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Re: [bernhard@intevation.de: Re: The powerpc port should be removed from etch release candidates ...]

(Original message quoted in full as I'm CCing d-boot and several others. 
Unfortunately the original message is already quite complex.)

On Monday 08 May 2006 11:18, you wrote:
> it was brought to my attention that you are not reading debian-powerpc,
> thus I am forwarding my email to you directly.

That is correct, mainly as I do not have a powerpc system myself.

> b) The social and personal side is important. Sven's emails are clearly
>    showing this, but some of the responses by Thomas and
>    others did not reflect this.

Yes, but Sven's emails are also only showing one side of the issue.

I have not replied to the various threads because I have no interest in 
prolonging this discussion. The second reason was that there was a 
mediation going on by the DPL and his "second in command" and I did not 
want to interfere in that.

>    My part is: Writing this comment to help the situation.
>    I am also speaking up to support Sven. I believe
>    that he was bit badly treated in the thread.
>    No matter what he did to contribute to the situation,
>    this list has people which are new to the problem.

Well, I'm afraid we disagree there and I don't feel that someone who has 
not followed all that's happened over the last year on the various lists 
and IRC channels (mostly d-boot and d-kernel, but elsewhere as well) can 
really judge the rights and wrongs here.

Also, this is not really about right or wrong, but about having some fun 
while working on Debian in general and the installer in particular. 
Having fun is very important when it comes to a volunteer based project 
and I'm afraid that Sven was reducing the fun for several core members of 
the d-i team in a way that has become unacceptable.

>    What could have been done better?
>    If Sven's commit rights have been revoked and he got "kicked out",
>    it would be very good to give a reasonable explanation
>    that people can be point people to.
>    The usage of the phrase "kicked" by Sven,
>    seems to indicate that there was
>    no common position why he left the d-i team.

"Kicking out" Sven from the d-i team had already been discussed twice this 
year. Eventually we did not have to "kick him out" as Sven himself 
resigned from the team.

We (I) revoked his commit access mainly because of the broken personal 
relationships between Sven and other members of the d-i team.
IMO it is not good that someone who is not friendly towards a team has 
commit access to their source repository. In the long run that will only 
lead to new conflicts. It is much better to have a clean break and maybe 
resume a normal working relation later on when things have calmed down 
and people are willing to work together again.

Note that it is just as easy to grant commit access as it is to revoke it 
and I do not exclude the possibility that Sven will be allowed commit 
access again in the future. There will have to be major changes in his 
attitude for that to happen though.

I should have informed Sven that his commit access had been revoked and I 
have apologized for failing to do that on other lists.

> c) I have the feeling of an incomplete picture.
>    Sven, you could have pointed to the reasons
>    why your commit rights have been revoked or that those reasons are
> missing right on the start. That would have helped me.
>    But also others could help to to get more clear about this.
>    What is the d-i position on not wanting Sven?
>    Are there already explanations somebody could point me to?

See above. I'm not willing to repeat all the individual incidents as I 
feel that would not help the current situation.

> d) Thomas disregarded Sven's estimation about the diffculties of the
>    d-i efforts and the port. I think this is a mistake on the technical
> side, Sven has experience and his estimations deserve a sound
> evaluation and a serious rebuttal. Of course he is not the only
> competent person, but this does not discredit his estimations.
> On Mon, May 01, 2006 at 08:21:01AM +0200, Sven Luther wrote:
> > On Mon, May 01, 2006 at 02:20:09AM +0200, Frans Pop wrote:
> > > On Thursday 27 April 2006 13:39, Sven Luther wrote:
> > >
> > > I revoked your commit rights immediately after your resignation
> > > from the team because I felt (and I still do) that things had
> > > deteriorated so much that the d-i team was better of without any
> > > involvement from you.
> Frans, this can be okay (without knowing what the probkems are),
> but ..
> > > Also, I did not want any interference in the work of (the) new
> > > powerpc porter(s).
> I fail to see how Sven giving a hand would be that bad
> (even without commit rights),
> at the worst case he would need to be ignored
> which seems worth the risk to me.

I have no problems with that and it is part of the proposal from the DPL.

> > > The fact that you attempted to fix the cd building breakage
> > > without first consulting is proof that that was not unjustified.
> This might have been a documentable case where clear requirements
> of d-i commit rights (as I imagine them) were not met:
> * Consult the main person before commiting.
> > What porters ? You mean Colin Watson ? Or is there someone else ?
> I assume it is clear that everybody need to follow rules in a team.
> Sven, you so far did not write that you would be willing to accept
> rules like this. Your response (quoted above) to Frans remark seems
> off the point to me in this respect and switching the topic to
> another problem.
> I am pointing this out as an example how I see that people
> in this thread fail to communicate with each other and create
> more missunderstandings. I explicitly do not blame Sven (or anyone
> else). Sven obviously reacted to part of the message that is more
> important to him: Who will do the work?  This is a legitimate
> question... Again: I am just trying to point the mechanism.

We (the d-i team) are hoping that other people involved in the powerpc 
port will step in to pick up the work that Sven did previously. We have 
sent a request for help for that purpose which was also included in the 
previous issue of DWN.
After all, it is in the interest of the powerpc community that the port is 
properly supported in the installer.

We very much appreciate and acknowledge the work Sven has done in the past 
for d-i and the powerpc port in general, but the time has come for 
someone else to take over some of that work.
If Sven is the only person who can do the work, then that is a danger for 
the longterm continuity of the powerpc port in Debian anyway. In free 
software no one should be irreplaceable and history has shown that no one 

I will not deny though that this break between Sven and the d-i team may 
affect the support of the powerpc port in the short run. At the moment it 
seems that the prep and chrp subarches are most likely to be affected.
Note though that prep support has been broken since the beginning of the 
year; from my point of view mostly because Sven failed to keep up with 
developments in d-i and to address issues in a correct and timely manner.

> > What do you want instead ? That i bugger Colin to fix the issue,
> > while we all know he is busy ? That i send a patch to the BTS, then
> > come begging to debian-boot that it be fixed ? This would cause much
> > more mailing list traffic, and much more risk of annoying you, so
> > sorry, but your removal of the commit rights was ill-thought.
> Sven, while I understand your demand of clear rules,
> I cannot follow your conclusion out of this.
> (Means: I can imagine other ways of doing things in general.)
> > So, this is a first step, but i need more. I need :
> >
> >   - the commit access being restored.
> I have not read plausible reasons why this would be necessary.
> If the goal is to have a good installer and ppc port,
> other ways of collaborating could be found.
> It would be part of the responsibility of the d-i team
> to keep their part of the promises then.
> The post from Colins I have seen shows me that the d-i team
> is willing and reacted to Sven's hint.
> >   - an apology for the lack of decency this action shows.
> >
> >   - apologies for continual bashing would be nice, but more important
> > you refraining from doing so in the future. When i post, avoid saying
> > things like 'its the kernels fault' or otherwise indirectly pointing
> > the finger back to me.
> My suggestion for both sides is:
> * Do not demand appologies. Instead each try to be more clear yourself.
> * Set up clear rules and requirements of a potential
>   collaboration that others can understand.
> I have seen potential for this from all participants!

I hope I have clarified the situation somewhat and I really hope that new 
people from the powerpc community will get involved with d-i to address 
the current issues in time for the Etch release. If you would like to 
help out, please contact us on the debian-boot list.
The members of the d-i team generally considered to be fairly easy to work 
with and I hope that people will be willing to judge us based on their 
own experiences rather than on Sven's opinion of us.

Thanks for your mail.

Frans Pop

P.S. I will probably not be replying to any replies to this mail as almost 
everything has been said at least several times already. I really would 
like to put this behind us and start working on d-i again.

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