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Re: Small teams and other platform positions...

On Sunday 27 March 2005 02:10 pm, Jaldhar H. Vyas wrote:
> Employees maybe not, but the majority of the work in Debian is done by
> people who probably spend 20+ hours a week on it and if that's not
> professional it certainly isn't what I'd call amateur either.
> Then we have many DDs who just basically react to bugs in their packages
> but otherwise don't really pay much attention to project matters.
> It seems rather pointless to hobble the first class just to cater to the
> second class and equally pointless to make the second class have to jump
> through hoops just because the first class can.

I'm not sure we are working with the same definitions of first and second 
class. I am talking about the difference between developers who can fly to 
several meetings a year and developers who cannot. 

> Well, it's related because as you can tell, I think trying to keep Debian
> the way it used to be is a dead end.  So the task becomes one of triage.
> How can we preserve all the good things such as democracy and openness in
> the new order?  I don't claim to have all the answers but I think this is
> a promising avenue for discussion.

In your mind how did Debian "use to be" and what has changed now?

> Yes there should be accessible documentation for what all the teams are
> upto and electronic systems could automate a lot of that. But eventually
> someone has to monitor the electronic systems and then we are right back
> to square one.  Only those with an inordinate amount of time will be able
> monitor everything.  Those without time will have to choose the particular
> bits they are informed about and will be at sea and unhelpful on the bits
> they don't know about.

My point is that you can monitor an electronic system *remotely* which is much 
easier for someone who can't fly to 3 or 4 strategic Debian business meetings 
a year.

> Come on let's be realistic now.  There's no guarantee but people _are_
> nice at face-to-face meetings.

Now, why don't you be realistic? Physical meetings are not a silver bullet for 
making people play nicely together. Most disagreements have some 
philosophical basis that is orthogonal to the communications medium.

> You missed the low-intensity part.  In fact it is basically the idea
> behind the US consitutions systems of checks and balances.  Or
> alternatively look at the Mafia's system which by "organizing"  crime
> actually substantially reduced the amount of killing and risk to innocent
> bystanders.  Yet the tribal nature of the Mafia family prevented the
> "commission" from degenerating into a bureaucracy -- which is just as
> inimical to liberty as anarchy.

Petty street crime is "low intensity" when compared with a full-scale war but 
I think the analogies are not serving us. If you are saying that an 
equilibrium of competing small organizations is the most free and efficient 
system then I think we agree. One key is to avoid the creation of oligopilies 
or monopolies. That is exactly why I'm against these physical meetings for 
decision making.

Ean Schuessler, CTO
Brainfood, Inc.

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