I’m as transparent as aluminum.
We try hard in Ubuntu to be transparent. We publish our blueprints on our plans before we even get to UDS:
- Each session at UDS has an associated etherpad: http://summit.ubuntu.com/ on the schedule, the plenaries are streamed live on http://video.ubuntu.com/live/. Some select sessions are video’ed and put on the Youtube channel, though we don’t have the resources to tape them all.
- Every single team’s goals is outlined on status.ubuntu.com.
and so on. Our teams provide IRC transcripts of all their meetings. Here’s the entire history of the Desktop Team’s meetings, and here’s the set from the Kernel team. And here’s a set from the Release Team. All our meetings are open to the public, and people are encouraged to participate.
Up until this cycle, Mark Shuttleworth has done an open Question and Answer session on IRC every 6 months for the past 5 years. And it’s not just Mark, we’ve subjected Rick Spencer (current head of engineering management at Canonical) and Matt Zimmerman (CTO for Canonical for years), as well as Kate Stewart (release manager) to open user questions on IRC.
(Mark was on holiday during openweek this cycle, but we’ll make it up to you).
We do try our best to respond to user ideas on Brainstorm, but for obvious reasons we cant’t scale so well at that, so we do our best to hit the top ideas every 6 months.
Despite these efforts, it can be frustrating to hear that Ubuntu is making decisions without input from “the outside”. How do you think we can improve our transparency?
IMO I think we do a decent job of being transparent, and people who follow Ubuntu know what to follow, but this might not be so obvious to people who are new. So maybe we’re awesome at being transparent, but not so much at communicating, which is fine, we can fix that.
For my part, this cycle I’m going to put my personal TODO list out there in the public. I used to use my own internal GTD-like thing but I’ved moved to Trello so here’s my every day TODO list:
- My general Community team board - this is my every day stuff. Everything from claiming my expenses to hanging out with Clint.
- My plans for cloud.ubuntu.com
- Our plans for IRC classrooms
Immediately you’ll notice that my TODO list totally doesn’t match my assigned blueprints. That’s because after UDS I went on a trip immediately and then we had a holiday on Friday, so at this time my TODO list and my assigned blueprints don’t match. And you’ll also notice that my user page on status.ubuntu.com isn’t updated yet. It will be up to me to update all of these to make sense. So yeah, you can see how behind I am, I haven’t even consolidated my tasks from UDS with my TODO list yet. On some of these TODOs you’ll see that I share them with other people.
And you can follow along with me as I work on this cycle. Follow my trello boards, find me on IRC, follow me on G+, follow my status reports, whatever works for you. I am going to make a concerted effort to make what I do as public as possible. I’ve outlined some ways that other teams outline their progress. Like I said, I think we do a decent job of being open, but maybe we need to do a better job at making that obvious to people, how can we improve this?