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Bug#727708: Both T and L are wrong, plea for something simpler

On Sat, Feb 08, 2014 at 06:15:52PM +0100, Kurt Roeckx wrote:
> On Sat, Feb 08, 2014 at 05:45:19PM +0100, Bill Allombert wrote:
> > On Fri, Feb 07, 2014 at 10:13:52PM +0100, Kurt Roeckx wrote:
> > > On Fri, Feb 07, 2014 at 11:04:12AM -0800, Russ Allbery wrote:
> > > > "Didier 'OdyX' Raboud" <odyx@debian.org> writes:

> > > > > Back then, the gnome maintainers added a dependency on another
> > > > > package, which happened to be providing an /sbin/init.  This was
> > > > > allowed by the Debian Policy of the time as well as by the Debian
> > > > > archive.  The maintainers of the Policy maintainers haven't tried
> > > > > to rule on this at all since then.  How is this matter now
> > > > > magically taken off the Policy maintainers' hands (while it _is_ a
> > > > > matter of Policy) and become a matter for the technical committee?

> > > It would be nice that other members from the policy tean could
> > > agree to that.

> > The policy maintainers job is to maintain the policy document, not
> > to adjudicate conflicts. 

> I would have to disagree with that.  The recent delegation among
> other things says "defines [...] technical requirements that all
> packages must satisfy".  What the ctte here wants to do is set
> policy about having a Depends on an init system.  Under the
> delegation I think this is something for the policy editors to
> decide.

I question the whole notion of DPL delegation of policy powers to the policy
editors.  The power to decide the contents of the debian-policy package
follows from their status as package maintainers; package maintenance is not
something that I believe it's in the purview of the DPL to delegate.

What happens if the TC disagrees with the DPL's choice of policy
maintainers, and exercises its power under 6.1.2 to name different package
maintainers?  Since this is a power expressly given to the TC, I think a
consistent interpretation of the constitution requires that the DPL does not
have the authority to make such a delegation.  The alternative
interpretation is that we have a baked-in constitutional crisis, which I
don't believe is the intent.

I'm not arguing that I don't think the policy editors are doing a good job -
I'm grateful to them for the work they do.  But constitutionally, I think
the DPL doesn't have any authority to delegate the power to decide technical
policy (which is a power reserved to the TC in the absence of consensus),
only the power to act as recognized facilitators for policy discussions
(i.e., the previous delegation that was in place).

> What is going on here is that as policy editors you need to set
> policy and that the ctte here is setting policy instead of you.
> The question has been asked that it is at this time allowed for
> them to do so.  It's not up to the ctte to do detailed design
> work, and that they should decide between the options discussed
> somewhere else if they can not come to a consensus.  It has been
> argued that this has not been discussed somewhere else, and so
> that it's not yet up to the ctte to decide this.

> What I understand that Russ is now saying is that if this was
> brought to the policy team, he would refer it to ctte.  As
> delegate he can decide this on his own, but it would be nice
> that the other delegates didn't disagree with that.

This much is reasonable, whether the policy editors' authority is delegated
or not.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

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