On Tue, Jul 31, 2007 at 10:56:01AM +0200, Marc Haber wrote: > On Tue, Jul 31, 2007 at 05:04:21PM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote: > > What happens when you send a single email like that has already been > > demonstrated: > > http://lists.debian.org/debian-vote/2006/10/msg00332.html > > Add to that that this time there've been explicit threats to blacklist > > applicants and make use of DSA access, and I think you'll find the ability > > of a single e-mail to change things isn't quite so straightforward. > So you admit that the DPL is not the one really in power, but > ftpmaster/DSA are? No, that's not what I'm saying. In the example above, it would be Manoj having the power (policy, secretary, tech-ctte, whatever), but the revocation of the delegation wasn't blocked by Manoj , it was blocked by a bunch of independent DDs who were predisposed to trust Manoj's judgement rather than mine. As it turns out the whole thing was pretty much a no-op, since there hasn't been a policy upload since the whole kerfuffle. So the first thing I'm saying is I don't think the DPL has the moral authority within the project to actually suspend delegations, or do anything much more than rubberstamp the decisions of the delegates. That's not unique to my experience either: I've seen similar efforts fail for similar reasons during Branden's term, though naturally all done in secret. In theory that would just leave the project as a whole with the authority, via GR; but I personally have doubts about whether the project has the courage to exercise that authority when it comes to sanctioning a developer who's actually doing useful work. Second, "in power" is a relative term -- the DAMs have a lot of power of accepting and removing developers, DSA has a lot of power over Debian's hardware resources, the listmasters have a lot of power over what's allowed to go on lists, the press team have a lot of power over what's allowed to go out in press releases or announcements in Debian's name, the debconf team have a lot of power over everything that happens in debconf, and so on. But those are all different groups, and the power is fairly compartmentalised. So I don't think there's anyone or any group you can point to as being in power as to the whole of Debian, but I can't really say that's a bad thing either. > That's interesting knowledge. Why do we keep people > in power who were not elected and who threaten to ignore the elected > leader to stay in power? What makes you think anyone who'd replace them would be any different? You spend a lot of time working on something, often because you're the only person who can; people who'd like things to work better can't help, so start demanding you do better, and complaining when you don't. Whatever stuff you do manage to do better makes the job harder, and thus increases the requirements for anyone else to contribute, at which point you also get criticised for not accepting help. At some point the criticism becomes enough that you end up not listening to outside comments for your own sanity, just because they're always negative. And at some point beyond that, you end up with people who've got absolutely no clue what the job actually involves these days interfering because that's what they've been elected to do. I think that's going to need structural changes; which is why I suggested the concept of "forced additions": http://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2007/05/msg00240.html A different approach I've been pondering more recently is "term limits", so that, say, after three years into a role the DPL can tap you on the shoulder and say "time to pass the baton", at which point you get a couple of months to clean anything up, and from that point you can only contribute to the role in the same way any other DD can. Which for free software shouldn't be much of a problem -- doing dak work just requires the ability to send patches to someone who's willing to actually accept them, and you can ensure continuity just by having the new caretaker listen to the advice of the old guard. And if people want to keep contributing (which I expect they often will want to do -- I'd certainly like to keep doing dak stuff even if not an ftpmaster), then that just means they've got to make sure things are arranged so *anyone* can contribute. > And, is "there is no cabal" really a lie? I don't know, but I don't think so. If there is, I guess I've been one of their useful idiots for the past few years; lucky me. Cheers, aj  AFAICS he didn't do anything to block it, but I guess it's theoretically possible there was a coordinated campaign to block the decision somehow.
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