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

Steve Langasek <vorlon@debian.org> writes:

> 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.

This came up in the discussion over the delegation text.  I disagree with
this characterization of the Policy Editor role, and I think the other
Policy Editors also disagree.  I don't think we are just package
maintainers in the normal sense.  The debian-policy package is an artifact
of the process and a means for documenting its results, not the only
purpose of the group.

If debian-policy were merely a package like any other, then anyone else
who introduced a similar package into the archive would have the same role
within the project as the debian-policy package maintainers.  I don't
think this is how the project actually looks at the matter.  The Lintian
maintainers, the release team, the ftp-masters, and many other teams in
Debian take formal notice of the acts of the Policy Editors in a way that
wouldn't equally apply to some other package that people introduced into
the archive, and would continue to do so even if the results weren't
published as a Debian package.

> 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.

I'm definitely *not* doing a good job as a Policy Editor at the moment,
but that's neither here nor there.  :)

> 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).

This was basically the approach that I took in the delegation discussion,
and I still think it's basically correct.  The job of that role is to try
to document and coordinate discussions about the technical policy of the
project.  Formal decision-making in the event of a conflict rests with the
TC; the Policy Editor role is to try to dispose of the vast majority of
issues which do not require a formal discussion process or a vote.

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

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