Changes to the LSC Charter - Feedback wanted


Changes to the LSC Charter - Feedback wanted
#1
The LDraw.org Standards Committee (LSC) was created to oversee the LDraw.org File Specification. In recent years, the LSC has been relatively ineffectual in fulfilling their chartered responsibilities. The LDraw.org Steering Committee (SteerCo) has control over the LSC Charter and has discussed possible changes to this document. We are formally releasing our proposed chages for public discussion and debate.

Below are our proposed edits. If a section isn't mentioned then that section will remain unchanged. For reference, the LSC charter is here: http://www.ldraw.org/article/382.html
  • Procedures - Remove the bullet point "Procedure for filling an early vacancy of a member"
  • Voting - Delete
  • Membership - Membership of the LSC shall have a minimum of 3 people. The LDraw.org Steering Committee (SteerCo) can add members when needed or remove a vacant seat if desired. One seat is reserved for a current LDraw Library Administrator. If there is more than one LDraw Library Administrator then the LDraw Library Administrators will self select a member to represent them on the LSC. The other vacant seats will be appointed by the SteerCo following a public call for volunteers.
  • Terms - Members will be appointed to one year terms. Should a member desire to leave before their term is up then the SteerCo will appoint a new member to fill out the remainder of the term. Each LSC member seat will be formally replaced, reappointed, or removed (provided the minimum membership is met) via public forum when the term for that seat has expired. The normal term expiration date will be 1 month after the inauguration of the currently sitting SteerCo.
  • Nominations - Delete
  • Elections - Delete
  • Inauguration - Newly appointed members of the LSC will take office effective immediately.
  • Recurring Dates - Delete
  • Glossary - Change LDraw.org Standards Committee (LSC) definition to "
    Group of parts authors, Parts Tracker reviewers, or LDraw-compatible software authors appointed by the LDraw.org Steering Committee to ratify and publish the Official LDraw.org File Format Spec.".

Comments
Orion Pobursky:
  • I proposed to change the name of the LSC to the LDraw.org File Format Committee or something that can't be confused with the Steering Committee.

Tim Gould:
  • What about shifting the work of coming up with standards to the broader community and having the LSC serve a "rubber stamp" role? With development of standards opened up to the wider community we might get faster improvements.
  • With the flexibility in numbers it could be a good chance to introduce longer terms (say three years) or even indefinite terms. The elected SteerCo can always kick people out if they're being obstructionist (although we would have to add an item to cover this).

Later additions (dates given are date added here, not proposed)
  • RM 18/12/2014 Identified issue of LSC/SteerCo joint membership. TG responded about rules for recusing self.
  • TG 18/12/2014 We may wish to explicitly grant the SteerCo the power to remove members from the LSC. But only after community consultation.
  • S 18/12/2014 Proposes to merge LSC and SteerCo
  • BS 18/12/2014 See http://forums.ldraw.org/showthread.php?t...9#pid14929
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[Please discuss] Re: Changes to the LSC Charter
#2
Hi all,

While these changes probably won't make much difference to how the LSC (or LFFC) operates in practise, it is vital we hear your thoughts since the changes do decrease direct member involvement (note that the SteerCo is elected so there is indirect member involvement).

Please take a few moments to write something (for or against). We are a fairly small community and the coalface and it is important that everyone with something to say take the time to say it.

All the best,

Tim
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Re: [Please discuss] Re: Changes to the LSC Charter
#3
Note that I realize it is the holiday season so this discussion will be up for at least a few months. That said, to echo Tim, it is vital that if you have something to say/suggest/critique then say early so we can move this process forward.
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Re: Changes to the LSC Charter
#4
I support this change, I always felt the LSC was being unnecessarily formal. Considering that this is a small community, something like this should be kept as simple as possible IMO. SteerCo is another matter entirely, being a legal entity but LSC is not this and I'm glad to see a step in a simpler direction happen.

I'm not too sure what I think of the decrease in member count though. I noticed during my tenure that having 5 people on board allowed rather diverse points of view when things were discussed. Though since things have opened up with the advent of the discussion board, I think all we need now is a bunch of people to actually ratify community suggestions. So 3 people makes sense for that.

I think the name is mostly okay, though I see the concern of name conflict. What is the catalyst for this push for name change though? The two entities, as far as I know, aren't very new and this hasn't been a problem previously. I don't think 'File Format Committee' makes a very good name, it sounds rather awkward. If anything you could call it 'LDraw Standards Board' (assuming that is a valid name, I'm not too familiar with this kind of formal naming x_x). I don't think it's a 'committee' in the fashion the SteerCo is.
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Re: Changes to the LSC Charter
#5
Santeri Piippo Wrote:I'm not too sure what I think of the decrease in member count though. I noticed during my tenure that having 5 people on board allowed rather diverse points of view when things were discussed. Though since things have opened up with the advent of the discussion board, I think all we need now is a bunch of people to actually ratify community suggestions. So 3 people makes sense for that.

3 is just the lower limit. If we want more we can have more

Santeri Piippo Wrote:I think the name is mostly okay, though I see the concern of name conflict. What is the catalyst for this push for name change though? The two entities, as far as I know, aren't very new and this hasn't been a problem previously. I don't think 'File Format Committee' makes a very good name, it sounds rather awkward. If anything you could call it 'LDraw Standards Board' (assuming that is a valid name, I'm not too familiar with this kind of formal naming x_x). I don't think it's a 'committee' in the fashion the SteerCo is.

There has been confusion in the past since both committees names can be shortened to LSC. This is simply an idea I had since were changing the charter.
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Re: Changes to the LSC Charter
#6
Santeri Piippo Wrote:...
I think all we need now is a bunch of people to actually ratify community suggestions. So 3 people makes sense for that.
...
If anything you could call it 'LDraw Standards Board' (assuming that is a valid name)
...

Concur 100%. If its main job is to ratify community suggestions (which I personally think is what it should do) then LDraw Standards Board makes lots of sense to me.

Tim
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Re: Changes to the LSC Charter - Feedback wanted
#7
I think it's ok to simplify things like described as long the rules for 'kicking people out' are very strict.

I'm not a big fan of dropping the voting all together though, maybe reduce it to a simple poll which the steerco then uses as a guidance (permitted to ignore it given a good reason) in order to make the final call.

Also will it still be possible for people to be in both the steerco and lsc?
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Re: Changes to the LSC Charter - Feedback wanted
#8
Roland Melkert Wrote:Also will it still be possible for people to be in both the steerco and lsc?

Good point.

I think it ought to be. But that will require, IMO, a caveat about recusing ones self from nominating ones self (or kicking ones self out for that matter).


Tim'
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Re: Changes to the LSC Charter - Feedback wanted
#9
Roland Melkert Wrote:Also will it still be possible for people to be in both the steerco and lsc?

If we should drop this this rule, we should have in our mind, that our community with 'active' members is very small. This could result in a problem in the future. I know from the past how hard it was to fill the SteerCo with 5 seats... If we need at least 8 People (for SteerCo + LSC [or whatever it will be called in the future]) I see a problem, that it will be almost impossible to get these 8 Position filled. And there is another problem: What about our PT admin? Actually he is a member of both entities and it would be bad if he only can sit in one of both...

Anyway, I'll write some more thoughts later this week, cause real life engages me too much at the moment...

/Max
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Re: Changes to the LSC Charter - Feedback wanted
#10
- I would not like dropping the voting. In fact, all the charta had been introduced to avoid that ldraw.org becomes a personal posession of a small steering group which stays in seat forever.

- I found the charta overly complicated already at the time it was introduced. I appreciate its simplification.

- I suggest to merge the SteerCo and the LSC. I suggest to only have 1 committee.
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Re: Changes to the LSC Charter - Feedback wanted
#11
Steffen Wrote:- I would not like dropping the voting. In fact, all the charta had been introduced to avoid that ldraw.org becomes a personal posession of a small steering group which stays in seat forever.

Hi Steffen,

Just to be precise here:

SteerCo will remain an elected body forever. I would _never_ make moves to change that. I personally think we maybe have too little movement in the SteerCo, but we are few.

Only Standards Committee would change to nominated. And nominations would be by elected SteerCo.

With these changes there is always the chance to change the SteerCo to change the Standards Committee.

Tim
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Re: Changes to the LSC Charter - Feedback wanted
#13
I have nothing to add to what has beent told previously - I agree with the proposed changes.
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Re: Changes to the LSC Charter - Feedback wanted
#14
Steffen Wrote:- I would not like dropping the voting. In fact, all the charta had been introduced to avoid that ldraw.org becomes a personal posession of a small steering group which stays in seat forever.

The silly thing is that we haven't held an election for more than two years for both SteerCo and LSC for the simple fact that there weren't enough candidates.

Steffen Wrote:- I suggest to merge the SteerCo and the LSC. I suggest to only have 1 committee.

This would restrict the pool from which pick people even more.

w.
LEGO ergo sum
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Re: Changes to the LSC Charter - Feedback wanted
#12
The proposed changes sound fine to me.
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Re: Changes to the LSC Charter - Feedback wanted
#15
A comment on Tim's comments:

Orion Pobursky Wrote:Tim Gould:
  • What about shifting the work of coming up with standards to the broader community and having the LSC serve a "rubber stamp" role? With development of standards opened up to the wider community we might get faster improvements.
  • With the flexibility in numbers it could be a good chance to introduce longer terms (say three years) or even indefinite terms. The elected SteerCo can always kick people out if they're being obstructionist (although we would have to add an item to cover this).

One of the problems for non-committee members right now is that even if we are willing to do the leg work of coming up with proposals, sometimes we (the huddled masses) need direction or architectural decisions to move forward.

My pet example is level of detail: there are two basic competing ideas:
- Parallel library by pathname.
- File format extension for switching between models within a file.

They have both been heavily discussed. Each time I have brought one up someone goes "hrm...shouldn't we do the other?"

At some point some group like the LSC has to sit down (briefly) and look at it and go "plan A wins over plan B". That could even mean commissioning two draft proposals and picking one (more leg work for the leg workers). But in a total vacuum we can't move forward at all.

Cheers
Ben
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Re: Changes to the LSC Charter - Feedback wanted
#16
I agree, but we need tested working proposals, not just sketchy ideas.
Chris (LDraw Parts Library Admin)
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Re: Changes to the LSC Charter - Feedback wanted
#17
If there is no more input we are gonna changing.

w.
LEGO ergo sum
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