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Re: congratulations to our ftp-master team

[Thaddeus H. Black]
>     3.  If James' imperial rules are unacceptable to us, then the
>     alternative is to change the person in James' position.  It has
>     been years since any other option was credible.  We all know
>     this.  This means dismissing James from his fortified posts of
>     Project power---and accepting the potential consequences of
>     converting a powerful James from a difficult friend to a
>     difficult foe.

[Thomas Bushnell]
> It was my understanding that the new DPL would seriously consider
> this possibility.  It seems to have been simply ignored instead.  As
> usual.

I assume the DPL has been working in the background to try to resolve
this, as an public and open power struggle between the DPL and the
people in key privileged positions would soon become very ugly, and
affect the Debian project badly.  How badly do you want the omelet?
Are you willing to break the eggs, oven and the rest of the kitchen to
get it?

What do you expect would happen if the DPL team reassigned the
privilege of for example ftpmaster, system administrator or key ring
maintainer to other people?  The new people would lack passwords,
physical access and the cooperation of the original people.  The
current privileged people might refuse to acknowledge the delegation,
and ignore the new people and the DPL.  We could end up having to set
up a separate infrastructure for use by the new teams, while the old
teams keep the old ones, and in practice a forked Debian project where
some people keep working with the original privileged people, and
others work with the newly delegated privileged people.

This, I believe, would be the consequences of an open and public power
struggle between the DPL and the current key privileged people.  I'm
not sure it is a win for the Debian project on short nor long term.
As the current people seem to be reasonable people, I believe it is
better to start by discussing the issues and try to re-enforce the
teams with new people to take some of the load off these overworked
people and hopefully make sure we both get improved performance in the
areas were the project is weak, and increase what I call the bus
factor, aka how many people will have to be run over by a bus before
the process stops.  At the moment the bus factor is 1 or less for
several key processes in Debian.

I guess the first part of the solution is to get those in key
privileged positions to realize that there is a problem.  If they
don't, all effort to solve the problem will be in vain.  Next, one can
start to discuss possible solutions, and try to work out how to
implement one of them.  As all people involved have lots of priority
tasks on their hands, and I suspect the lack of transparency,
redundancy and accountability is not seen as a high priority problem
by the key privileged people in Debian, it will take a long time to
get to a point where solutions become visible.

(And do notice, I am not talking about James the person as if he was
the problem or the only problem.  I know James and most of the rest of
the key privileged people in Debian (I do not know them all. :) as
hard-working, overworked persons, and seriously believe they want and
need help in finding a solution to these issues.  Just "getting rid of
James" might not solve anything, if he is replaced with the next
well-meaning hard-working, overworked person. :)

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