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Re: Process is no substitute for understanding

Manoj Srivastava writes ("Re: Process is no substitute for understanding"):
> Ian Jackson <ian@davenant.greenend.org.uk> writes:
> > I think that by biassing the system in favour of smart people we will
> > bias it in favour of good arguments and right answers.  Ie, we can
> > make the correlation between smart people and right answers work for
> > us by putting an expert in charge.
>    First, we have to figure out who is smart, and who is an expert,

Yes, we do.  We have to do that anyway, when we appoint (eg) members
of the technical committee.

>      Secondly, looking at what policy covers, there is no
>  such thing as an expert.

You're assuming that I'm suggesting that a single individual (or small
group) be responsible for the whole of policy.  But, I don't think
that's the way it should work.  I think that different aspects of
policy should be edited by different people (whether they are
different documents or not, and how to organise this with eg CVS, etc.
are organisational details that can be worked out).  Probably we will
need someone, or a few people, to act as the editor for the many
things that aren't specific to a subsystem, and to manage the

For example, take the Emacs policy.  I don't know very much about how
our Emacs installation system works, and if I were to be the
maintainer of the general policy manual I would probably make mistakes
if I just tried to decide things.

However, the Emacs policy was in fact written by the Emacs experts who
designed it.  I think that the Emacs maintainers should be able to get
together to discuss the matter somewhere (here would be good), take
input, have someone write the policy, and then promulgate that as the
Emacs policy.

>         I wouldn't wonder. But is handing policy over to people so
>  willing to exercise total power in the best interest of the project?

I think we should abolish the project leadership because we should not
hand over leadership to anyone who wants to exercise total power in
the best interest[sic] of the project.


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