Debian should have a weekly debate
I really believe Debian would benefit if they had a weekly debate. I
understand you debate on things you are voting on, but I think it could be
better if you debated on general concerns. I was reading the "Why Ubuntu has
all the ideas" thread and think two things were apparent.
First- Many wrote quick feelings out of impulse. Often, they had good ideas
they wanted to express, but because of impulse, said them in ways that were not
the most productive. Many were accused of being trolls or making personal
attacks because of this.
Second- Many people had a few issues that they so deeply wanted to express
that they couldn't hold back, even though it may cause an argument. I don't
think this is a bad thing, but it does to me show many have issues they would
like to be discussed.
This leads me to believe one of the best things the Debian project could
adopt is a weekly debate. This is really healthy for a society, I hope you take
the idea seriously. Every day when I watch CNN they have a panel of people
debating key issues which need to be addressed. Whenever I come away from one
of those debates, I know I am better informed, and better able to contribute to
society in a productive way. I think this will also hold true for all the
This is what needs to happen, two weeks before a debate there needs to be a
topic announced and a call for volunteers. There should be 3-4 people who feel
passionately about the issue who should volunteer. Then they should have two
weeks to draft a statement, about 1-3 pages long about how they feel about the
subject. During the two weeks they could privately collaborate with others for
advice. After two weeks the volunteers would release their statements on a
debian-debate mailing list or something. They should then have 48 hours to
officially respond to the other statements. Then it should be open floor where
all the devs comment and each of the statements and rebuttals. That could last
a few days. Then the next week it starts again. (Obviously if you have two
weeks to prepare but the debate happen each week they would have to slightly
stager over each other.) *These debates should not happen on IRC. If feelings
are too deep out of impulse things will be said that shouldn't be said*
I really believe this will allow those who feel passionately about a subject
to have a voice, and allow time and contemplation so that there aren't abrupt
statements that are too impulsive and not that informative. It takes time to of
ten draft a statement that articulates your thoughts in a way that is best said.
Again there could be some private collaboration.
Obviously the topics should not be things like: Should Debian squash bugs?
Should Devs continue to use the command line? Those are pointless. How about
things like some of the main topics in the "Ubuntu" thread.
How do you feel about the innovation level and direction in Debian? What
should stay the same, and how should things be changed?
Should there be only individual maintainers of important packages or should
they be done in teams? Or should there be a central source that all Developers
touch, or should maintainers have a more "you worry about your package,
and me mine" attitude? Or is there a better middle ground?
How well is Debian catering to the Desktop user? Should more be done, less,
or are things just fine? Or maybe in some way should things be done different?
I am not saying these are the best topics, but I think you get the idea. I
just really feel some healthy debate would be beneficial for Debian. It would
keep everyone more informed on key issues, and would allow people who feel
passionately about the subject to get it out in an intellectual manner. It will
also get discussion about things that really need to be discussed, but people
are afraid to bring up because feelings run high.