I mentioned in this thread that I think I overengineered parts of the original Charter. I’d like to make good on that belief by simplifying the Charter to better match our needs. As a step towards this, I’d like to remove the concept of “reports” from the Charter.
The Charter currently defines reports for two offices:
The Chair is supposed to report on members, offices, the public forum, and
The Space Master is supposed to report on the official server.
In spite of these requirements, I do neither - and nobody minds.
The intent of reporting, and the way it’s used in the organization I cribbed it from, is to provide a regular check-in on what everyone believes the state of the organization to be, to allow administrative errors and omissions to be caught early, and to support organizational continuity when there’s a lull in activity. We’ve developed informal systems that fill those intentions:
There’s only one public forum, and only one official server, both of which are on the cover page of the Charter and in pinned threads in this forum, and
Business moves slow enough that we’re generally only considering one thing at a time, making it feasible to keep the state of the organization in our heads or to refresh our memories from recent forum threads and through conversation.
I’d like to meet in the middle. Relying on memory is error-prone, even when the problem space is small, and I do think some basic information-maintenance is a good idea. However, the specific mechanics of “officers must post updates every week/every month” probably isn’t a fit for us. I’ve been experimenting with pinned threads for info publication, and I’d like to see that continue for future officers as well, so long as it’s working.
In more detail, this proposal
integrates the rule allowing officers to receive instructions by vote into the general definition of an officer, to reduce the number of places someone needs to read to understand how to be an officer;
removes the rule that defines reports entirely, along with all reports defined by the rules;
defines simpler publication responsibilities, which can be met by maintaining a standing forum thread, for the two offices that had reports;
integrates the parts of the charter that govern ending the game into the definition of the Space Master’s office; and
fixes a Power-related bug (put a pin in this, power’s on my personal chopping block in a future proposal) in the Game Author rules, that might otherwise cause conflict over how that’s supposed to work.
This proposal does not fully simplify officers and offices. I’ve got bigger plans for the Charter. I think we can probably define the organization we actually have in more approachable language, and in fewer words. I’m working towards that goal incrementally, rather than trying to coordinate a complete redraft.
Comments very much wanted, both from members and observers. If there’s no discussion in a week or so, I’ll put it forwards as a formal proposal.
Title: Nothing To Report, Sir
Adoption Index: 4.0
Amend rule 5.1 (“Officers & Offices”) by appending the following paragraph:
An instrument can, as part of its effect, instruct an officer to take one or more actions. The officer must perform the actions in a timely fashion, once and only once per instruction, in the order the instructions appear in the instrument. The officer should publicly announce that the instructions have been completed after taking action.
Amend Rule 5.2 (“The Chair”) by replacing its text with
The Chair is an office, responsible for overseeing business conducted by the members of SOA.
The Chair must publish an up-to-date lists of members, offices, officers, and public fora in a timely fashion whenever any of those lists changes. The Chair must also publish the charter in a timely fashion whenever it changes.
Amend rule 5.4 (“Election Procedure”) by replacing
A weekly or monthly duty for that office is more than seven days overdue;
Any obligation the office is responsible for is more than seven days overdue;
Amend rule 8.3 by replacing the second paragraph with
The Chair can distribute a proposal which is in the proposal pool at any time, by announcement. When a proposal is submitted, the Chair must distribute the proposal in a timely fashion.
and by removing the paragraph
The Chair must assign each distributed proposal a unique ID number by announcement, in a timely fashion, and should do so in the same message when distributing the proposal.
Amend rule 9.1 (“The Space Master”) by replacing its text with
The Space Master is an office, responsible for operating game services.
The Space Master must publish all information needed for players to connect to the official server whenever that information changes.
Amend rule 9.6 (“Ending a Game”) by replacing its text with
This article has a power of 3.
A member can, by announcement, initiate the decision to end the game by specifying the official server whose game they wish to end. For this decision, the voting method is Adoption Majority, and the adoption index is 1. The vote collector for this decision is the Space Master.
If the outcome is ADOPTED, then the Space Master must immediately initiate the election of a Game Author.
Repeal rule 5.3 (“Official Duties”).