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Re: Proposal: s have a GR about the init system

Russ Allbery <rra@debian.org> wrote:
>Steve McIntyre <steve@einval.com> writes:
>> Bastien wrote:
>>> It seems that the tech committee is composed of two well known
>>> developers.  Isn't that biased? I mean do you see them voting
>>> upstart, I know that the decision should be based around technical
>>> facts, but that is not in their interest to vote against their
>>> especially since canonical is isolating itself from the rest of the
>>> community, so having Debian support is, I guess, really important,
>> -1, Troll.
>> Please apologise to the TC members immediately for your insinuations
>> of corruption, or go away and don't come back.
>Hang on a second.  I really don't think Bastien is accusing people of
>corruption.  Rather, he's saying that people have a conflict of
>And he's right; there is a conflict of interest.
>I think it's fair game to say that, and I think it's important to say
>that.  Governance processes should be open and forthright about
>of interest.
>Just because someone is conflicted doesn't mean that there's
>necessarily a
>problem, or even that they necessarily need to recuse themselves.  It
>depends on the nature of the conflict and the nature of the issues
>involved, what role they have in the decision-making process, and so
>forth.  But those conflicts absolutely should be acknowledged, since
>that's the first step in analyzing what action should be taken about
>if any.
>Free software communities tend to be small and very tightly entwined,
>conflicts of interest are (in my experience) common in free software
>governance and sometimes unavoidable.  That makes it all the more
>important to talk about them, be conscious of them, and decide how one
>going to handle them.  You'll often see people talk about taking off or
>putting on different hats; that is, in part, a ritual and mental
>that one has potential conflicts of interest and one should be very
>in one's own mind about what role one is playing at any given point. 
>example, I also have multiple potential conflicts of interest in my TC
>work: I'm also a Policy editor, which can be relevant when the TC issue
>an escalated Policy dispute, and I work for an employer who uses Debian
>heavily and therefore have an incentive to support things in Debian
>my employer would want to see happen.  Those are conflicts that I have
>be aware of and manage.
>There's absolutely nothing wrong with publicly discussing conflicts of
>interest and being aware of them, and reminding people that they do

I think that is all true and correct, but I certainly didn't get that from the original message. It certainly read to me like an attempt to undermine the legitimacy of any future TB decision in favor of upstart.  ICBW, of course. 

Scott K

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