[RFC] Call for new team leader

Kevin P. Fleming kpfleming at linuxfromscratch.org
Sun Nov 7 18:08:58 PST 2004

For a variety of personal reasons (primarily due to the new business I
started a few months ago), I am stepping down as the team leader of the
ALFS project. I do not have the time to provide direction for the team
right now, and I can't see that changing in the near future. I have
enjoyed this role for the better part of a year, and am very thankful
that I have had a team of helpful, educated and responsible volunteers
who do a great job keeping the ALFS profiles and other products in shape.

Note that I am in no way leaving the LFS community :-) I will continue
to be involved as much as I can, and I will be happy to continue to be a
member of the ALFS team and provide profile maintenance or whatever else
I can do.

In addition to being a call for a new leader, this message is also a
call for a new "direction" for this project. As Jamie Bennett mentioned
in a post earlier this week, nALFS has pretty much fulfilled its
mandate: it is a reliable, usable and understandable tool for automating
basic LFS and BLFS builds. While there is a need to continue documenting
it and providing bug fixes, there is no clear mandate to convert it into
some other type of system maintenance tool.

With that said, I think that the ALFS project (and the LFS/BLFS
projects) might be able to benefit from having a more powerful and
flexible system build/maintenance tool. The recent discussions about
nALFS2 hinted at what people would like that tool to do, and I'm sure
there is more out there as yet undiscovered :-) My concern, though, is
that production of a tool like this moves LFS firmly into the "distro"
camp, a place that there has been resistance to going before. While I
personally have no opposition to that, the general LFS community has
expressed wildly (and somewhat violently) different opinions.

What we need now are two things:

- a consensus on what direction the ALFS team should go, and what
services/tools it should provide to the LFS/BLFS community

- a leader who understands that direction and can manage the team to get
those things accomplished

It is not necessary that the team leader be able to code in C or any
other language; for that matter, it's not really mandatory that they
even have any experience working on the existing ALFS tools, although
that would certainly be much preferred. What _is_ necessary is that they
be able to manage a team of people they have never met, in time zones
all across the world, and get their team to work in a cohesive, decisive
manner to produce products that the community wants to use. This
management will require a time commitment; without it, the project
languishes (as has happened recently). In addition, the team leader
needs to be a vocal member of the community, and make efforts to draw
interested members into the ALFS team so that they can help the team
fulfill its goals.

OK, that's it for the management-speak <G>

If you are interested in being the new team leader, or you can provide
good reasoning to nominate someone else in the community, please speak
up. I'd like to see nominations, discussion, dissension, etc. for the
next couple of weeks, at which time I (along with Gerard and Matt) will
come to some conclusion about who should take over this position.

Once that is done, it will be time for the new leader and the rest of
the community to try to determine what is the best direction for the
future. I think we have a great deal of talent here, and if that talent
is applied and managed well good things will come of it.

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