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Re: Thoughts on Debian quality, including automated testing

On Wed, Dec 21, 2005 at 12:23:32PM +0100, Thomas Hood wrote:
> I would support requiring team maintainership because TM will be
> beneficial in almost all cases and making it a requirement it cuts off a
> lot of useless discussion.

Cute theory, gaping hole. Making a group of people responsible for
something, rather than a single person, means that they can all spend
all their time passing the buck and hoping that one of the others
takes care of it, with the result that nobody does.

Debian is a great example of this problem in practice. Most of the
more significant teams show this problem to one degree or
another. Common places where it appears are ftp-master, debian-admin,
and scud. You get a lot of people able to meddle with something but
none of them responsible for actually seeing that it gets done - and
so some of it just doesn't get done.

The NEW queue used to get backed up all the time for exactly this
reason. The problem went away when one person became responsible for
processing it. Replacing teams with individuals usually works better,
where it's actually possible. When it isn't, you probably need to
break up the task more until it is.

We would all be much worse off with the abolition of individual
responsibility. If I were feeling in a conspiracy-theorist mood then
I'd suggest that those who are promoting team maintainance are trying
to gain power while evading responsibility. But frankly I think that's
giving them too much credit.

  .''`.  ** Debian GNU/Linux ** | Andrew Suffield
 : :' :  http://www.debian.org/ |
 `. `'                          |
   `-             -><-          |

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