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Re: Bits from the ftpmasters

MJ Ray <mjr@dsl.pipex.com> wrote:
> aj wrote:
>> If you want other people to do things for you in Debian, you need them
>> to want to do it, you can't just go around trying to make life
>> unpleasant for them if they don't.
> OK. What would make ftpmasters want to tell the rest of the
> project anything more about their work?

Nothing will make them. The right question is "Under what circumstances
would ftpmasters choose to tell the rest of the project more about their
work", and the likely answer to that is "One where they won't feel
persecuted as a result".

In general, as a project we do a bad job of communicating with each
other. The fact that we have poor information flow from the ftpmasters
to the rest of the project is obviously a bad thing, but it's
unsurprising that people don't want to get involved in public discussion
when it tends to lead to them being attacked. There's no way to compel
people to engage in acts that will have unpleasant consequences.

So, how do we rectify this situation?

>  1. use democractic processes to fix this;
>  2. make their lives hell until they talk or quit;
>  3. telepathy.

These all suck. Democratic processes don't carry any weight of
obligation on volunteers (especially under our constitution). The right
answer is "Make people stop bitching about other people so much", but
that involves that "Make" word again, so it's not really a practical

In the short term, the easiest way to deal with this is probably to have
somebody else mediate information flow. The DPL is an obvious choice,
but a more realistic choice may be to have people working with
individual teams and passing information back and forth. Separating the
people doing the job from the people providing updates removes the
direct criticism flow.

Matthew Garrett | mjg59-chiark.mail.debian.project@srcf.ucam.org

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