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Re: Draft GR for permitting private discussion

On Tue, Jul 17, 2012 at 10:17:34AM -0700, Russ Allbery wrote:
> I probably should save this for the main discussion in -vote or -project,

Let's do that, and sorry for dropping this here, but having mentioned it
to Ian before, I didn't want for any of you to wait indefinitely for my
comment. So feel free to go ahead with the broader discussion when you
please.  I'll postpone comments to the broader discussion, but let me
point out a counterargument.

> The current wording, read literally, means that if I happened to run into
> Steve Langasek, say, at a social occasion, I am not permitted to mention
> network-manager and GNOME to him, because that conversation isn't public
> and that's an issue currently before the technical committee.

I would agree that if yours here is the common interpretation of the
current wording of the Constitution, then we have a problem. (It is not
*my* reading, but that's meaningless.) I don't think that anyone would
want to inhibit private discussions to happen at all. But I do think
people would expect them to be reported ex-post.

If you accept such a principle, you can have all the private discussions
you want at conferences with Steve and on a private usenet hierarchy
with Colin, as long as we agree on the fact that those discussions are
reported publicly where appropriate (e.g. in the relevant tech-ctte bug
log). FWIW, I know this is actually hard to do, after having noted down
on random notepads "discussed $something with $someone" over the past 3
years of FOSS conferences :-)

Note the above is nothing new and is just consistent with the well known
mantra that most Free Software projects try to apply that "if it didn't
happen on a mailing list, it didn't happen".

I think the above principle would address your infeasibility concern.
(OTOH I don't have at the moment specific answers to your comparisons
with how other similar decision making bodies work in other contexts.)

Stefano Zacchiroli     zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} . o .
Maître de conférences   ......   http://upsilon.cc/zack   ......   . . o
Debian Project Leader    .......   @zack on identi.ca   .......    o o o
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