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Re: Debian needs more buildds. It has offers. They aren't being accepted.

On Fri, Feb 13, 2004 at 01:46:57PM +0100, Mathieu Roy wrote:

Geez, dude, learn to trim.

>    #4 Our Priorities are Our Users and Free Software 
> Is it just a pretext for non-free programs inclusion? I'm wondering,
> by reading so many times that only DD opinions "count for much".

Have you heard of "special interests"? It's the term used when a few
noisy people get the ear of some politicians and try to convince them
to do things that benefit them, instead of people in general. If that
doesn't happen, they complain loudly, and tell everyone that the will
of the people is being ignored.

You can't please everyone. Even if you do what's best for everyone, some
of them will be unhappy because they wanted something different. You
can please the vast majority of people, but some of the minority will
complain very loudly. On the other hand, you can often please all the
people who complain loudest without worrying about pleasing the majority.

My conclusion is that in order to achieve our goals of supporting our
users and the free software community, we can't give too much credence
to people just because they complain a lot. One of the ways in which we
do that is to say "it doesn't matter how much anyone complains; it's the
maintainers decision. if you don't like that, convince them otherwise,
prepare a patch, work around the problem, use a different program,
or use a different distribution".

> The whole point is way too much confusing. Someone wrote "People who
> aren't developers have less experience working with Debian almost by
> definition". What does experience working with Debian mean? Working
> with the operating system Debian or with the Debian community? 

Working within the Debian project. Knowing what tools and resources
are available, knowing what they need to do and what people expect,
and knowing what tradeoffs that involves.

> But what annoys me more in this discussion is the tone of the
> messages.

> Can't you keep off the discussion personal attacks? Can't you just
> stick to facts and avoid any comments based your very own opinions
> about others persons involved knowledge?

No, because my goal isn't to justify James and Ryan's actions --
I don't believe they need any justification. My goal is to try to get
this community to stop ceaselessly attacking the people it relies on.

> If you cannot, you do not deserve a position when you can decide who
> should be able to contribute or not. 

Really? Where were you when Chris Cheney wrote "the buildds FUCKING
SUCK! The buildd admins must be incompetent or on crack" ? Have you been
telling Chris that he shouldn't be involved in this thread because he
doesn't deserve to be able to decide who should contribute when because
he hasn't avoided personal attacks?

> You are proving that  "the people 
> who" should "do the judging are" not necessarily "the ones in charge
> of the area", because technical knowledge in no way means management
> capabilities. 

If you make the right decision, and are independently judged to have made
the right decision, but are attacked for it nevertheless, who is at fault?
You, for not fully persuading your attacker in advance that you're utterly
blameless; or your attacker for making an issue out of something they don't
actually understand?

If that happens repeatedly over an extended period, is it really fair to
say that the attackers don't have any responsibility to calmly ensure
that the wrong thing has been done before launching new attacks? Does
anyone else not have a responsibility to ensure that people consistently
making the right decisions aren't consistently attacked for doing so?

> Your attitude, from the outside, clearly does not speak in favor of
> Debian. It just looks like a miserable conflict of power which have
> nothing to do with improving Debian. 

There isn't any conflict of power here.

Seriously, there's none. I defy you to find any.

The problem that does exist is that people feel it's appropriate to make
attacks like Nathanael did through this mailing list. What options are
there, given that's the case? Ignore it and have discussions elsewhere?
But doesn't that just make it less likely that the project will
communicate well, and that there'll be more such threads later rendering
this list and others even less useful? Politely reply and do everything
possible to make Nathanael happy? Won't that likewise just encourage more
people to make similar complaints as they figure that's the only way to
get anything done? The only response I can think of that has any hope
of a good outcome is strongly opposing the existance of such threads,
and recommending alternatives, which is what I've done.

Again: if a developer thinks Ryan or James has made the wrong decision,
then they can present the case of why that should be overruled to the
technical ctte. If a non-developer can't convince a developer to do that
for them, then they should be ignored. If the tech ctte can't be convinced
that the alternative decision needed to be made, then there's no cause to
even consider withdrawing the delegation. Flaming people on -devel should
certainly not be the first port of call in trying to get a resolution.


Anthony Towns <aj@humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
I don't speak for anyone save myself. GPG signed mail preferred.

             Linux.conf.au 2004 -- Because we could.
           http://conf.linux.org.au/ -- Jan 12-17, 2004

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