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Re: [CTTE #746578] libpam-systemd to switch alternate dependency ordering

On 17 November 2014 05:37, Steve Langasek <vorlon@debian.org> wrote:
On Sun, Nov 16, 2014 at 04:52:37PM +0100, John Paul Adrian Glaubitz wrote:
> > A decision which lead to another great Debian Developer leave the
> > ship!
> > Great Work!
This demonization of the Technical Committee for doing their job under the
> constitution needs to stop.

I don't think a sarcastic "Great Work!" rises to the level of "demonisation".
> On Sat, Nov 15, 2014 at 04:16:28PM -0800, Don Armstrong wrote:
> > 5. We therefore overrule the decision of the maintainer of

I hope that he doesn't
actually view this TC override as an attack on the systemd maintainers. 
​... this is the TC providing technical guidance when
asked to do so; and if the TC comes to a different conclusion than a
maintainer who is acting in good faith, that is not an attack on that

The committee has five powers:
 1. decide on technical policy
 2. decide on overlapping jurisdictions
 3. make decisions on a requestor's behalf
 4. overrule developers
 5. offer advice

​The tech ctte could've addressed this issue by providing policy guidance or by just offering advice, and assuming that the systemd maintainers would act on th​e advice or policy in good faith. Choosing to override the systemd maintainers was far from the most friendly available option.

I don't think it's unfair to say that the technical committee is both the most powerful and least accountable group in Debian. Honestly I'd imagine most folks in Debian would expect anyone holding that level of power to act with a fairly high degree of caution, deliberation and, frankly, compassion for those who don't share those powers. Personally, I'd expect that power imbalance would imply an inverse courtesy imbalance -- that is, the technical committee members go out of their way to be considerate of their less-powerful co-developers, and tolerant of criticisms made about their actions.

Let me put it this way: have the four committee members that were on the upstart side of the fence considered asking for the demonisation of the systemd developers to stop? The committee could do that under their power to "make formal announcements about its views on any matter", and that might go some distance to re-establishing some trust. The systemd developers (both upstream and the Debian maintainers) certainly seem to have had more "demonisation" than the committee to me.


Anthony Towns <aj@erisian.com.au>

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