IRC Community Governance Codification
The Ubuntu IRC channels represent many people's first meeting with Ubuntu and are a core resource for support and social interactions, and as such have become one of the most important sub-projects within Ubuntu. The Ubuntu community is the largest community on freenode and one of the largest IRC communities in the world.
This document aims to:
- Increase recognition of contributions on IRC with membership which is ultimately used to approve community council members.
- Provide a clear delegation and codifications of the existing leadership on IRC and plan for handling these decisions in the future.
- Describe clear democratic and meritocratic processes for the appointment of leadership and staff positions on IRC.
- Remove several "single points of failure".
Describe methods for both preventing and resolving any future inter-administrator or inter-staff conflicts within the IRC Team.
Provide a straightforward process for top IRC contributors to be recognized as full members in Ubuntu, with the right to vote on resolutions posed by the Community Council.
- Provide for a reporting process so that news, ideas and work done in the project by IRC users will be communicated to the broader community and appropriately recognized.
For active teams and sub-projects within Ubuntu, the Ubuntu Community Council delegates many of its responsibilities to "Team Councils". These councils act as proxies for the Community Council over a particular team or scope of activity within the Ubuntu community. These governance councils are ultimately responsible for the actions and activity within their team or scope and resolve disputes and manage policies and procedures internal to their team, and frequently appoint Ubuntu members on behalf of the CC.
The Ubuntu IRC Council (''IRCC'') is the team governance council for the the Ubuntu IRC channels on the freenode network.
IRC Council Charter
The IRC Council is the group that is ultimately responsible for the governing the IRC channels and interfacing between IRC and the rest of the Ubuntu community and governance systems.
- The Council will consist of five (5) members. Membership should be public.
- Decisions will be made when a majority of the seated council is in agreement.
- IRC Council members should be accessible by and responsive to the IRC community (i.e. through a dedicated mailing list).
- The Council is appointed by the Ubuntu Community Council. Requirements for membership of the Council are as follows:
- Ubuntu membership (Essential)
- Be able to demonstrate a competent technical knowledge of IRC.
- Be able to demonstrate a passion and desire for IRC and maintaining effective governance of our IRC community.
- Be familiar of the expectations listed in this charter and commit to executing them as part of the IRC Council
- Members serve terms of two (2) years. IRC Council members could serve multiple or repeated terms. Weight will be given to proved contributors and re-election of consistently active members should be both easy and common.
- The Council will have a chairman with a casting vote, elected by the IRC Council every year.
- Ops are welcome to apply for a role on the council and retain their Op status, but they are also informed that in the interests of having a separation of power, they also have the opportunity to step down as an Op temporarily.
- The Community Council will have a member sit on the IRC Council until June 2010. This will be a temporary seat. This member will offer advice, mentor and report back to the Community council. This member shall not have a casting vote.
- The Community Council will review the state of the IRC Council in June 2010 and act upon its review if it feels necessary.
The IRC Council would have a number of rights and responsibilities, and be ultimately responsible for the smooth operation of the IRC channels. These include:
- Appointing or recalling IRC operators or determining criteria by which they are appointed.
- Resolving disputes between IRC operators
- With advice, feedback, and help from the IRC operators, maintaining the IRC Guidelines and associated infrastructure.
Community Bug Reporting - the IRC Council should encourage the community to file issues using the Community Bug Process at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ReportingCommunityProblems - this provides a good snapshot of where people feel there are problems in the community.
- Regular IRC Meetings - at least one public real-time IRC meeting per month with a public request for agenda items. They should have an Agenda wiki page to handle this process. The community can add agenda items and they are discussed and decided upon.
Elections of new IRC Council members will be held in the following way:
- An open call for nominations should be announced in the IRC Community, and people can nominate themselves for a seat on the council. Everyone is welcome to apply.
- To apply for a seat the candidate creates a Wiki page outlining their work in the community, and inviting others to provide testimonials.
- When the application deadline has passed, the IRC Council will review the applications and provide feedback on the candidates for the Community Council to review.
- The Community Council will identify a shortlist for the board and circulate the list publically for feedback from the community.
- The Community Council will then finalise the appointment of IRC Council members.
Ubuntu Membership Through IRC Contributions
IRC operators will be appointed by the IRC Council. IRC operators are expected to uphold and set an example that is consistent with the Code of Conduct. IRC operators can have their operator status removed by the IRC council if they do not set such an example or do not follow the operator guidelines
IRC operators and participants have the option to become Ubuntu members if they contribute to the IRC community for a significant amount of time. This will be achieved by a process for membership set up by the IRC Council in conjunction with the Community Council.
Additionally, they should provide a documented method whereby any disagreements or conflicts between operators can request a hearing by the IRC Council.
In extreme situations, users and operators who feel that they have not been given a fair hearing by the IRC Council can appeal a decision to the CC.
Any deadlock within the IRC Council can be referred to the Community Council for resolution.
Interaction between Ubuntu and freenode
The IRC Council is the primary point of contact between the Ubuntu community and the freenode staff. This means that the council can approve cloaks, take action to fix channel ownership/access issues, request channel limit exceptions and other administrative items. They also should take care that they maintain a good relationship with freenode staff.