[Council Meeting] Minutes from 2019-12-18

Ryan Sipes ryan at thunderbird.net
Tue Jan 28 00:33:16 UTC 2020


Eyal,

My thoughts in-line:

On 1/27/20 4:00 PM, Eyal Rozenberg wrote:
>
>
> On 27/01/2020 17:49, Wayne Mery wrote:
>> As for this set of minutes, in order:
>> * Regarding hirings, the approval was an ordinary renewal of a
>> contract, but in general we do not publicly share details about
>> employees.
>
> Well, please change that: Tell us what position and have the position
> description somewhere accessible.
I'm not sure why these were not publicly shared in the first post. The
agreed positions were the following:

- Thunderbird Release Engineer / Web Infra Engineer
- Senior Software Engineer
- Software Engineer
- Add-ons Coordinator

There is another role that we have agreed to keep confidential for the
moment, I think the Council will be happy to talk about it candidly this
week (more on that below).
>
>> * The new positions will be made public when the jobs are posted.
>
> Please make it public once the decision is taken, through the meeting
> summary. The exact details will come with the job posting.
I agree, no reason why we couldn't do that in the future.
>
>> * Regarding EOY donations, the numbers were only preliminary because
>> we were only partly through December - more information will
>> eventually be available.
>
> Ok, so say that; plus, what are those numbers? Or - at what delay will
> these numbers get published?
I don't think they should be published until they are final. The
preliminary numbers are based on analytics data which doesn't capture
everything. MoFo donation team and accounting produces the final number.
The problem with that is well illustrated here - after waiting for the
data the number was actually slightly less than last year at *$138032*
versus *$143034*. I published financial data last year when I had all of
it - and I intend to do that again this year. But it can be slow when
you have many funding sources (including physical cheques), and it all
has to be put together.
>
>> * Election details will be shared when they are ready to begin.
>
> I would be fine with that if not for the overall air of secrecy. If no
> decisions were made, then ok; if you made significant decisions, why
> not put them in the summary?
No decisions were made, we simply discussed. Nothing worth writing home
about, or in this case - the list. But your point is well taken, I agree
that this needs to be more verbose.
>
>> * The encryption discussion involves issues which cannot yet be made
>> public.
>
> What's with this assumption of privilege-of-secrecy? Unless you were
> discussing a current security vulnerability (which seems not to have
> been the case), I don't see why that can't be made public.
>
> By the way - I'm not versed in the formal bylaws (if those exist), but
> it's not even clear to me the council has a mandate to hide
> information from the body politic which elected it. I remember the
> issue with minutes/summaries being that they require effort to put
> down; now, a custom of secrecy seems to have developed, and that's
> worrying.

Actually, a legal question was raised regarding encryption. And specific
concerns were cited, given this is a public list we didn't want to ruin
the confidentiality we have with Thunderbird's legal Council by
publishing what we're discussing in these minutes. This is a well
understood concept in the US legal system, so I think that should be
easy enough to understand.

I believe I have responded to you in the past regarding this topic but
the Council, as the body this community has elected, has agreed to keep
some things secret  - to protect our contractual partners (including
staff), and any privileged information we obtain from Mozilla. I would
hope that if you were elected to Council that you would do the same.

*BUT - I think we can do a better job of being more descriptive in these
notes*, and address most of your concerns. However, there are some
things that we should not publish publicly and have agreed not to do so
because of the factors above. I think some of this will be made more
clear for those interested this week.

In closing, we will try and do a better job. This year has been a
whirlwind of activity for the project and, frankly, the complexity of
what we have to manage has grown tremendously (we now have 10 people we
pay full-time to work on Thunderbird). We have to learn to do this part
better as we've had to learn to do many other things as we've grown.

Maybe you and I could talk through ideas on a call soon.

Ryan

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