Re: FFmpeg as SPI associated project

From: Robert Brockway <robert(at)spi-inc(dot)org>
To: Ian Jackson <ijackson(at)chiark(dot)greenend(dot)org(dot)uk>
Cc: Stefano Sabatini <stefasab(at)gmail(dot)com>, SPI General List <spi-general(at)spi-inc(dot)org>
Subject: Re: FFmpeg as SPI associated project
Date: 2012-05-24 22:29:11
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On Thu, 24 May 2012, Ian Jackson wrote:

> Robert Brockway writes ("FFmpeg as SPI associated project"):
> ...
>> 4. Stefano Sabatini is recognised by SPI as the authoritative decision
>> maker and SPI liaison for FFmpeg. Successors will be appointed
>> following a concensus on the ffmpeg-devel(at)ffmpeg(dot)org mailing list. If
>> a concensus cannot be achieved an election for the SPI liaison will be
>> held among members of the ffmpeg-devel(at)ffmpeg(dot)org mailing list.
> I don't think this is correct.
> I went to look at the ffpmeg-devel list
> and Stefano is not the project's autocrat, which is what
> "authoritative decision maker" would mean to me.

Hi Ian. Since the resolution is only binding on SPI I read it with that
limitation in mind (the wording comes from the template). Ie we aren't
asserting that Stefano is an authoritative decision maker in an absolute
sense but that he is the authoritative decision maker as far as SPI is
concerned. Having said that, IANAL.

Associated projects have a variety of internal governance structures but
present a well defined interface to SPI.

I'm not sure if you read the entire application but FFmpeg specify that
they will have a 7 day review period of any reimbursement request on the
ffmpeg-devel(at)ffmpeg(dot)org list. By the time SPI receives the request it has
passed through the 7 day review period and has not been vetoed by the
project maintainer (currently Michael Niedermayer).

[SNIP suggestion for revised wording for brevity]

Resolution 2004-08-10.iwj.1 already grants SPI the ability to act if
project governance has broken down:

"If a Project's internal organization or procedures are unclear or
disputed, SPI will deal with the situation as fairly as possible; if
possible SPI will act according to the decisions or rough consensus of the
Project's participants or in case of doubt that of the whole Community."

I realise you know this resolution well, having originally submitted it.

> That avoids the FFmpeg project having to invent a formal governance
> structure just for its dealings with SPI. I would rather not force
> associated projects down that path unless they want it for themselves.

Well I think FFmpeg set up the structure that SPI requires of all
associated projects, a post of "project liaison" and a process to
determine successors to the current project liaison.

> Stefano, does this seem right to you ?

I still think the existing wording is correct but I have no problem
revising the proposal if necessary. Let's see what Stefano and the rest
of the community say on this. There is plenty of time before the next
board meeting for a discussion.



Director, Software in the Public Interest, Inc.
Email: robert(at)spi-inc(dot)org Linux counter ID #16440
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