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== Issue Summary 2007-02-28 ==
== Issue Summary 2007-02-28 ==
=== Editor ===
=== Editor ===

Revision as of 19:52, 6 January 2009


Issue Summary 2007-02-28


Ernest Prabhakar



Over the last year, a few people (AndyMabbett, JoeAndrieu, ErnestPrabhakar, JamesCraig, ManuSporny) have raised issues about how the Microformats wiki, mailing list, and community are governed. This page is here to discuss ideas for documenting, formalizing, and/or improving our collective governance.


Governance has been defined as "the traditions, institutions and processes that determine how power is exercised, how citizens are given a voice, and how decisions are made on issues of public concern." In the context of Microformats, it covers:

While not all of these need to be explicitly spelled out, a healthy community our size requires a broad shared understanding of these facts -- as well as acceptance of them as "legitimate."

Who Are Admins

"I think there should be bit more visible superstructure around just who is in this "cabal". It seems to me like the Editors/Authors of the various specs form the majority it of it, but perhaps that should be made a bit more apparent, and the "powers" of an editor (essentially, the ability to veto changes to the wiki, it seems) outlined a bit and some information about how to become an editor (AFIACT, make numerous, quality edits to the Wiki that the other editors approve of)."
An entry has been added to the FAQ regarding Who controls microformats?.Dr. Ernie 08:48, 2 Feb 2007 (PST)

Mailing List Unmoderation Discussion

Discussion from mailing-list-unmoderation.

Tantek also said: "Ernie, as someone who has made overwhelmingly positive contributions to the microformats community, IMHO the occasional OT post is reasonable'".
  1. my previous request to do the same was not, in fact, dealt with in this open manner. Rather it decayed into a defensive debate about governance generally, leaving poor Andy stuck in moderated censure. Perhaps I'm not the most diplomatic sort, but the issue on the table is not about me. It is about Andy's continuing moderation.
  2. The unmoderation wiki page for Andy is effectively a public hearing on Andy's standing and privileges in the community, especially with Tantek's request that no replies be sent to the email list on the topic. I find it particularly disturbing that Andy's efforts to contribute to that hearing have been repeatedly dismissed by Tantek (see the history for a complete list). While It probably wasn't the best form for Andy to edit my comment directly, he should, IMO, have a way to voice his opinion on the matter. He's been threatened with a ban if he does so on the mailing list. Is there another venue that is more appropriate than the wiki page taking input and votes on his unmoderation?--JoeAndrieu 20:19, 19 Mar 2007 (PDT)


Note: This is not to take a position on whether or not any of these decisions were appropriate or inappropriate. Rather, the existence of these events demonstrates the need to document why and how such decisions were -- or should be -- made and/or appealed.


  1. Create a publicly-visible microformats-admin mailing list, for easily identifying and contacting all admins
  2. Document a forum/mechanism/process where individuals concerned about admin actions can legitimately raise their concerns, to ensure substantive issues are addressed
  3. Maintain a governance page that captures and describes
    1. the identity of current Admins
    2. how to contact them
    3. the process for becoming an Admin
    4. the specific kinds of behavior warranting Admin intervention
    5. how/when suspended/moderated individuals can return to "good standing"
    6. how to appeal an Admin decision/action


We acknowledge that the microformats list and wiki is not a democracy, and that one of the key goals of microformats is to have as little process and structure as possible. However, at the same time we believe that the "dictatorship" needs to not merely be, but be seen as "benevolent." This includes some minimal level of transparency and due process to ensure that there are legitimate ways for ordinary members to speak out if they feel (rightly or wrongly) that a particular administrative action was unwise or unfair. Whether that is similar to the #Proposal above, or a counter-proposal by the admin team, we believe that something is necessary.

Please add your vote here


governance-issues was last modified: Wednesday, December 31st, 1969