[FFmpeg-devel] Democratic election of the server admins

Michael Niedermayer michaelni
Sun Jul 4 00:48:44 CEST 2010

Hello thouse who rule, thouse who are all the developers of ffmpeg.

I belive that ffmpeg as fundamentally democratic project should democratically
elect its server administrators once per year
The process described here is just intended for the first such election and
can itself be changed by vote of the ffmpeg developers in any way and
at any time the ffmpeg developers see fit. I would though ask that irrelevant
bikesheds be done after this years election.

Currently, there are 3 root administrators on mphq (attila, diego and mans)
They have gotten their positions though volunteering when admins where needed.
attila has physical access to the server and takes care of things that
require physical access. Diego and Attila take care of MPlayer related tasks
while Diego and Mans take care of ffmpeg related tasks.
As attila is difficult to replace (as he is the only one with physical
access and we need such a person) and also that he has done an outstanding
and flawless job besides being more mplayer admin than ffmpeg admin, i do not
list him in this election. But i would like to emphasize that if any single
developer wants to include attilas position in a vote, iam ready to change
this and include him.

This election is purely about the function of ffmpeg admins, it does not
affect the mplayer admins. Thus if one of the current ffmpeg admins acts as
admin for mplayer too then he would have to keep root access as long as he
has an admin position in either of the 2 projects
Thats the only way it can be as we of course have no power or right
to decide how the mplayer project is managed.

Actual initial rules:
* Each of the 2 ffmpeg admin positions (currently held by mans and diego)
  will be elected by the 
  "Cloneproof schwartz sequential droping" aka schulze method which is the
  most widespread condorcet voting method.
  The first post goes to the winner, the second post to the winner
  after removing the first.
* There will be a 2 week period for candidates to nominate themselfs for the
  position, followed by a 2 week voting period.
* If a candidate makes a promisse or statement within this 4 week period in
  relation to his candidature, it is binding and breaking of such statement
  leads to immedeate and permanent exclusion from all administrative roles
  in the ffmpeg project unless a vote of the ffmpeg developers grants an
  exception. Such exception can be granted both before as well as afterwards.
* any person with legal svn write access is allowed to nominate themself and
  to vote.
* Admins can at any time step back from their post, a majority of ffmpeg
  developers or the ffmpeg leader can at any time call for a new vote of
  the admins. In absence of all these a new election shall be held once per
* In addition to all candidates who nominated themselfs a "further discussion"
  option will be present to allow people to vote for "none of the candidates"
  If the "further discussion" option wins then further discussion and a new
  vote shall be held.
* no overmajority, quorum or other aditional limits shall be present.
* In case of disagreements between the 2 admins, public discussion shall be
  used to resolve the disagreement or if it is about private matters private
  discussion amongth a maximal subset of the developers but at least including
  the project leader and both admins.
* The admins can delegate tasks and also withdraw such delegations as they see
  fit, for example they could delegate handling of git to the previous years
  admin. Admins though bear full responsibility for what their delegate does.
* Past years admins may nominate themselfs again indefinitly, allthough it is
  recommanded that they do not if other good and trustworthy candidates are
  available to give them a chance too.
* The admins manage the repository accounts in accordance to the decissions of
  the project leader. In case of disagreement disputed accounts shall be
  closed, and immedeatly afterwards public discussion and if needed a vote
  shall be held to resolve the disagrement.
* The admins are responsible for the server security, and shall take
  neccessary steps to prevent a break in as well as have a plan in place to
  deal with a break in if it happens.
* The admins are responsible to make sure that all essential data is backed
  up regularely, and at least once a month to a off site location. They also
  must ensure that the backups are functional and a full restoration is
  possible from the backups.
* The admins are resposible for all the other small tasks that are needed
  and that the normal developers cannot, due to lack of access rights
  perform themselfs. Like mailing list creation, installation of software, ...
  They must follow reasonable requests of the developers and not fillibuster
  their work. But they also must reject requests that are illegal,
  pose unreasonable security risks, are otherwise dubious or require an
  unreasonable amount of work without an available qualified volunteer.
  In case of a disagreement, the project leader shall decide or if this does
  not resolve the disagreement, public discussion and if needed a vote.

Any major issues we should discuss / vote about before we can start the
first nomination period?
(as said id prefer if we could leave minor issues for after the vote so
 as not to delay things for years)

Michael     GnuPG fingerprint: 9FF2128B147EF6730BADF133611EC787040B0FAB

If you really think that XML is the answer, then you definitly missunderstood
the question -- Attila Kinali
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