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Re: IS hartmans a good fit for the TC

]] Don Armstrong 

> On Wed, 04 Mar 2015, Sam Hartman wrote:


> > I hope that we'll work with people to see other sides of an issue and
> > to help them make decisions more than we work as an appeal board.
> [...]
> > In handling the menu system issue, there was a question of how to
> > interact with the policy process and the claim that a rough consensus
> > had emerged in the policy team. The TC seemed to value technical
> > correctness more than the process.
> [...]
> > If true, perhaps that should be fixed. Regardless of whether that's
> > true, the TC can consider what came before and can choose to value the
> > effort of everyone involved in the policy process.
> The current state of this issue is that Keith is working with the policy
> folks to find a consensus agreement. I agree that the TC has been too
> slow to operate on this issue, but consensus is the direction that we're
> headed in now. But as is often the case, lack of free time is holding
> things up.

Consensus are at least two things: «Are everybody ok/happy/ecstatic
about this?», and «Are somebody unable to live with this
resolution». Those are different things, and I don't think we're
entirely clear on which of those we're loooking at.  AIUI and IIRC, Sam
has a strong IETF background where it's more about the second type of
consensus than the first.  (Please correct me if I'm wrong here).

> > However, there's a big difference between actively not not acting and
> > dropping an item through inaction.
> I don't mind if we decide to not exercise our powers in resolving a
> particular issue, but I believe TC should vote to resolve every issue
> which has been brought before it if the submitter believes that there is
> still an issue.

For some of those, maybe there should be an «This has been overtaken by
external events and the TC therefore does not exercise any of its powers
at this time», or wording to that effect?  I agree with Don that it
should be explicit that something is no longer an active issue that the
TC is (in some capacity) working on, but I don't have a strong opinion
on whether that's a formal «it's all good now» vote or a more informal
(consensus-driven process).

> In the most recent systemd resolution, I felt (and still feel) that
> doing what we did put the issue to rest, so everyone could move on.

FWIW, I was completely ok with the latest one, since it was basically
«everything's fine, carry on».  I find it, in general, easier to agree
with not overruling rather than overruling. Overruling means applying
large amounts of stop energy to somebody (or some project) and should,
whenever possible be avoided in favour of milder measures such as
mediation and offering advice.

> > Forcing everything to have a formal resolution (even if that is a
> > formal resolution to take no action) really gets in the way of helping
> > people out, building consensus, fostering communication.
> Maybe there is some middle ground here. I personally don't think there's
> an issue with people informally bringing an issue to the TC to mediate
> or assist, or members of the TC going out and helping, and resolving
> those issues without a formal resolution.

I don't think it's entirely clear to the developer population at large
how to do that and where the lines are drawn.  This should probably be


> It's probably my personal bias speaking[1], but in some of these cases,
> I'd still like to use the TC power to make statements to publicly
> congratulate and recognize the efforts of Debian contributors who
> resolve these issues through communication and consensus building, and
> specifically point out the consensus which they obtained.
> Admittedly, some of my desire to do that is to help show that the TC
> also fosters this kind of problem solving.

There's a (slight, maybe) risk of that being perceived as the TC taking
the glory for something that's being resolved by people more or less
completely outside of the TC.  (I see this becomes a bit hypothetical,
at least until we have a concrete case.)

> > To me this is more about determining whether we want similar enough
> > things to work well together.
> I think we all are interested in seeing Debian succeed, and working
> together to make the best Free Software distribution we can.
> We may disagree on how best to do that, but the very fact that you're
> willing to discuss, disagree, and still work together is why I still
> support you joining the TC.

No matter whether I make it onto the TC or not, I think Sam's a great
candidate for the TC.

Tollef Fog Heen
UNIX is user friendly, it's just picky about who its friends are

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