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Re: Re: Re: [CTTE #614907] Resolution of node/nodejs conflict

On Mon, Jul 23, 2012 at 09:08:25AM +0100, Lars Wirzenius wrote:
> Yes, conflicts certainly are inevitable. When they escalate to the second
> highest decision-making body in the project, which makes a decision,
> that is clearly important enough that it warrants an announcement to
> the entire membership of the Debian project.

I agree.

> an analogy with the legal system may make things clearer: the press does not
> announce every decision made by every judge in a court of law, but it does do
> so for every decision made by the supreme court, whether the case as such is
> of general interest or not.

I doubt that's true, though (unless one includes specialized press such as
SCOTUSblog in the US).  In any case, the analogy is faulty: it's not like the
Supreme Court buys advertisements (or compels publication of stories about its
decisions) - it just puts the decisions out there where journalists can see
them and allows them to pick and choose stories that would interest their

The main reason I think the TC should continue posting their decisions to d-d-a
is that their decisions are exceptions to the usual Debian decisionmaking.
Each one of them should evoke a sense of shock - why didn't the usual processes
work in this case?[*] - and they cannot do that if they are not widely
published.  A policy of posting all such decisions to d-d-a also gives the
developers a sense of how frequent such exceptional cases are and serves as a
crude measure of project health.  Even a conspicuous absence of such postings
would be significant, as it's a bit like a body temperature: too hot is a sign
of illness, but too cold also signifies that something's not right (usually the
thermometer has broken down).

There's also the aspect of oversight by the developers by way of general
resolution, but I think that is a minor issue.  If the TC makes such a bad
decision that it warrants reversal by GR, the developers who were party to the
dispute are quite able to make the case known even if the TC's decisions
weren't widely known in general.  (As a matter of personal policy, I would vote
to affirm the TC's judgment even if I disagreed with it, unless it's grossly
irregular or grossly broken.)

[*] In the past, when I wasn't lurking on the -ctte mailing list, each decision
I became aware was indeed a shock to me, and I went to the archives to see what
had happened.  Now I watch the horrors live :-)

> the total volume of supreme court decisions is quite low.

Not quite.  Although the US Supreme Court issues less than a hundred merits
decisions a year, they make a lot more summary decisions (mainly denial of
certiorari - they exercise their discretion not to hear a case) each year, most
of which even the courtwatcher press does not note.  The numbers are similar, I
believe, for the Finnish Supreme Court.

Antti-Juhani Kaijanaho, Jyväskylä, Finland

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