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Re: Bits from the ftpmasters

On Sat, Feb 19, 2005 at 01:20:09PM +0000, Matthew Garrett wrote:
> 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
> option.

To the extent that this reduces to "make people go away if they are
unwilling to respect their fellow developers", I believe it *is* an option.
Convincing people to stop bitching of their own accord is a *better* option,
but I think we as a community need to deal honestly with the possibility
that some people do not advance the goals of the project with their
involvement.  (As distinct from people not advancing the goals of the
project through their *lack* of involvement, which as has been pointed out
repeatedly is everyone's right.)

> 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.

Sure, why not?  Let's give it a try.  I am not an ftpmaster, but through
personal conversations I know that:

- most processing of the NEW queue has of late been done by a single
ftpmaster, who has not been actively doing NEW processing this year.  I
don't know the reason, and haven't asked; I assume that he has succumbed to
real-world time constraints, and that the other ftpmasters are aware of

- another ftpmaster has been moving house this month, with much of the usual
network-related pain and anguish that goes with it.

- the ftpmasters are generally aware that there is a manpower problem here,
as some consideration has been given to a candidate for augmenting the
existing team.  I don't know if there is currently a timeline for confirming
him as an ftpmaster, or what steps lie between now and final approval, but
the ftpmasters have certainly not been sitting idly by waiting to be flamed
before taking action.

So, does this quench the flames, or fan them?

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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