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Why is there this never ending discussion of what an Ubuntu team is?

For several years, Randall Ross has been now on the war path about the structure of Ubuntu LoCo teams.

However, everything that is raised in his post seems nothing more than a storm in the teapot.

No team, I am aware of has ever been stopped or discouraged to organise in any way they found fit or is working for them. Teams exist around geographic areas, languages, computer languages, technologies, desktops, activities and probably lots of more categories. One just has to look at the launchpad groups to see the diversity that can be found. Anything that does not violate the Ubuntu Code of Conduct is permitted.

The only place where there is a given structure is around the "official" or "approved" LoCo teams. The reason for this structure is merely the efficient communication with the LoCo council and the distribution of Canonical sponsored "merchandise". Nothing prevents the approved LoCos to create underlying structures if those are useful. This is similar to any political organisation of UN, countries, provinces, municipalities.

The distribution of Canonical sponsored "merchandise" has changed over time. While in the beginnings, there was no real difference between an individual member and a team in accessing such resources, over time, it has shifted to LoCos and now almost disappeared due to only occur in form of DVDs for LTS releases, and only for the Canonical driven Ubuntu flavour, no community flavours are included any more. Hence, it can be said, that this part of the equation becomes more and more negligible.

The communication has always been more flexible. I don't think the LoCo council has prevented any direct communication with them, or required approved status to raise any issues. So this does not seem to prevent anybody doing anything either.

Since nothing seem to be a discernible problem, why is this issue not dying down?

Location: 

Comments

Since nothing seem to be a discernible problem, why is this issue not dying down?

For the same reason you started with: Randall Ross is on a war path. He will not stop until he gets his way, and no amount of discussion will change his mind. He feels that if he keeps bringing it up, eventually people will capitulate. If you've read any of his blog posts recently, you'll see this same mentality of "My opinion is the only valid one". It's sad really.

There was actually quite an interesting discussion about this at UDS a couple days ago, which may give a bit of context for the discussion and avoid making this issue one of personal attack.
http://summit.ubuntu.com/uds-1305/meeting/21835/community-1305-enabling-...

I belong to a major city team, but some members in our group live outside of the metro area. Some of them probably would be more active if there was a LoCo team closer to their town, but they might not have wanted to start a team on their own if there is already a bigger team out there or close by (even if that team may not be serving them as well as they would have wanted given the geographical distance). For others, it’s fine to be part of the city team.

(I just looked -- http://loco.ubuntu.com/ -- there is a China LoCo team – really? One team in the vast country that hosts a quarter of the world’s population and has multiple dialects? Wouldn’t people be able to get more involved if there are more teams closer to where they live or can have teams that speak the same dialects, even if they span over more than one region?)

Perhaps Randall’s point (also reflected by some of the others at the UDS session) is that we can think in more fluid terms. We shouldn’t be restricted by some narrow thinking of how to structure a LoCo. Experiment with it, see how it goes, and in due time people will find the right fit.

My point is that there has never been any impediments for anybody to do anything. The LoCo structure is something additional that does not prohibit anybody to do anything. Hence the continuous hammering of this issue is counter-productive because it actually has stopped people to do what they could have done all along. I would actually encourage the bigger team to help out however they can with the smaller team. This is how it has worked here all the time. Never ever was the definition of geographic areas a problem ... Randall's continuous lamentation on the other hand have been, even they should not either, but they have.

I have never thought in any other way than in fluid terms... no LoCo or Loco Council has ever stopped me to do so.

I think the fact that we are blogging about either side of this "issue" shows that there is a problem. If it's really a non-issue, then we need not discuss it nor dedicate a blog post to countering the opinions of one man. Clearly we care about the outcome of this debate.

I'm not sure if you are an Ubuntu member or have attended any UDS, but there is a lot of interesting debate that goes on behind the scenes. Sometimes councils get caught up in a power trip, and they may start with marginal approvals, and if we ignore that, then the envelop gets pushed a little bit more.

I agree that "aproval" has never stopped anyone from enjoying or contributing to the project. However, it's not to say that it won't become something more in the future. By nature, this creates an "us" and "them" division in the community. The same issue comes up when there are national "teams." Now we are divided again.

The council or whatever we have should be working on ways to bring us together rather than the opposite.

We should be reminded that everything that happens around Ubuntu is more that software and stuff and the dicision of how that stuff is distributed to the public. If we forget that then we have failed to realize the importance of the project. So, I think it's necessary to disburb the waters (review our structures) at times to make sure that we are still seeing the big picture.

I am aware of this "so-called" issues for several years. It has never been a problem. However, the continuous one-sided push in this regard has become a problem in itself, because people are starting to pull back and feel like they need permissions to do things. That is the only problem that exists.

This is the reason why I decided to write about it after being silent for a long time. It is disingenuous to create a problem and then argue due to it the problem exists. There is no problem and whatever affects official LoCos and their approvals have, is diminishing more and more anyhow.

I am an Ubuntu member and I have attended lots of UDSs as well as both vUDSs. And I agree that there are occasional power trips. However, they are irrelevant. It is far more important to try to help others to help themselves. Randall, unfortunately, even after being encouraged to do the same, has refused to do so, and instead continued on with this issue that has no benefit but only creates division.

I agree that we should review our structure, however, we should do so where it matters. This discussion is merely academical. It has no practical purpose. It has gotten to a point where it is only about being right, and pushing one's opinion without creating any benefit.

If this time would be used productively instead, we would all win.

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