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Re: Senseless Bickering and Overpoliticization

Brent Fulgham wrote:
> David Bristel writes:
> > Now, while my input means absolutely nothing in the grand
> > scheme of things, I SUGGEST that we reorganize things a bit.
> > Perhaps with one person to organize each part of the distribution.
> > Base having one, Optional having one, Important having one.
> > While this may seem like it will fractionalize the distribution,
> > what it does is gives a smaller group of maintainers who
> > might be able to work together.  The project leader would then
> > work with these "leads".  People would still be able to work
> > together, but it would cut down on the bickering, since
> > the leads could then work to decide policy.
> >
> I hate to continue to invoke the model of the US government in
> an international body like Debian, but David makes some interesting
> points.

Yes. The american system of leadership is quite flawed. Perhaps in the
structure, or perhaps the structure is ok, but the leaders are ill-of-heart.

As much as it is dispicable, it is also true that quite a lot of under the
table, not by the rules, stuff goes on in american leadership today. I wouldn't
ever assume a system is IRL what it is described as on paper.

> The framers of the US constitution realized that a
> system in which every person had equal say in every decision would
> rapidly devolve into sensless quarrelling and fruitless argument,
> not unlike what we see in Debian today.

Perhaps with the advent of the internet in every home (some yadda yadda for a
utopian networked based society :) maybe there can be such a thing as everyone
voting or "polling" on every issue can be attained. But that is not widespread
right now. I think some cities do have voting online, but it is the exception,
not the rule.

I actually believe that having a system where EVERYONE has a say can work quite
well, if it is organized well... but then... the question is ... "Can we
organize OURSELVES well enough to allow this to work?" :)

> Instead, they devised a system of representative government, in
> which people elect representatives who are charged with making
> the day-to-day decisions regarding many issues.  Very important
> issues are thrown back to the people to vote on in some cases.

Ahh, levels upon levels of middle men. :)

> We really need a system of representative decision making in
> Debian.

Debian is still a baby. It has much room for maturity, and I think the Debian
leadership (perhaps all maintainers / developers are also leaders. :) will
figure out a solution that will work well. It's good that you voice your ideas.
Maybe the future of Debian "leadership organization" can be helped along with
such ideas, but it will take time. Too much change too quickly can destroy,
rather than build further. Keep that in mind.

> We are too far into the Bazaar mentality,

Maybe it only seems like it is "too far" but perhaps it hasn't gone far enough?

> such that no
> decisions are ever made,

Well, decisions have to be made sometimes to "lay down solid rules" for others
to follow, but it's best in my opinion to allow time for thinking, and debate,
so that not-so-good decisions can be avoided and allow for better decisions to
be made, that will be helpful to more people.

> and there are no responsible parties to
> decide when argument has been exhausted and *SOMEONE* needs to
> say "this is how it will be."

That's what we have Wichert, Debian Project Leader for. :)

He's steering the ship. He may not steer it the way you would down to the tee,
but the destination will be the same:

The best operating system environment "out there". :)

(maybe them aliens living on Alpha Centauri have a better operating system
environment for their computers than ours, but they haven't been kind enough to
give us a sample, so we are own our own.)

Wichert, takes us to the promised land... :)

Debian world domination or bust. (=:]

> While that may be distasteful to
> the true anarchist/libertarian types,

I am so liberal, just being in my presence gives you an extra boost of freedom.

Anarchist, I'm not. I prefer order to disorder. But not so much order that it
reduces the ability for harmonious diversity. :)

Harmonious diversity should be a goal of Debian. At least from my vantage point.
Allowing more than one way of doing things, and then leaving that up to the
individual administrators.

Sure diversity leads to increasing levels of dealing with the diversity, but
diversity is a good thing to have, in spite of the "extra cost" of keeping track
of the extra stuff.

> the increasing length of
> time between releases and the overall slow grinding of our
> organizational gears shows that something needs to be done.

Maybe the system is just so MAMMOTH and that is why it's is getting slower and
slower to integrate new things and ideas...

Perhaps streamlining can be done in certain areas.

> We should probably elect various persons in our group to be
> in charge of various activities or sections of the archive.

Delegation of authority, when done well can work. The delegates must be
trustworthy, and be able to conduct themselves in a fair way to all that their
decisions matter to.

> These people would then be a smaller subset of "arguers", and
> consensus should be more readily reached.

Hmm, sounds like congress. Let me guess, and then Debian will build up lobbyist

The Debian for sysvinit group

The Debian for bsd init group


That could be entertaining. :)

> I think this would streamline things tremendously.  I for one
> could care less if we use /usr/doc vs. /usr/share/doc, etc.,
> and would just like to know how our distribution wants to do
> it 

This particular issue depends on GNU/Linux distribution standards. One of
Debian's chief goals is to adhere to standards. The standard in question here is
FHS, Filesystem Hierarchy Standard ( I believe that's the name ). So the switch
from /usr/doc to /usr/share/doc is only a matter of following standards.

> -- and then get on with the business of building the greatest
> distribution out there.


> Why do we waste so much time on all of this minutia?  It doesn't
> amount to a hill of beans.

Well, everything matters... really.

We could all learn from Marcus Tillius Cicero:

Careful attention to small detail often proves superious to genius.

It's just that when the thing you're studying is really HUGE, there are lots and
lots of little details to ponder, and that simply takes time.


Native America: We are still here. We are still alive. We have survived.
We will continue to survive, as a proud people.

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