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Re: Bug#797533: New CTTE members

+++ Didier 'OdyX' Raboud [2015-09-02 14:53 +0200]:
> One problem we have, I think, is that we allowed issues to get stalled 
> for quite long periods of time [0]. 

> What I really would hope new TC members could bring is more an ability 
> to react in bursts rather than a commitment to spend a fixed amount of 
> hours per week/month. 

A little perspective from an outsider who had cause to see the
committee's working this year:

Before interacting I had assumed that the CTTE was a powerful and
effective body within debian, to which you could go if things had gone
really badly wrong, and that if something was brought to the committee
they would take a look quite quickly and (in the case of something up
against the release deadlines) make a quick decision on whether X was
out of order or not.

It turns out the process is nothing like that, and indeed almost
completely useless for such situations. In fact nothing happens until
a monthly IRC meeting, where a backlog is considered. No-one has
looked at the new issue in enough detail to form an opinion, and ways
are looked for to see if the committee can avoid ruling by asking for
other forms of mediation.

This makes perfect sense from the committee POV, because making a
decision involves properly understanding the issue, which requires
time (possibly quite a lot of it), and quite often, asking the
parties to go and sort this out themselves is a sensible choice.

In the case of #766708 this procedure was not effective. The
maintainer's use of veto power days before the freeze effectively went
entirely unchallenged, and the complainants had to do a pile of work
to work around it and get something workable in jessie.

Ian put it quite well in

The choice in the related bug #771070 to make us go and argue it out
amongst ourselves was reasonable, and in the absence of the investment
of a lot of time to properly understand the issue, probably the only
realistic choice. So the process is working OK there, although there
has still been disappointingly little substantive discussion of the
_technical_ arguments, as was observed at debconf.

So what I learned from this is that, as currently operating, the
committee is incapable of making quick 'overrule unreasonableness'
decisions. My overriding impression was that those involved simply did
not have the time available that would be be needed to enable that.
Maybe no-one has enough time, and even if one or two members did, the
voting system means that quick decisions would require more than half
the members to be able to invest the necessary time for understanding,
which is even less likely.

So it would appear to be the case than a quick response is simply not
possible within our current structures? That is something to
communicate to complainants because I'm not sure it's widely

Don't know if that's useful info or not - you probably knew all that,
but hopefully it gives a little external perspective.

Principal hats:  Linaro, Debian, Wookware, ARM

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