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Re: Draft GR for permitting private discussion

Michael Gilbert <mgilbert@debian.org> writes:

> So, I had though these changes originated from the recent python
> maintainership conflict, and that was basically confirmed by the bof
> discussion.  The primary motivation for private discussion stated there
> was to be able to preempt potential flamewars (like the python
> discussion).

There have been several other (significant) issues besides the Python
maintainership conflict where people have contacted the Technical
Committee in private.  I think you're drawing somewhat unwarranted

> Flamewars are a kind of social problem, and historically the tech
> committee has been very reserved about intervening in those
> situations.

The goal here is not to intervene in a flamewar; the goal is to be able to
get involved *before* there's a flamewar and try to resolve the underlying
issue before it escalates into a personality conflict.

Please don't confuse this with the separate question of whether the
tech-ctte should get more involved in social issues.  This is an
independent question.  The ability to raise an initial question in private
is valuable for technical conflicts with a social component, where the
person raising the technical conflict is concerned that just opening a bug
against tech-ctte will come across as immediate escalation.  It can be
very useful to get a sanity check of one's reasoning before taking that
step, as well as assistance in how to word a proposal to be less
confrontational, and that's one of the places where I think this option
will be used.

> So, anyway, after all of that, I would actually rather see this GR go in
> the opposite direction and instead uphold the ideal of full transparency
> in all works of the tech committee.  I am not naive enough to believe in
> this cabal idea, but enforcement of transparency eliminates the ability
> for project members to even start jumping at the perception that there
> is one.

If you're a Debian Developer (I forget off-hand if you are), you could
certainly propose that.  For the record, I'm strongly opposed, for all the
reasons previously stated in this discussion.

> Anyway, I think it would be quite disappointing to alter our ideals
> simply due to a very small minority of developers exhibiting
> counter-productive behavior.

I completely disagree that this proposal constitutes anything of the sort.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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