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Re: Manifesto for the Debian Project leadership election - Ian Jackson

>>"Ian" == Ian Jackson <ian@chiark.greenend.org.uk> writes:

Ian> Bruce writes:
>> [Ian Jackson:] I'd like to have major political decisions (such as
>> the Debian social contract and free software guidelines) made
>> either by direct polling of the developers ... I also plan to
>> formally ratify the DFSG and social contract.
>> It looks as if you were not present at that time, but the Social
>> Contract and DFSG have already been voted on in a direct poll of
>> the developers. They ratified it by a large majority.

Ian> I was there, and participated in the discussion.  If you find my
Ian> postings you'll see that I argued for a change which did not make
Ian> it into the final version.

	*Sigh*. Can't we ever decide on *anything*? I think we talked
 about this long enough the last time around. No matter what the final
 document would be, there would be people who disagree with parts. I
 don't think we can ever achieve a true consenesus (where nobody feels
 a compromise was required) with the size we have now. If you try to
 please everyone, you end up with an unwieldy and fuzzy document. 

	We need something solid to anchor our distribution on, and I
 would not like to see this issue being reopened either because one
 persons changes did not make it into the document or someone feel the
 procedure culd have been improved.

Ian> At the time I was unhappy with the procedure being used, which
Ian> was basically that the developers were presented with the
Ian> leader's favoured version and given the opportunity to vote it
Ian> down or not.

	As I recall this, we had been arguing about it to no effect
 for days (possibly weeks), when Bruce stepped forth with a document
 that most of us could live with.

Ian> There was no opportunity for them to directly affect what the
Ian> content of the final DFSG was, other than by playing `defect' by
Ian> voting against the whole thing.  In the context in question this
Ian> was extremely unlikely to happen, because a `no' would probably
Ian> have been interpreted as a weakening of the hard free software
Ian> line which most of the developers seem to support to various
Ian> degrees.

	We had the chance. And in initial arguments, we did not come
 up with anything like the current DFSG. And Bruce did change the
 document due to public opinion.

Ian> I feel that this mechanism was (unintentionally) manipulative, I
Ian> and intend to provide a mechanism for such decisionmaking where
Ian> well-supported proposals for amendments can be voted on.

Ian> For the reasons described above I feel that the DFSG weren't
Ian> meaningfully decided upon by the developers - they just acted as
Ian> a rubber stamp for the leader's authority.  The developers were
Ian> asked for input, but there was no mechanism for _them_ to decide
Ian> the content of the DFSG other than for the leader to choose to
Ian> incorporate some of their proposals.

	Sorry. We are not sheep that ratified a manifesto just because
 the leadership said it was so (Is that truly your view of the
 developers? that we are so easily swayed?). And in something like
 choosing the language for the DFSG (or for the project itself), one
 needs someone to take the lead and create a document. It is also
 highly desirable that the person who did take the lead listen to the
 people debating the issue (I think that was done in far more an
 egalitarian fashion than most cases).

	If you think anything less than that can work, pray tell what
 is happening to the developrs xearth file whose copyright has to be
 decided, after I decided to step down from under? I wish that bruce
 had actually presented us with another yes/no option in that case
 too, since I really like the xearth proposal.

Ian> I therefore propose to put the DFSG through the procedure I shall
Ian> set up, after that procedure itself has been approved by the
Ian> membership.

	I think you should first find out if the membership want you
 to do this in the first place.

 In article <9001312222.AA20446@apee.ogi.edu>, mehuld@APEE.OGI.EDU
 (Mehul Dave) writes: I apologize for misposting this article to a
 wrong newsgroup.  It was intended for sci.philosophy.tech.  Sorry for
 the oversight.  Come, come; you needn't apologize.  News.groups is
 the very bastion of synthetic a priori judgments, so why not attack
 the Kantian beast in its lair? Mike Siemon, mls@cbnewsm.ATT.COM
Manoj Srivastava  <srivasta@acm.org> <http://www.datasync.com/%7Esrivasta/>
Key C7261095 fingerprint = CB D9 F4 12 68 07 E4 05  CC 2D 27 12 1D F5 E8 6E

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