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More polls and social pressure

[ Reply-to debian-project ]

Hi everybody,

given the size of the project, it's very difficult for any of us to
evaluate the popularity of random ideas/opinions in a short time frame.
Jeroen (jvw) recently conducted two informal polls (vi-tiny vs elvis, and
maintainer field for ubuntu) and I liked those.

My idea would be to officialize a "weekly consultation" of the developers.
Devotee (the voting software) may need to be modified to allow for several
votes in a single mail. Each week a mail to d-d-a would contain the
results of the vote of the previous week together with the new set of
polls for the current week.

Those polls are not fully crafted GR so they are not as binding as a GR
could be but they should give up a pretty good overview of the current
opinion inside the project (if each poll has been well prepared by its

The possible uses are very broad: for example, I'd tempted to start a
serie of GRs to officialize by the project at large some decisions which
have been implicitely taken. However I don't want to start that if a
majority of developers think that this is useless, so I'd like to have the
opinion of the project and I'd like to submit a poll. 

Any DD should be able to submit such a poll to the project.

That's so far the "normal usage" of the polls. But I may have found a new
interesting application:

In the light of recent events, those polls could be used to give a physical
reality to the social peer pressure that should exist on our mailing lists
(and maybe avoid going straight to extreme solutions):
[] XXX behaviour in thread YY is inacceptable
[] XXX behaviour in thread YY is borderline
[] XXX behaviour in thread YY is OK
[] I have no opinion, I didn't check
[] XXX posts way too much and he repeats his argument over & over
[] XXX should answer less frequently but with more elaborate mails
[] XXX posts many mails, but they are interesting
[] I have no opinion, I didn't check

The result of the polls could eventually be used by the listmasters to
take action if needed. 

This is a civilized way to define what *must change* and what is ok. If
you believe someone is misconducting on the lists, or is hurting the
project by his behaviour, just submit a poll and in the light of the
results, both sides will know what the project thinks (if enough people
take the time to vote of course).

The current limitation is that we probably ought to open the votes to a
larger group than the DD but we might start with DD only and check out the

So coments are welcome.

Raphaël Hertzog

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