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

On Thu, May 11, 2006 at 06:22:29PM +0200, Frans Pop wrote:
> 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.

There was an easy way not to problong the discussion. Restore the svn commit
acces, which you could have done all those weeks ago if you had not been too
proud and afraid to lose face.

The DPL mediation failed. I don't know why exactly, as it was less than
transparent, and altough the DPL concluded you where right in removing the svn
commit access, he gave no reason why, and i believe that those reasons are
some none of you are proud to tell in public.

Anyway, the DPL mediation failed mostly because you refused any compromise,
unless it was because it was not a real mediation attempt, i can't know, i
have no idea of what passed between you and the DPL and delegates.

> >    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.

And i am afraid that you, not counting joeyh, vorlon and Kamion, have kicked
all fun of me working for debian over a year ago now.

So, basically, you are saying that it is better to get ride of me because i am
only one guy, and most importantly, i am not the one who has the power ?

> >    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    If Sven's commit rights have been revoked and he got "kicked out",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.

Err. There is no worse deaf as the one who doesn't want to hear. At least you
could be honest enough without yourself and don't use this argument anymore.

The chronology is as follows :

  1) i had personal trouble, because my mother was dying of breast-and-loung
  cancer, because she lived alone in el-salvador, working on humanitarian
  causes, and failed to come back to europe to cure herself because the work
  needed to be done. I learned about this around the same time Andres tried to
  kick me from debian, and traveled to support her and try to bring her back
  to france, to see if a cure was still possible. I was 2 weeks there, where
  she was without medical assistance, with only her husband and me at home. In
  the end we traveled back to france, but it was too stressful, and she died
  24 hours after arriving here.

  2) One evening, she had a severe respiratory crisis and almost died. This
  was a really difficult time to me, as any of you can guess, seeing some one
  you care almost die, when night arrives, alone in a home thousands of
  kilometer from your home, without real medical support.

  3) After the crisis pased, i went to read debian-powerpc to help take my
  mind from the situation, and escape some. I saw Shaymal having problems with
  d-i, and posting to debian-powerpc. I informed him that he should not post
  such stuff to debian-powerpc, mostly because i was the only of the d-i team
  following it, but directly file a bug report, or at least write to
  debian-boot or CC it. I gave some advice, but given the situation, it was
  ill advised. Shaymal did so. He or i CCed debain-boot, and he filled a bug
  report if i remember well.

  4) Within minutes, there was the immediate backlash from Frans, where not
  only he bashed on me as he used to do since some month, but also said it was
  all my fault, and it was an issue of the powerpc buildd failing, which i
  learned there. As you can guess i was in no position to do regular
  inspection of the build logs, particularly, since for some strange reason i
  have not yet discovered, the cron emails get rejected by my
  luther@debian.org address.

  5) Now, these failure came from an abi change in libnewt, which meant my
  auto-upgrade solution failed. The rest of the d-i team knew about this since
  a few days / weeks, but as usual there was no information circulating, no
  coordinated per-arch effort, so each porter has to redo the work each time,
  which is a lose of time. Frans perfectly knew i had gone off to care for my
  sick mother, and others too. 

  6) Once i received Frans bashing mail,  i wrote him a personal email giving
  him the details found in 1) and 2), and pleaded him to stop being so
  aggresive against me for a couple of weeks. Pleaded ? Begged would maybe be
  a better work. Then i went to bed.

  7) The next day, i saw a new mail from frans. Mutt told me it had been
  written a few hours after i sent mine, but Frans claimed this not being so.
  Anyway, The whole situation and this (maybe perceived) continuous bashing
  from frans despite my personal message was too much, so i wrote that
  'resignation' letter. The d-i tema chose to interpret it in one way, but
  what i really wanted to say is that i didn't want to be the sole responsible
  for d-i on powerpc anymore, and the one to blame in case of problems. A few
  quotes from the d-i team are particularly speaking here. During the
  Expulsion attempt by Andres, i was told from frans and/or joeyh that : 1) i
  was not indispensable, and 2) that debian would be better off without me.
  Given the way they bashed me, i wanted to see how this would work, and said
  i would stop to be the lead powerpc porter, maybe in clumsy words. I never
  said i wanted to do no other d-i job, and their action failed to take in
  account the fact that i had also other packagesi n d-i, not directly related
  to the main powerpc effort. Another choice quote from Frans, in real life,
  in Extremadura, i believe, was when we spoke about some brokeness of the
  powerpc builds, he said something along the lines "we don't fix it, because
  we know that eventually Sven will fix it".

  So, yes i resigned as lead powerpc porter, but under stress and moral
  harcelement in a particular bad time of my life, and guess how such reasons
  would be valid in front of a real live court, but i *NEVER* said i would
  not continue to do other d-i related work.

  8) Frans and the d-i team discussed this, irreespective of my personal
  situation that at least frans knew, they jumped on the occasion to get ride
  of me, introduced Colin Watson as lead powerpc porter, which hurt me, but i
  was positive and constructive, and provided the most help i could to Colin
  and wished him luck.

  9) at the same time, they decided to remove my svn access, without telling
  me, while at the same time they had 100+ user inactive since years (well,
  maybe not 100+, but many).

  10) a few days afterward, the d-i powerpc isos broke. Nobody noyticed,
  informed the powerpc users, or cared to fix the problem.

  11) after the funeral of my mother, and a little time away from debian, i
  slowly started again working on debian stuff, doing things i neglected,
  catched up on email and so on. I finally fixed the 2.6.16 mkvmlinuz support,
  and noticed the mails from another powerpc users which had trouble
  installing on a G5 machine. People where complaining since a couple of days
  about the broken isos on debian-powerpc, and i tried a netboot mini-iso
  install on a G5 box, filled an installation report, which included the
  information about the broken isos, was told it was because of the kernels,
  which i translated in the broken mkvmlinuz support. I thus decided to fix
  this (and yes, the mkvmlinuz support is my orginal code, so i guess that
  whoever is responsible of the powerpc port, i should be allowed to fix my
  own code, no ?). And so found out they had removed my svn commit access.

  12) At this point, i could have behaved differently. I am not sure what this
  changed, but after getting a rather agressive mail from frans again, it was
  too much and the rest is public. One point that plays against me, is that i
  don't believe in secret discussions in the dark woods, but in full openess,
  and discussed this in public. I also made my believe known to the release
  team that the powerpc d-i port was broken, and unmaintained since they
  kicked me out, and since a working d-i is a prerequisite for a RC arch,
  given this situation, my believe was that the RMs should remove the powerpc
  port from the RC arches.

This is what happened on my part, and i have no exposed all of it in public.
The other side of this dispute never was so straightforward, and never gave
out such reasoning at all. 

I also believe there is somewhat really broken in debian, if it comes to a
point, where DDs realize that there is something wrong with another DD, they
know he has a personal very grave problem, and use that oportunity to get ride
of him.

> We (I) revoked his commit access mainly because of the broken personal 
> relationships between Sven and other members of the d-i team.

Ok, now the real reason surface. Would it not have been an option to try to
not worsen that personal relationship as fast as you could ? Come on, we
worked together in extremadura, side by side, and there was no complaint.

> 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.

Ok. I think this is wrong. Who does d-i belong to ? To the small click who has
control of it, or to debian in general or the world at large ? Or maybe more
directly to the people who contribute, be they in good terms with you or not.

Also, i have never abused my svn commit rights, i may have done mistakes, but
never known abuse. IF you where figthing a social problem as you claim you
did, what did you expect this would gain you ? If you had chosen to ban me
from debian-boot, or other such, maybe, but this action of your could only be
interpreted as a blaming and hurting, and is thus an abuse of the power
enthrusted to you as d-i alioth admin.

> 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.

So, why not do it and be gone with it ? By your staunch refusal to do so, it
was you who prompted this.

Also, there needs to be a major change in your attitude if you want things to
work out, but upto now, you failed to ackowledge that the way you handled this
showed a complete lack of human decency. And i believe that this lone fact is
more hurtful to debian than any action i could have done.

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

No, you should have waited a few weeks and then judged. You should also have
acknowledged your own part of responsability in this whole mess. You should
have been at least honest with yourself, and not used arguments you knew where
undefendable if you go to the right of it.

> > 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.

Maybe you should resign from debian then, and be done with it ? Your attitude
has been no more exemplar on this than me.

> > 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.

It is not. It is only so after a humbling period, to make sure i am tamed.

Again, the svn commit access is used as  a tool to solve a social problem, not
as a way to solve a technical problem.

> > > > 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.

Indeed. See all that this brang ? I have seen this trend over the years, all
people involved in the powerpc port of d-i have slowly gone away and done
other thigns, this included Colin Watson, but also others that where active
2/3 years ago. I have done repeated calls on debian-powerpc, and encouraged
anyone who said he would help, trying to orient him in the right direction,
and CCing his mails to debian-boot. You (the d-i team) have been ignoring
those CCed mails as has been the case recently for ... until Martin noticed i
had tried to help him, and you where ashamed into action in order to not loose

> 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.

Why ? Because you are unable to work without bashing on me when i propose
ideas you have not the largess of mind to grasp ?

> 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 
> is.

Indeed. But this is also why i proposed technical solutions to make the work
of the porters easier, and to remove all the drudge work which is really
unessecary, and allow the porters to do the real work. This is also why io
proposed that the kernel .udebs pass under the responsability of the kernel
team, with nothing stopping you to become kernel-team members to handle them,
in order to not make this an uneedful double work. This is why i advocated
that a more coordinated approach between the arches, and not the current one,
where the d-i team only cares for their pet arch, and blames the porters
laziness, like Joey has done repeteadly in the past.

How was this received by the d-i team ? You personally lost no oportunity to
bash me for this, anytime it got mentioned, not on technical reasons, but just
because i made the proposal.

> 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 

Err, i made a prep install during february. It worked fine. The only problem
was with 2.6.16 based d-i images. So more untruthfullness in order to blame
me, and support your point. Could you not start to be honest and thruthfull
for a change ? 

> 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.

Indeed. So, my repeated tries to fix partman-prep doesn't count ? How typical ?

Also, this shows clearly the problem you have with the proters, they are there
to whip and slave for you, but there is no respect, and when they are in need,
nobody from the d-i team shows up, and proposed to give help.

And then you wonder how the personal rift could reach such points ...

> 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.

Yeah. I suppose you will find some other slave toget them to help, and blame
the lazy porters again if they fail. Already you have drafted in Colin and
Holger. Why didn't you do so earlier, when you saw i had trouble keeping out,
and more to the point, when you perfectly knew i would be mostly inactive for
personal problems ? 

This is as much your failure than mine, you are not worth to be leader of the
d-i project.

> 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.

Yeah, whatever. Maybe the fact that you have such trouble to find porters, and
the poor state of d-i post-sarge-realease speaks for itself, don't you think ?

> 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.

Yeah, indeed. You had many chances to do so, and chose not to. I made a
compromise proposal to the DPL team on april 27, and it was fullyignored both
by the DPL negotiting team and by you. Even Steve Lanagasek, when quoted tyhis
proposal on irc said that it sounded reasonable.

Also, anything has not been said, you have repeteadly decided to not reply to
the social part of the above, and how you could justify doing this during that
timeframe, irrespective of any kind of human decency. Anyone i mention this
part of the problematic too, is kind of replying with an ashamed silence, you


Sven Luther

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