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[Debconf-team] about rules and goals (was: cfp extension)


we just had a short and intense exchange about rules etc on irc.

There i said something like "rules dont apply to me, since i know
why i made them". To make things not appear erratic, i would like
to explain what i meant by that.

I think there are only very few and obvious fundamental rules,
which guide everything else. 

#1 The underlying motivation for debconf is to have an as
inspiring and motivating event as possible.

There needs to be the right mixture of order (for things to work)
and chaos (for people to feel at home and relaxed and things to
work). This also means that we do a conferece *for the
participants*, we are so to speak customer oriented. If people
want something, it is usually best to give it to them.

#2 We need to be aware of debconf's professional appearance
towards the sponsors and participant.

That means that we try to stick to our word: if we say "you get
sponsored" we must be able to pay those people and have enough
money for them. They must be able to rely on us. 

We try to do things like the final report, press releases and
proceedings to make an impression of seriousness and try to
communicate that we wont just take the sponsor's money and run of
or buy lots of booze for everyone. We try to be accountable for
the the money or support we get. And we strive for quality, when
possible. (see the order vs chaos part above).

Now back to where we came from: Someone suggested that we should
extend the CFP periode by one week. I said that would not be
necessary, sine we had enough talks to choose from and I were
aware of some talks that might (most likely) come later and that
we could still fast-track those talks if they sound good. (The
talks that I can think of just now are about "DFSG and
CDDL/Opensolaris", "GPLv3" (by mogen, stallman or öberg), "debian
gnu/opensolaris", "legal crashcourse" or so by Gerg Pomerantz),
and perhaps one by myself about how to get debian to move
faster.) I said also that people could still submitt their talks
later, and if we thought they were good we could still take

Of course by fast-tracking any talks we break the rules we set in
the CFP. We would do so because that serves the goal #1, since we
hope to have one (or more) additional highly relevant and good
talks. Those would also be the exception, not the rule.

On the other hand, extending the CFP by one week we break #2,
since we seem to be unreliable and unpredictable towards the
outside. "Real" Conferences which extends their CFP are usually
in deep shit. No one wants to attend, only dummies have submitted
papers or similiary horrible things happend. I dont want to
generate this impression towards anyone, and especially not
towards our sponsors by making such a public statement.

So by "breaking the rules that I make" I basicly mean that I know
which rule takes precedence over others, in case they conflict.
Now that I mentioned those rules everyone will hopefully be able
to arrive at the same conclusions about minor matters then I do.

There is no #3 "Andreas is always right". That is #4 (c:
No, seriously, I am not aware of a #3 or #4 right now. There
might be, though.


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