, who are at conferences and
> > > unable to give their full attention to this, had a chance to weigh in.
> > >
> > > This email compelled me to want to make a few points. I do not wish them
> > > to appear aggressive and apologize in advance if that is how they
> > > appear.
> > >
> > > 1)  The CC has made a request of Jonathan and he has refused.
> > >
> > > 2)  You have indicated that you are unwilling to discuss the matter
> > > until the request is withdrawn.
> > >
> > > 3)  You assert there is no evidence of the CC wanting to have a
> > > discussion despite the fact that we have asked to have one and mentioned
> > > that we have several members who can not give their full attention to
> > > this.
> > >
> > > I can understand wanting to have this resolved. I can understand that
> > > this is stressful. It is my belief that the Community Council has the
> > > same feelings over this issue.
> > >
> > > I think there will be two pieces critical to the dialog.
> > >
> > > 1) That no person and neither council issue ‘edicts’ about preconditions
> > > to having that discussion (Myriam’s response did not do that, but yours
> > > has).
> > >
> > > 2) That all parties find a common ground with regards to ensuring that
> > > the Ubuntu Community, which included Kubuntu, remains healthy and
> > > vibrant.
> > >
> > > I have full confidence that, once all of our members have a chance to
> > > weigh in, that the CC will send a reply to Myriam that offers a way
> > > forward in discussing the issue.
> > >
> > > Charles
> >
> > I guess I could have done with a bit of going back and rereading our
> > initial message myself.  I thought it said that the decision had to be
> > withdrawn first, but, as you suggest, it does not.  Fair enough, my
> > mistake.
> >
> > There are two dialogues we might potentially have:
> >
> > 1.  How to move forward with Kubuntu and Jonathan
> > 2.  How to move forward with Kubuntu without Jonathan
>
> From my perspective I do not believe the intent was to remove Jonathan
> from Kubuntu, but positions involving leadership.

You make the assumption that Kubuntu contributors are willing to continue in his absence.  As far as I have been able to determine, you are wrong.  If Jonathan is removed from leadership in a way that is viewed as illegitimate, Kubuntu will cease because there won’t be anyone (or essentially no one – I haven’t talked to everyone and if it comes to this point people will decide for themselves which may or may not align with what my understanding is) contributing.

The scenario the CC is asking for, aiui Kubuntu continues on without Jonathan in a leadership role, just isn’t going to happen.  If you wonder why I am reacting strongly to this, it’s because I believe the CC is currently acting as an existential threat to Kubuntu.  What you’re intent was is irrelevant.  I believe the consequence will be the end of Kubuntu.

> > The first one is the only one that’s of any interest to me.  If the CC is
> > only interested in the second, I really don’t see any point in any
> > discussion.  If you’re interested in the first conversation, there’s a
> > clear way to indicate that.
>
> I think the point in the discussion would be to better understand why
> the CC came to this conclusion that they had to make this request. It
> may not change minds on either side, but we should have the discussion.

I’m willing to have that discussion, but not with an existential threat hanging over our heads.

> > Personally, I think the CC is completely beyond the pale in making this
> > request.  Even if every single allegation is true (and I still didn’t find
> > the Canonical employee that can’t work with Jonathan despite continuing
> > to try), both the action and the way it was arrived at are wrong.
>
> I do not want to nit pick here, but there are many Canonical employees
> so eliminating a few does not mean the CC is being dishonest about this.
> Unless you have no faith in every member of the CC I hope you would at
> least entertain the notion that this is true.

I didn’t say it wasn’t true.  I said that my attempts to find supporting evidence for the claim have so far been unsuccessful.  This isn’t going to go well if you put words in my mouth.

Additionally, as I said above, even if I accept every single allegation as completely correct, that doesn’t alter in the least my view that the CC is in the wrong in how they have acted.  Here’s a quote from the CoC that I believe the CC should be seriously considering right now:

We can all make mistakes; when we do, we take responsibility for them. If
someone has been harmed or offended, we listen carefully and respectfully,
and work to right the wrong.

You seem to think that if I just understood how wronged you are, I would accept that the CC can and should, in secret, without consultation with any of the affected parties, without any apparent attempts at mediation or any recognition of the inherent conflict of interest involved, direct Jonathan to remove himself from his leadership role in Kubuntu.  No.  You’re missing the point.  I don’t need to understand what he did or didn’t do right now.

Later, if we’re to a point where we’re trying to figure out how best to move forward from this jointly, that would be the time to develop a common understanding of the frustrations that led up to this so we can best determine how to move forward.  That would be the time to have that discussion.

> > If the CC is unable to see the obvious conflict of interest (see the Code
> > of Conduct statements on conflict of interest, particularly the bits
> > about seeking advice and perceived conflicts for reference), I’m at a
> > loss to think of what I might say to make it clearer.
>
> I can understand the conflict of interest you are pointing too, but
> again unless you have no faith in every member of the CC I would hope
> you consider that there is merit to what was detailed.

It doesn’t matter.  The CoC requires you to avoid conflicts of interest or even perception of conflict of interest.  Your decision was clearly contrary both to the letter and spirit of the CoC in many, many ways.  As such (and as previously discussed) the merits are not currently relevant.  Additionally, I don’t consider it to be a valid exercise of CC authority due to the scale of the CoC breach involved.

> <snip>
>
> > The CoC says to be respectful.  In particular is says, “A community where
> > people feel uncomfortable or threatened is not a productive one”.
> > Apparently, today, in the Ubuntu project, the CC believes that it is
> > entirely appropriate to have a secret meeting and decide people are not
> > fit to be leaders in the project.  For all the message was phrased as a
> > request, I don’t think anyone took that as anything other than the
> > typical polite fiction for an order.  It’s quite common to request
> > someone’s resignation in lieu of firing.  Let’s not be confused about
> > what the CCs message said.  I certainly feel threatened by this
> > unprecedented action and have not been very productive since this action
> > was taken [1].
>
> From my perspective I do not see this as a ‘firing’, but a step back
> from leadership for a period of time. Jonathan’s ability to contribute
> was not removed.

As I mentioned above, you’re trying to make a distinction without a difference.  If Jonathan is forced out of a leadership role in an illegitimate manner, I do not believe Kubuntu would continue to exist.  So that claim doesn’t matter.

> <snip>
>
> > Additionally, the only reason (from my point of view) this is remaining
> > private is to make it easier to resolve.  It is easier to reverse
> > something
> > that isn’t public yet.  Do not be confused and believe the fact that
> > nothing has been said in public yet means this will stay private.  Unless
> > the CC is going to withdraw this action, there’s no reason for this to
> > stay private. Working on major project governance issues like this in
> > secret is counter to the Ubuntu way.  [2] says “Decisions regarding the
> > Ubuntu distribution and community are taken in a fair and transparent
> > fashion”.  The initial CC decision didn’t follow that and we certainly
> > aren’t being transparent now.  To the extent I have the information to do
> > so, I will rectify this as soon as I think it won’t harm the chances for
> > a collaborative resolution of the issue.
> From my perspective I always struggle with ‘open’ vs. dragging things
> out in an ugly fashion in public.

I have been willing to keep this non-public because I believe the chances of a peaceful resolution are better.  This will though, all of it, eventually be public.  It would be wrong to do otherwise.

> > If the CC is so wrapped up in their personal feelings about this issue
> > that
> > you can’t see how far from the Ubuntu way you’ve strayed, step back, and
> > try again, then I don’t think any amount of sitting down and talking
> > about it can fix that.
>
> I notice that you believe this is all personal feeling. You have
> dismissed the possibility of anything else. I apologize for some people
> being at conferences and the fact that this will be unresolved until
> they are back.

One CC member has directly stated they are so upset they do not believe that they can even talk to Jonathan.  I’m not guessing that deep personal feelings are involved.  That’s quite clear.  I never said it was all personal feeling (once again, don’t put words in my mouth).  I said personal feelings affected the decision.  Are you telling me that’s not the case (I don’t think you are)?

The CC has, I believe inadvertently, taken an action that would seriously jeopardize the existence of Kubuntu if it were carried through.  All I’m asking is don’t do that.  From my PoV, whether the CC knew in advance or not (and I assume they didn’t), you’ve now heard from me that your actions are placing the entire future of Kubuntu at risk.  This is not just an action against him, but all of us.  Is that what you want?  If not, please take a step back so we can have a reasonable discussion about this.

Scott K
Once again, just speaking for myself

rohan joins the fray:

In all honesty, I think the CC is being unfair here.

Jonathan has pursued the licensing issue for the past 3 years and it’s
still no closer to resolution than it was 3 years ago. I see this as a
massive failure on the part of the CC. I simply fail to comprehend how
a issue as big as this has been left unresolved for this long. Leaving
it unresolved has caused massive amounts of frustration within the
Kubuntu community, culminating in Jonathan’s emails to the Ubuntu
Community team mailing list, which when one takes all factors into
account are completely understandable.

( FWIW I also strongly mirror Scott’s comments so far )

Rohan Garg

On Sun, May 24, 2015 at 12:49 AM, Scott Kitterman <ubuntu@kitterman.com> wrote:
[ see above ]

CP’s reply to rohan:

On Sun, 2015-05-24 at 01:36 +0200, Rohan Garg wrote:
> In all honesty, I think the CC is being unfair here.
>
> Jonathan has pursued the licensing issue for the past 3 years and it’s
> still no closer to resolution than it was 3 years ago. I see this as a
> massive failure on the part of the CC. I simply fail to comprehend how
> a issue as big as this has been left unresolved for this long. Leaving
> it unresolved has caused massive amounts of frustration within the
> Kubuntu community, culminating in Jonathan’s emails to the Ubuntu
> Community team mailing list, which when one takes all factors into
> account are completely understandable.
>
> ( FWIW I also strongly mirror Scott’s comments so far )
>
> Rohan Garg

With the exception that the CC did communicated with Canonical and did
give give a response[1]. The CC consulted with non-Canonical attorneys
in an effort to get an answer to Jonathan’s question. Mark Shuttleworth
even added to the conversation that you were part of in February of 2014
to assure you there was no issue.

I believe we also communicated that Canonical was working with the FSF
to revise the policy. It was just recently posted in the community-team
mailing list that that this process is finally coming to a close.[2]

I would not, as you have, classify that as a “massive failure on the
part of the CC”.

[1]http://fridge.ubuntu.com/2014/02/13/community-council-statement-on-canonical-package-licensing/
[2]https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-community-team/2015-May/000466.html

mhall’s reply to rohan:

Jonathan was given an answer, that lawyers from Canonical and the FSF
were working on changes to the IP policy to make it very clear that it
is compatible with the GPL, something Canonical always believed it was.

I don’t recall when exactly he got this answer, but it was some time
ago. Did he not pass this information on to the rest of the Kubuntu
community?

Michael Hall
mhall119@ubuntu.com

On 05/23/2015 07:36 PM, Rohan Garg wrote:
</snip>

follow up from mhall:

I went back through my previous emails to see when Jonathan was given
this answer, and I found that all of the Kubuntu Council members at the
time were told this. So there was clear communication a year ago between
the CC and the KC on this issue.

It seems those discussions between Canonical and the SFLC[1] are just
now coming to a final resolution, so there has not been any new
information or anything new for the CC to do in that time.

[1] I mistakenly said the FSF in my previous email, but it was the SFLC
laywers that Canonical was working with.

Michael Hall
mhall119@ubuntu.com

On 05/23/2015 09:23 PM, Michael Hall wrote:
</snip>

Scotts reply to CP:

On Saturday, May 23, 2015 09:17:19 PM CP wrote:
> On Sun, 2015-05-24 at 01:36 +0200, Rohan Garg wrote:
> > In all honesty, I think the CC is being unfair here.
> >
> > Jonathan has pursued the licensing issue for the past 3 years and it’s
> > still no closer to resolution than it was 3 years ago. I see this as a
> > massive failure on the part of the CC. I simply fail to comprehend how
> > a issue as big as this has been left unresolved for this long. Leaving
> > it unresolved has caused massive amounts of frustration within the
> > Kubuntu community, culminating in Jonathan’s emails to the Ubuntu
> > Community team mailing list, which when one takes all factors into
> > account are completely understandable.
> >
> > ( FWIW I also strongly mirror Scott’s comments so far )
> >
> > Rohan Garg
>
> With the exception that the CC did communicated with Canonical and did
> give give a response[1]. The CC consulted with non-Canonical attorneys
> in an effort to get an answer to Jonathan’s question. Mark Shuttleworth
> even added to the conversation that you were part of in February of 2014
> to assure you there was no issue.
>
> I believe we also communicated that Canonical was working with the FSF
> to revise the policy. It was just recently posted in the community-team
> mailing list that that this process is finally coming to a close.[2]
>
> I would not, as you have, classify that as a “massive failure on the
> part of the CC”.
>
> [1]http://fridge.ubuntu.com/2014/02/13/community-council-statement-on-canoni
> cal-package-licensing/
> [2]https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-community-team/2015-May/000466.
> html

Personally, I’m surprised you considered that responsive.  It reads to me like
a mere recitation of Canonical’s position, but is silent on the question that
I understand was asked.  AIUI, Canonical claims that a license is required for
any binary redistribution, regardless of if Canonical’s trademarks are
involved.

I think your reply supports Jonathan’s point.  That you think it’s an answer
to his initial complaint makes me question if you really grasped the issue
that was concerning him.  For myself, I don’t care about Mint.  I care about
FOSS, so whether there was ill will or not, is irrelevant.  The only public
statement the CC has made doesn’t really add much to the discussion from my
PoV.  I don’t claim you’ve done nothing.

I accept that you’ve worked really hard on this, but I am certainly
disappointed that the only statement the CC has made is largely a re-assertion
of Canonical’s position and doesn’t seem to represent the concerns many of us
outside Canonical have about it.  I haven’t personally engaged on this issue,
since I knew Jonathan was working on it and I trust him to have the
communities interest at heart.  Don’t confuse lack of speaking up with not
supporting him.

Once again though, at the moment, I don’t view that as the main issue.  I
don’t think we’re going to make any progress unless the CC steps back from
it’s recent actions and tries to resolve the matter within the CoC.

Scott K

The SABDFL reply above was the next one and while there was a bit more discussion, I don’t think it added anything of note and I’m tired of updating this post.

Update: Further redacted the identity of “CP” at his request.

Ubuntu Backports Leadership Change

Effective immediately, Micah Gersten has taken over for me as head of the Ubuntu Backports Project.

Working Together

At the time of Mark’s last UOS keynote (see starting about 8:19),I recall wondering what Canonical was going to do to reach out as he was suggesting.  I got distracted and forgot about it until I ran across this article.  So now that I’m reminded, I am curious what Canonical is doing to reach out and bridge the existing gaps?  Dear lazweb, does anyone have information on this?



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