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Re: testing committee email (and minor essay)

Since I started this thread, I guess I should tie some of it
back together...

Matthew Palmer expressed interest in the topic.  Certainly, anyone who
has useful advice or insights to contribute should feel welcome to do so.
And, I certainly wasn't trying to imply that people who read this mailing
list are somehow at fault for not contributing enough.

Instead, I was trying to point out that IF (and this is a big if), IF
many members of Debian as a whole feel that the committee members aren't
active enough, then we members should seriously consider stepping down in
favor of others who have more energy and are contributing more than us.
But my real point is that people aren't exactly trying to break down
our door to get in on the exciting work of untangling crossed wires.

Thaddeus Black raised the question of whether other people have issues
with the people or with the constitution.  I'm not the right person to
anser that, but I suspect the answer is: a little of each, but mostly
neither.  Ultimately, our purpose is a sort of "steam release valve"
and, for better or worse, we serve that role in more ways than one.

Certainly, none of the criticism have been very pointed at committee
members or at constitutional issues, though there have been passing
references to both.

Manoj questions some of the underlying assumptions behind my essay,
which is good.  Assumptions should be questioned.  That said, I'm not
going to answers those questions.

Bdale and Ian basically seemed to agree with with my points, and Guy
emphasized that our role is not to be some kind of replacement for
the DPL.  I hope I'm not cutting this too short, but I don't have much
more to say about these issues.

Blars objected, pointing out the tread
http://lists.debian.org/debian-ctte/2004/12/msg00000.html and indicating
that we didn't solve that problem.  It's probably worth noting that that
email message (and the responses) don't really identify any technical
problem.  There are certainly technical issues (one machine has a problem
with the volume of uploads), but most of the problem are organizational --
which are outside our scope.

We probably should have advised him to contact the ftp site maintainers
(I presume they're the right people).  But to some degree he was already
doing the right things, and we aren't really in any better position than
any random maintainers to give answers to the sorts of questions he asked
(about what he should and build, sign and upload).

Perhaps I'm wrong here -- perhaps administrative issues should be thought
of as technical issues -- but if so, I don't really think I should be
on this committee.  And, if that's the case, I think the constitution
should be revised to make this clearer.

As it is... presumably we should be more direct when we reject an issue?
[In that particular thread, I did write a "why is this a problem" message,
but I did not respond directly to Blars, but to a message written by
another participant in the thread.  In retrospect, I should have asked
what he thought the technical problems were.]

Hopefully that covers all the major points.  I apologise to Blars if our
lack of a clear negative response to his message meant he was waiting
on us to resolve the ftp administrative issues.



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