Our goals in setting up the governance structures of Zentyal are to ensure that:
- There is a defined process that helps people contribute to decisions regarding the Zentyal community and distribution. It should be clear who is responsible for any given decision, and how others might contribute to the making of it.
- Decisions regarding the Zentyal distribution and community are taken in a fair and transparent fashion.
- Necessary decisions are actually taken, even when there is no clear consensus among the community. There is a clear path for the appeal or escalation of a decision when necessary.
Zentyal Community Council
The social structures and community processes of Zentyal are supervised by the Zentyal Community Council. It is the Community Council that approves the creation of a new team or project, along with team leader appointments. The council is also responsible for the Code of Conduct and tasked with ensuring that community members follow its guidelines.
The council is ultimately responsible for dispute resolution, should it be required.
The Community Council uses the forum (public or private boards) for coordination and meets every two weeks when required on Internet relay chat (IRC). You can propose an item for discussion at the council on the Zentyal Wiki.
Members of Zentyal Community Council are:
- Zentyal staff
- LoCo? team leaders
- At least the leader of each Zentyal team
- Any other community member accepted in the Community Council
This is not a democracy, it's a meritocracy. We try to operate more on consensus than on votes, seeking agreement from the people who will have to do the work. Ignacio Correas, as self-appointed benevolent dictator for life (SABDFL), plays a happily undemocratic role as sponsor of the project. He has the ability, with regard to Zentyal employees, to ask people to work on specific projects, specific feature goals and specific bugs.
He also has a casting vote on the Community Council, should it come to a vote. This capacity is not used lightly. The community functions best when it can reach broad consensus about a way forward. However, it is not uncommon in the open-source world for there to be multiple good arguments, no clear consensus, and for arguments to divide communities rather than enrich them. The argument absorbs the energy that might otherwise have gone towards the creation of a solution. In many cases, there is no one 'right' answer, and what is needed is a decision more than a debate. The sabdfl acts to provide clear leadership on difficult issues, and set the pace for the project.
Any council member can nominate candidates for the Community Council and Team Leaders. The council will approve or deny the new memberships. In case of lack of consensus, the sabdfl will have a casting vote.
Initially, the council is formed by Zentyal staff, forum moderators, team leaders and other members explicitly appointed as such.
There are a number of key teams that are responsible for different areas of Zentyal – documentation, forum moderators, bug squad, localization, developers and desktop.
If you have a particular interest in a specific aspect of the project, please join that team's discussions and contribute to their decisions. If you would like to set up a new team, please gather some like-minded people and propose ideas for consideration by the Zentyal Community Council.
These rules can be modified in council meetings with a simple majority of votes.