[Reply-To is set. This message is written with the intention of soliciting private replies; however, if you want to reply to debian-vote as well, go ahead.] Hi folks, As has happened at least twice in the past, I am wrestling with the decision of whether or not to declare myself as a candidate for Debian Project Leader. Several people have exhorted me to run again this year, but the fact that I have run unsuccessfully twice before also tells me that this is not a universally-held position. :) It has occurred to me that this is not a decision I should make in a vacuum. You, the Debian Developers and enfranchisees -- more simply, the voters -- can help me to make this decision, and help me to be a better DPL should I run and win. To that end, I am soliciting specific feedback by means of the questionnaire below. If you have perspectives and opinions you would like to communicate to me on the subjects addressed below, please reply to me privately and GPG-sign your message. If you wish, you may also GPG-encrypt the message to me. I will not disregard replies that are sent only to this list (or some other forum of which I'm aware), or which are not GPG-signed, but I will give them less weight. The Debian Project Leader is elected by Debian Developers, and must serve and represent Debian Developers. The opinions of people outside the Project -- who are not (or not yet) Debian Developers must necessarily weigh less. If you want to fill out and send me this questionnaire and you are not a Debian Developer, please explain your affiliation with the Debian Project. For instance, the opinions of New Maintainer applicants who have not yet become developers are important. Note that following each question there is an area for you to add comments on it. I encourage you to use this area, since the questions are mainly intended to inspire thought and feedback, rather than compel you to squeeze your opinions into a ready-made cookie-cutter shape. Thanks for your attention. ---CUT HERE----------------------------------------------------- 1. Rank the following possible functions of Debian Project Leader in order from most important to least important by placing a digit between the brackets to the left of the item. Use "1" as the most important item(s), with larger integers reflecting less important items. You can give two items the same number to reflect a tie. Leave blank items you consider unimportant or not appropriate for the role of DPL. [ ] attending trade shows and conferences [ ] resolving disputes internal to the Project [ ] representing Debian to trade associations, businesses and NGOs (non-governmental organizations) [ ] drafting and implementing internal procedures for the Project that aren't already well-defined [ ] appointing delegates per the Constitution [ ] fixing bugs in packages that no one else will fix [ ] cash fundraising [ ] acquiring donations of bandwidth, equipment, and hosting [ ] mentoring other developers Comments: 2. Rank the following past and present DPLs in order of greatest effectiveness to least effectiveness (use "1" for the most effective leader(s)). You need not have been a Debian Developer during the term a Leader to express an opinion here (though knowing who they are and what they did as DPL definitely helps). You can give two people the same number to reflect a tie. Leave blank people about whom you feel you cannot form an opinion. [ ] Bdale Garbee [ ] Ben Collins [ ] Bruce Perens [ ] Ian Jackson [ ] Ian Murdock [ ] Wichert Akkerman Comments (why did you rank these people as you did?): 3. True or false: the New Maintainer system is still broken. Comments: 4. True or false: we should place more emphasis on architectures that have a lot of users. Comments: 5. True or false: release management in this Project is a big problem. Comments: 6. True or false: there are too many inactive developers. Comments: 7. True, false, or not applicable: the Debian Project Leader should see to it that inactive developers are placed on notice that they will be dropped from the Project, and then if they do not become active, "expire" them from our ranks. Comments: 8. True or false: the concept of "one maintainer per package" is outmoded, and packages should be maintained as more of a group or communal process. Comments: 9. True or false: the Debian Policy Manual and Bug Tracking System should be used together as a "stick" with which to compel uncooperative maintainers to change the way they maintain their packages. Comments: 10. True or false: the Debian Project is biased against people who do not speak English fluently. Comments: 11. True, false, or not applicable: there is not a lot that we can do about the Debian Project being biased against people who do not speak English fluently. Comments: 12. Should the DPL attempt to build consensus among a small group of experts or among the whole project before taking a major action, or should he go it alone? Mark one. [ ] build consensus among a small group [ ] build consensus among the whole Project [ ] take unilateral action 13. Rank the following possible traits of Debian Project Leader as assets (with an "A") or liabilities (with an "L") between the brackets to the left of the item. Leave blank items you consider as having no bearing on the role of DPL. [ ] a high level of visibility as a "regular developer" on internal Project mailing lists [ ] a high level of visibility as Project leader on internal Project mailing lists [ ] a high level of visibility in Debian-related IRC channels [ ] a preference for reading prepared statements over extemporaneous presentations at public gatherings [ ] a preference for brokering agreement behind the scenes between conflicting parties [ ] a preference for brokering agreement in public between conflicting parties [ ] long, flowing hair [ ] a beard [ ] a sense of humor (Those without the last item need not mark the last three.) Comments: 14. True or false: the Debian Project Leader should attend as many trade shows and conferences as possible for him or her. Comments: 15. True, false, or not applicable: Debian Project funds should be spent on getting the Debian Project Leader to as many trade shows and conferences as possible when corporate sponsorship is unavailable. Comments: 16. True or false: the Technical Committee is operating as intended under the Constitution. Comments: 17. True or false: a simple majority of voting Debian Developers should be sufficient to modify the Debian Free Software Guidelines. Comments: 18. True or false: a simple majority of voting Debian Developers should be sufficient to modify the Debian Social Contract. Comments: 19. Should decisions about DFSG-compliance be made on the debian-legal list, or should we have a more formalized body for making such decisions? Comments: 20. True or false: under the current Constitution as written, a simple majority of voting Debian Developers is sufficient to modify the Debian Social Contract and Free Software Guidelines. Comments: 21. Mark the statements below that accurately (if not precisely) reflect your opinions with an "X" between the brackets. Note that these statements are wide-ranging in nature. If you have insufficient context upon which to ground an affirmative answer, leave it blank. Where I consider it important to determine what the respondents to this questionnaire *don't* believe or agree with, I have supplied a contrapositive statement. Feel free to elaborate on your answers in the comments section. [ ] The DPL should not waste his time on arguments about the Constitution, Social Contract, or DFSG. [ ] The DPL is always perceived as the DPL, even when he or she is not sending mails from "email@example.com" or providing evidence of his or her leader status elsewhere in mail messages he or she sends. [ ] The person elected to the office of DPL has a special responsibility to keep his or her mouth shut on potentially inflammatory issues, except when acting explicitly as DPL. [ ] The Debian Project will only get as good a DPL as it deserves. [ ] Everything in Debian main should be treated as software under the DFSG, even if it isn't software by some definitions. [ ] We let too much stuff that violates the spirit of the DFSG into main. [ ] The debian-legal list is infested with a bunch of nitpicky nitwits who give the Project a bad name and keep Debian from being as good as it could be by rejecting software from main for no good reason. [ ] A good Debian Developer doesn't necessarily make for a good Project Leader. [ ] Debian should toss the DFSG and adopt the Open Source Definition (OSD) instead. [ ] Debian should delegate license interpretation to the Open Source Initiative (OSI) [maintainers of the OSD]. [ ] Debian should stop distributing the non-free section. [ ] Debian should keep the non-free section even if it dwindles to the point where there is nothing interesting in it, in the event that important new non-free software appears that our users might want. [ ] Our twin priorities of "our users" and "Free Software" are sometimes in conflict with each other. [ ] The primary purpose of the Debian Project should be to supply a high-quality operating system to as many people as possible. [ ] The primary purpose of the Debian Project should be to supply a high-quality, Free operating system to whoever is interested in it. [ ] The Debian Project is an insufficiently welcoming environment to female geeks and computer professionals. [ ] The DPL should step in to mediate disagreements between Debian Developers and upstream developers, as recently happened with MPlayer. [ ] The Debian Project should work with SPI or some other organization to try and see that its needs and goals are respected, or at least not meddled with, by governments. [ ] Debian Developers are substantially better at critical thinking and logical reasoning than the general populace. [ ] The migration of murphy from qmail to postfix was a good thing. [ ] The migration of murphy from qmail to postfix was important. [ ] Being elected Debian Project Leader is primarily a reward for good work. [ ] The Debian Machine Usage Policy (DMUP) needs to be revised. [ ] Revising the DMUP is important. [ ] Voters in the Debian Project have a responsibility to make themselves well-informed about the issues before casting a ballot. [ ] There should be no one in the Project with extra-constitutional power; that is, Debian keyring maintenance, archive administration, system administration, and so forth should all be formally delegated positions by the DPL. [ ] Making the Debian keyring maintainer, archive administrators, and system administrators DPL delegates has creates a potentially dangerous situation for which there is no analogue under the current situation. [ ] The DPL has more important things to worry about than who's delegated to do what. [ ] People who capitalize the phrase "Free Software" are annoying. [ ] The Free Software Foundation is run by a bunch of crazy hippie communists, and Debian is being taken over by more of the same. [ ] The Open Source Initiative is run by a bunch of Christian fundamentalist right-wing gun nuts, and Debian is being taken over by more of the same. [ ] I deeply resent whimsy intruding into this questionnaire. [ ] A person who lost the DPL election twice shouldn't think about running again. [ ] No one who lost the DPL election was ever subsequently elected DPL. [ ] No one who lost the DPL election twice was ever subsequently elected DPL. [ ] Bdale Garbee is unbeatable. [ ] Bdale Garbee has disappointed me. [ ] We should elect a DPL based on his or her platform and contributions to the project, not based on personality issues. [ ] A DPL candidate shouldn't make promises in his or her platform. [ ] We should elect a DPL who reflects who we want to be, even if they don't reflect who we are. [ ] DPL elections are essentially popularity contests. [ ] There is nothing we can do about the above statement; it's the nature of the beast. [ ] Circulating this questionnaire proves that you're unfit to be Project Leader. [ ] Circulating this questionnaire demonstrates leadership. [ ] Circulating this questionnaire is a cynical attempt to manipulate the electorate. [ ] Debian Developers should publicly and prominently campaign for the person they'd prefer to see as Project Leader. [ ] Debian Developers should keep their DPL preferences to themselves. [ ] DPL campaigns have increasingly come to adopt traits of conventional politics. [ ] I find previous statement true and not a cause for concern. [ ] The DPL can barely wipe his nose without consensus. (The DPL is essentially a figurehead without much real power.) [ ] Debian's effort at a constitutional system of governance has been a failure. [ ] The Debian Constitution and the apparatuses instituted by it are basically instruments of last resort, called into play when our traditional methods of operation fail. [ ] We'd be better off with a few hundred fewer Developers. [ ] We'd be better off with more Developers. [ ] Debian distributes too many packages; we should narrow our focus. [ ] Branden Robinson is a non-free flame burning bigot. [ ] Branden Robinson is prejudiced against the French. [ ] Branden Robinson is prejudiced against the American government. [ ] Branden Robinson doesn't know when not to make jokes. [ ] Branden Robinson has a lousy sense of humor. [ ] Branden Robinson's sense of humor is not important, no matter how good or bad it is. [ ] Branden Robinson has gotten better at not flaming people over the years. [ ] I haven't really paid attention to whether or not Branden Robinson has gotten better at not flaming people over the years, but it doesn't really matter because I'm not going to vote for him anyway, even though I'll claim that I won't vote for him because he flames people. [ ] Branden Robinson wrote a questionnaire that was way the hell too long. [ ] The number of occurrences of the string "Branden Robinson" in this questionnaire proves that he's an egomaniac. [ ] An egomaniac can make a good DPL. [ ] We already *have* an egomaniac for a DPL. Comments: ---CUT HERE----------------------------------------------------- -- G. Branden Robinson | It just seems to me that you are Debian GNU/Linux | willfully entering an arse-kicking firstname.lastname@example.org | contest with a monstrous entity http://people.debian.org/~branden/ | that has sixteen legs and no arse.
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