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1                                                                      2007-07-07
2The Decision-Making Policy of the scripts.mit.edu Project:
3
4We, the creators of the scripts.mit.edu infrastructure, wish to define a
5policy for how decisions of the scripts.mit.edu project will be reached in
6order to avoid confusion on this subject among future contributors to the
7project.  We particularly want to avoid a situation in which the
8leadership of the project is unclear after we leave MIT.
9
10In general, we believe that all contributors to the project should have a
11say in how the service is run in approximate proportion to their
12contributions.  We furthermore believe that strong agreement among the
13project's principal contributors is highly important to the project's
14future, and so, whenever possible, the project's principal contributors
15should reach near-unanimous agreement about how the project should
16proceed.  Ultimately, the decisions of a project of this nature need to be
17made by the people who are making the project happen.
18
19Unfortunately, reaching unanimous agreement among all of the contributors
20to the project might not always be possible.  This document establishes
21two leadership positions for the scripts.mit.edu project in order to
22entrust decision-making authority to specific individuals.  These leaders
23are ultimately entrusted with the project, although they are expected to
24take significant pause before using their authority to end a disagreement
25before consensus of the principal contributors has been reached.  These
26leadership positions are based in part on the roles of "producer" and
27"director" described in Frederick P. Brooks' _The Mythical Man-Month_.
28
29The "scripts team leader" is an MIT student who:
30- "assembles the team, divides the work, and establishes the schedule"
31- "acquires and keeps on acquiring the necessary resources"
32- "establishes the pattern of communication and reporting within the team"
33- "ensures that the schedule is met, shifting resources and organization
34  in order to respond to changing circumstances"
35
36The team leader is responsible for ensuring that the project continues to
37make regular progress.  The team leader is entrusted with arbitrating
38decisions regarding the organization of the scripts team and the focus of
39its ongoing development efforts.  For example, the team leader may remove
40individuals from the project who are deemed to be having an overall
41negative influence on the project.
42
43The "scripts architect" is an MIT student who:
44- "provides unity and conceptual integrity to the whole design"
45- "serves as a limit to system complexity"
46- "invents solutions for [large-scale technical problems] or shifts the
47  system design as required"
48
49The architect is responsible for ensuring the technical quality of the
50scripts.mit.edu service.  The architect is entrusted with arbitrating
51decisions regarding the scope, design, and operation of the service.  As
52the guardian of the technical integrity of the service, the architect may
53arbitrate all decisions regarding the project's production hardware and
54software.
55
56Both positions may select their own replacement, and, in the case of a
57vacancy, either position may select a replacement for the other position.
58Before an individual assumes either position as a replacement, that
59individual should be confirmed for that position by the SIPB Executive
60Committee.  A single individual may hold both positions simultaneously if
61every individual who has significantly contributed to the project within
62the last one calendar year agrees.  Any objections must occur before the
63Executive Committee has confirmed the appointment.
64
65The creator of the scripts.mit.edu project, Jeff Arnold, will serve as the
66first team leader and architect.
67
68Any part of the scripts.mit.edu decision-making policy may be modified as
69necessary by agreement between the scripts team leader and the scripts
70architect.  When changing the scripts.mit.edu decision-making policy, as
71with any major decision, near-unanimous agreement among the project's
72principal contributors should ideally be reached.
73
74The scripts.mit.edu project is affiliated with SIPB, and while the project
75remains affiliated with SIPB, the project will follow appropriate SIPB
76procedures for projects.
77
78This policy should be distributed to contributors to the project so that
79they may decide not to contribute if they are dissatisfied with it.
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86                                            ____________________________________
87                                                                        jbarnold
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94                                            ____________________________________
95                                                                        presbrey
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102                                            ____________________________________
103                                                                        hartmans
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106As contributors to the scripts.mit.edu project, we have contributed to
107the creation of this written decision-making policy and we fully support it.
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114                                            ____________________________________
115                                                                         tabbott
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122                                            ____________________________________
123                                                                         andersk
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130                                            ____________________________________
131                                                                          geofft
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