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Re: Services I'd like from auric

On Fri, Dec 19, 2003 at 11:20:15AM -0600, Steve Langasek wrote:
> That said, I think the impact of closing access to auric has been
> consistently understated because the effects of such access on the
> project's efficiency are both subtle and diffuse.  Above all, access
> empowers developers to find their own answers and seek their own
> understanding, which isn't something to be traded away lightly.  There
> have been plenty of assurances that everything on auric can be made
> available elsewhere through mirroring, but it seems to me that there are
> many other higher priority services to be restored before anyone is
> likely to worry about mirroring the archive engine.

Hear, hear.  It is possible that the people who continue to have access
to auric feel that developers already *don't* find their own answers and
seek their own understanding.  While I can certainly understand how a
person could form that subjective impression, how they would *know* that
is another question.  I don't remember anyone telling me how to use
madison.  I think I just kinda blundered into the suite of katie
commands on auric one day and tried them out.  I don't recall that they
had manpages or useful usage messages (of course, such things could have
been added long after I used them the first time, and with no
announcement of updates to the software, I had no way to find out except
to regularly try things that to date had never worked before.  Most
people don't form habits like this, except when they have no alternative
-- it's easy enough to not type "man madison", so that doesn't apply

> Locking down auric is a reasonable long-term strategy, but the
> short-term impact of locking it down *before* mirroring has been
> implemented is that the only people who can even work on the
> implementation are the people who are already the most burdened
> following the compromise; and that the only people who can get
> certain kinds of information to the masses are people that I'm
> (personally) reluctant to bother because they have other
> responsibilities to attend.  How big a deal this becomes is really a
> function of how short-term it is; but as a natural skeptic, I worry that
> it won't be as short-term as people intend.

Well, it's been over a month since the compromise.  What's your
definition of "short-term"?

I think locking auric down "on principle" is only sound if it's
consistent with a set of explicit system management principles that are
mutually agreed upon by both the administrators and users.

Needless to say, such a contract does not exist.  Well, there's the
DMUP[1], but its focus is on punishing abuse of the system by users[2].
As I said in a previous DPL platform of mine, in a plank that not too
many people seemed to care about :), the DMUP treats the users more as
wayward children than as the parterns and colleagues of the Debian
System Administrators.  That this approach doesn't appear to have been
viewed as particularly problematic by most users *or* administrators is
unfortunate, and I think we're now reaping what we have sowed.

[1] http://www.debian.org/devel/dmup
[2] The only concrete guarantee that the DMUP makes regarding the
    conduct of the system administrators is that any revocation of
    access will be explained within 48 hours.  At least some of the
    current BTS administrators appear to feel that that's a poor model
    to follow for our bug tracking system.[3]
[3] http://lists.debian.org/debian-debbugs/2003/debian-debbugs-200310/msg00002.html

G. Branden Robinson                |      We either learn from history or,
Debian GNU/Linux                   |      uh, well, something bad will
branden@debian.org                 |      happen.
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |      -- Bob Church

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