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Re: Bug#224742: Related to this issue...

On Thu, Jan 01, 2004 at 10:24:49PM +0000, Colin Watson wrote:
> On Thu, Jan 01, 2004 at 04:59:42PM -0500, Branden Robinson wrote:
> > I am proposing a process for internal disciplinary action within the
> > team and suggesting a circumstance under which it might be applied.
> > You'll note my suggestion was phrased in the form of a question.  I will
> > infer from your response that your answer to that question is "no".
> I see; I apologize for the misunderstanding, then. (I took your question
> to be rhetorical.)

It can be risky to make assumptions about when I'm being rhetorical.  :)

> Were I to have a problem with a co-member of a team, I would find it
> much more pleasant, and probably more long-term productive, to resolve
> that problem by talking to them rather than by speaking of disciplinary
> actions as a first resort.

Yeah -- the trick is, nobody except you and the co-member really knows
whether the public discussion of disciplinary action *is* a first resort
or not.

Moreover, I think there's a lot of middle ground between using specific
disciplinary remedies as a tool of first choice, and not having them at

That I suggested that the BTS team come up with some internal
disciplinary procedures doesn't mean I think they *should* be used as a
first resort.

> Since I try to stay on at least speaking terms with people I routinely
> work with, this has never been a big deal.

If it's your contention that this has been sufficient to control usage
of @gFuckHeads, then that's fine, but I think some users of the Debian
BTS might disagree.  Some developers might, too.

> > You have every right to feel that any or all members of the BTS
> > administration team are capable of no wrong, and therefore no procedures
> > are necessary for correcting such wrongs.
> I take it that you're constructing the most extreme possible view; for
> the record, the premise isn't the only one that can be used to construct
> the conclusion. Another one, for instance, is "let's cross that bridge
> if we come to it".

We haven't come to it yet?  The events of October of last year don't
indicate anything in particular to you[1]?

Do you feel there is even a problem with BTS admins adding people to
@gFuckHeads on their own initiative without the knowledge or consent of
the other admins?  If there is, what was the "first resort" in that

(I should note, since I can hear the scarecrow being stuffed already,
that rapid, unilateral action on the part of a BTS admin should not be
verboten, and in fact should be encouraged should the BTS come under
spam attack.  I submit that a Debian developer who manually reopens of a
closed bug, even if it happens more than once, however, is not even
close to the same thing as a spam gun loaded with -done@b.d.o shot.  As
a person who has both seen a bug of his knee-jerk reopened time and
again, and who has some bugs that seem to be magical spam attractors, I
think I know the difference.)

> I generally find writing procedures before finding problems meriting
> their application not to my taste, and more likely itself to cause
> problems of morale than not. I guess this makes me a liberal. :-)

I guess that depends on what you consider a "problem" to be.  After an
unknown BTS admin banned a user from using the system, and even after
several weeks did not reveal himself or why he took that action (leaving
others to speculate instead), were I in your position, I'd be seeing a

That you may interpret the situation differently is a prerogative
afforded to you by your position, but the fact that there are
(apparently) still not even any ad-hoc policies[2] about banning users from
the BTS despite a second occurence with some outcry from the developers
being served by the system strikes me as an excess of what you seem to
be calling "liberality".

I generally find the protection through objective process of those
without authority or privilege from the excesses or caprice of those who
possess it to my taste, and failure to do so more likely to cause
strife, conflict, and sometimes violent change to the reigning order --
often to general misery.  I guess this makes me a liberal...

It is a conservative world-view that would tell us that that it's better
to do keep doing things as we always have.

[1] http://lists.debian.org/debian-debbugs/2003/debian-debbugs-200310/msg00002.html
[2] If there are, please tell me where I can read them.

G. Branden Robinson                |    If a man ate a pound of pasta and a
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    pound of antipasto, would they
branden@debian.org                 |    cancel out, leaving him still
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |    hungry?              -- Scott Adams

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