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Re: Committee Role: Helping build the debconf-team

Hi Daniel,

On Thu, Nov 14, 2019 at 06:25:53PM +0100, Daniel Lange wrote:
> This is completely different from my personal view of things.
> Each local team produce "their DebConf". We very deliberately have high
> degrees of freedom between the years. We want to foster creativity and
> differentiation, even experimentation to a reasonable degree. Whatever
> reasonable at each moment is. This means a local team cares for - say - the
> topics, tracks, talks on their schedule. Wether they do an open day or not.
> Whether they do talks in other languages than English. Etc. They can and
> should rely on volunteers from previous years (content team) to transfer
> knowledge, have consistency and continuity where desired. And even offload
> some work where that is needed. But nobody is obliged to take over work that
> you don't want to do yourself. So you either find people that help you or
> you do it yourself or it doesn't happen.
> For some teams a local team gets a lot provided (e.g. video, frontdesk) and
> for some little (e.g. visa, conference dinner). Fundraising or the website
> are somewhere in the middle of that spectrum.
> So the global team is not a service organization where everything is catered
> for that does not need people in the city of the next DebConf.

In my view, DebConf is a production of the Debian community, and each
local team should be brought in to take part in a larger effort. Of
course several of the aspects can and should take input from the local
team, and it's good that the local team members also get involved in the
"non-local" tasks.

But the local team is not a service organization either, and every year
a lot of the local team people are newbies to the larger Debian
community. I don't think it's OK to put them in a position of "whether
you do this yourself or it won't happen" (because, as we know, the
DebConf team is understaffed so the option of finding someone to do it
is often not available).

Either way, we should at least let local teams know in advance what they
are signing up for. I volunteered to help a global conference be held
for this once in the city where I live. I knew it would require a
significant amount of effort, and I was willing to learn about it from
the ones that have been doing it and maybe stay around to help the next
ones (and that was the case). But I never wanted "my" DebConf or
expected that I and my friends would have to be under that type of

Of course, the only fix for this is having a consistent and well-staffed
DebConf team across the years, and that's why I think this should be
part of the DebConf committee charter.

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