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Re: It has come to this...

(This was sent to debian-devel, not debian-announce)

On Fri, 1 Apr 1994 imurdock@gnu.ai.mit.edu wrote in debian-announce:

> [...]
> I'm going to take a break.  I can't do it anymore.

Personally, I'm amazed Ian managed to do it for this long.

> Debian is my ``baby'', and it pains me greatly to have to do this.
> But I have no other choice.  My role in the project is going to have
> to be significantly reduced.  There is absolutely no way that I can
> continue to do what I have been doing.  This is a major setback for
> the project, but it _can_ survive.  I will continue to contribute to
> it as much as my time allows and to help organize it as best I can.
> But the days of Ian-centralized releases are over.  Please show me
> that the group development of Debian I envisioned can work.  If
> everyone can do their part we can get back on track.

Debian has come as far as it has mainly through Ian's efforts.
Besides the considerable personal technical and administrative
work he has done, he has been the glue which held the rest of
us together and, as the father of debian, he has assumed the
role of "head of household".  Where arbitration was needed,
he has arbitrated.  When we were hopelessly indecisive as a
group over several matters, he dictated solutions.  Without
that, we wouldn't have gotten nearly this far.

Much as I dislike and ridicule management-concept-of-the-week thinking,
there's one management concept currently in vogue which I think is very
valuable and which applies directly to this situation.  That's the
concept of "ownership".  Debian needs an "owner".  I don't think
group-think is going to get the system done.

Personally, I'd like to see Ian shed most of his hands-on technical
and administrative workload and continue as "owner".  failing that,
perhaps Ian can designate a successor, or perhaps Ian and several
(two or three, perhaps) others of his choosing can take joint
"ownership" of debian (debating among themselves offline, and presenting
a united position to the rest of the group).

Some short-term issues which need to be addressed are:

    Ownership needs to be decided and agreed to.  Top priority.
    If Ian doesn't continue in an ownership capacity, I'm hoping
    that he will help the rest of us through this step.  Ian?

    Ian published preliminary packaging guidelines some time ago,
    saying that some things therein would change.  Final packaging
    guidelines need to be published so packaging by maintainers can

    Sources or pointers to sources need to be distributed to package
    maintainers who need them so packaging can proceed according to
    these guidelines.

    0.92beta needs to be released.  What percentage of this will come
    from sources with established package maintenance arrangements is
    in question at this point.

> Please don't flame me for my decision.  I wish I didn't have to make
> it.

No flames in sight.

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