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Re: [Debconf-team] help clear up Debians reputation; Debconf misdeeds


Ted Walther dijo [Thu, Apr 06, 2006 at 02:22:29AM -0700]:
> From the announcement on debian-devel-announce, I, and others had the
> impression that Debconf is a Debian function, subject to the rules and
> principles governing Debian.
> Debian presents itself to the public as being open, transparent, fair,
> and just.  Debconf this year has acted in ways that seem to go directly
> against those principles.
> First:  Is Debconf an official Debian project?
> Second:  If it is not, are the sponsors of Debconf aware that it is a
> private project, not subject to oversight of its conduct by the Debian
> project as a whole?

I would have never called an official Debian project - It is a project
made mainly (but not wholly) by Debian people, targetted at providing
time and space for people working on or interested in Debian to sit
together, work and personally get to know each other. Debian does not
give official project infrastructure for this. Debconf is independent
of Debian, we as organizers are not a team appointed by the DPL, and
we are not subject to GRs. Of course, we have a ver good/close
relation with the project - Some of us are a part of it, some want to
become, some just want to contribute.

> Debconf has offered to sponsor various people to attend, including
> paying for their airplane tickets.  From the original announcement by
> Andreas Schuldei, the sponsorship would be offered based on a
> "consensus" by the sponsorship team.
> 1.  Who is on the sponsorship team?

I am. Andreas, Joerg, Marcela are. And... Well, I don't have the list
here, I know there are more, but don't have the list with me - No, I'm
not hiding the list, there are many other things occupying my head ;-) 

> 2.  Why are some developers and maintainers being rejected for
> sponsorship?
> 3.  How many developers and maintainers have been rejected for
> sponsorship?

I prefer to give that information to the interested people directly.

> 4.  Why isn't this information made public?

We are talking about people. We are talking about personal issues that
don't need to be widespread. 

> 5.  Why isn't the sponsorship of airplane flights handed out on a
> first-come first-served basis? (FIFO queue)

Because there are priorities. For example, you will find many non-DDs
in South America were approved - This is because it is an area with
low DD density and many people interested in participating. Similar
reasonings shaped our policy.

> 6.  How do you plan to assure us you didn't give priority to your
> friends, and leave others out in the cold?

Try to trust us?

> 7.  People were prioritized by consensus, and given a queue number,
> unrelated to how early they signed up.  As new money comes in, people in
> the queue are being given tickets.  However, at least one member of
> Debian says she was rejected outright and not given a queue number, so
> she wouldn't get a ticket even if more sponsorship money became
> available.  Why was this?  Doesn't every Debian member have a right to
> attend, if there is enough money?

I don't know who she is - Ask her to ask us. Ask her to ask me. I
promise to give her an answer.

> 7.  Was anyone given airplane sponsorship who is neither a developer or
> a package maintainer?  If they were, why did they take priority over
> developers and maintainers?

See 5.

> 8.  Why were there various deadlines to apply, with provisions for
> selective extensions, instead of giving out sponsorships until the money
> runs out?  If you need the deadlines so you can schedule things ahead of
> time, why not recognize that with a FIFO queue, you wouldn't need
> deadlines because people would rush to be early?

There were no provisions for extensions - I requested them. Andreas is
a tought German. Andreas keeps a deadline firm. But, again, see 5. We
are not programs awaiting a CPU slice - We are people.

> Another issue is the planning of talks.  There is a voting page
> presented where we can select those talks we wish to attend.  However,
> we are only allowed to vote on a subset of the talks people offered to
> give.  Several very good talks didn't make it to the list.

I'm not answering anything here, as I'm not on that team.

> I know you are all busy, but from where I stand, it seems there is a lot
> of potential for nepotism and favoritism in the Debconf sponsorship
> process of handing out free transportation.
> Please come out in public and show us the rumors aren't true.

There might be - We never made a pledge not to have favoritism :) We
are a group of individuals trying to make the best conference for all
of us (us including everybody related to Debian ;-) ).


Gunnar Wolf - gwolf@gwolf.org - (+52-55)5623-0154 / 1451-2244
PGP key 1024D/8BB527AF 2001-10-23
Fingerprint: 0C79 D2D1 2C4E 9CE4 5973  F800 D80E F35A 8BB5 27AF

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