Providing a voice for all

I am reading with much interest the at times very passionate debates of the future of OH. I am also reading quite a bit of the struggles on how to engage in discussions and how to participate in decision making about the future of OH. All involved, developers, users, contributors and learners feel quite passionately, more so than seemingly can be expressed through the limitations of the forum. I would like to propose to the AC (@Kai, @rlkoshak, @digitaldan, @ysc, @wborn) to consider using a different platform for the governance of OH and the decision making. I am NOT challenging the structure and the ultimate decision making powers, but I would want to believe that participatory decision making is desired and welcome. There are nifty tools out there, in no particular order:

All are available as hosted or self-hosted platforms (all are open source as far as I remember)
It may take some pressure off the discussions here and add transparency to the decision making process.
Of course, the choice up to the foundation and the AC, but I wanted to mention this option just in case not everyone is familiar with them.

This has actually already been done. The AC role has been better defined and the AC discussion board has moved to GitHub.

The role of the AC is more to break impasses among the maintainers and to make proposals for potential places OH can go. Over all, I do not expect the AC to become all that active, honestly. Most of the issues that crop up should be handled at the maintainer level.

So, while the discussions that have taken place have been productive IMHO, most of what has been discussed are really outside the scope of the AC. I think the discussions have been productive in eliciting an understanding of user impacts to proposed changes. But whether those changes get made will only flow up to the AC if the maintainers cannot agree on how to proceed.

I think a lot of the problems we say on those threads could be addressed if we change the focus of the discussions a little from “I propose X and here’s why you should agree” to “I propose X, how does that impact you”. Instead of trying to convince, let the focus of the threads be to gather information.

For the users that have a strong interest in guiding the direction of OH, I think keeping an eye on the issues and speaking up in them will be the best way to influence the future direction of OH.

These are, of course, my own opinions.

Thanks so much!

I can see 44 repo’s on github under openhab, but I have trouble identifying the one for the AC. Is it public and did I just only demonstrated my poor github (searching) skills?

You need to find the right team nnot the right repository. :slight_smile:

Have a look at


Seems to be a VIP-only club. :slight_smile:


Like I tried to explain above, the scope of what the AC does has been refined. The AC is a resource the maintainers can call upon if they are at an impasse in how to proceed. Most of the real decisions like have been discussed all over the forum are really discussions that should take place at the maintainer level. Therefore those discussions would continue to occur here on the forum and will also continue in the GitHub issues.

My hope would be that maintainers would consider asking the community before making any change that would cause major impacts to the users, but the AC doesn’t have control over that.

The AC is an organization of last resort. As such, I think it is reasonable that their communications board be private. All the real discussion will have taken place on the forum and the issues already.

As has always been the case, the directions that OH really takes will be driven by the developers and maintainers since they are the ones volunteering to do the work. We can’t force developers to do anything they don’t want to.

Oh sorry I didn’t recognize this.

Anyway vip is the wrong term here.
Anyone who contributes regularly to the project will get a openhab team member at time.

I think there was also a discussion that a global public discussion ist a missing feature in GitHub Teams.

And as another point it makes sense to stay in GitHub.
All our sourcecode is maintained over there and GitHub provided really comfortable features for cross referencing to issues, pull requests, team members or complete subteams.

This forum isn’t that bad in getting complains visible and sorted out, so I’m not sure if introducing another tool will improve overall situation.
I must admit I am not a strong democracy supporter in tech field and I don’t think making it more open will improve project quality. We need a voice of people who use projects and they can express it already. AC, maintainers and contributors are gathering users feedback here since years.

Some decissions can’t be made via generic vote especially that execution of all difficult tasks won’t be made by majority, but individuals who remain unpaid by anyone. People are easy in pushing things which don’t cost them anything. Giving +1 here or there doesn’t make my life harder.
If someone wants to be part of decision making - first need to start contributing more to code, docs or keep helping community. Maintainers have a lot of freedom in designing and writing their stuff, thus anyone can do job in best possible way he knows.