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Re: Third call for votes for the debian project leader election 2006

On Mon, Apr 03, 2006 at 09:29:51PM +1000, Helen Faulkner wrote:
> Wouter Verhelst wrote:
> > Put differently, here are a number of questions you should answer for
> > this to have merit:
> > * What should a non-DD contributor be doing before we consider him/her
> >   eligible to vote?
> Well, presumably something that is equivalent (in effort?  in some kind of
> measurable results?) to the minimal contribution made by someone who is a DD.
> Which, in some cases, is pretty minimal, as I understand it.

Sure, some people with Developer status are pretty inactive. Those
usually don't vote, however. Also, inactive developers have usually been
active at _some_ point in the past. there's a difference with someone
who's attached one patch to one bug and now goes on to claim "I'm a
contributor, let me vote!" -- surely you understand that it's a bit
early for such a person to be given voting privileges?

OTOH, someone who's been very active as a translator for a few years
does deserve to be given voting privileges, IMO. Whether it be through
being given Developer status or through something else is besides the

> > * How should we link their key to their identity, so that we *know* a
> >   given key belongs to some non-DD contributor? For DDs, we know because
> >   we've seen their uploads. For contributors, we don't see their
> >   uploads, so we can only know through key signing, which is a weaker
> >   criterion (unless they sign their contributions with their GPG key).
> I don't have any particular opinions about this.  Surely if someone in
> the project has signed their key (or maybe more than one person?), we
> know who they are (at least as well as we know who anyone else in the
> project is)

Debian developers have gone through NM, usually by signing every mail
with their GPG key; if they've been Developers for longer than a few
days, they've usually also done at least some uploads with that key.
That allows us to link their *contributions* to their GPG key, rather
than just their name.

The same isn't true for non-DD contributors. There needs to be some way
to link their contribution to their key, IMO. How this is accomplished
isn't important to me personally, but it must be answered somehow.

After all, a name isn't enough to uniquely identify someone; as an
example, see http://www.volleyteam-roeselare.be/spelers/verhelst.htm --
a player in the Belgian top volley team of Roeselare (hence the URL)
with exactly the same name as myself.

> > * Should non-DD contributors be allowed to vote on just about anything?
> >   If not, what types of votes should they be allowed to vote on, and
> >   what types of votes should they not be allowed to vote on? Make this a
> >   clear rule, so that you can apply it to any possible and impossible
> >   thing we might have an idea about voting on.
> Maybe a better question is "would non-DD contributors vote on things
> that they don't understand?"

No, I really do mean "Should non-DD contributors be allowed to vote on
just about anything?" As an example, I don't think I'd be comfortable
with non-DD contributors to be allowed to vote on who gets to be DAM, or
so; not that there should be a vote on that particular subject, but you
get the point.

I don't have any problems per se with non-DD contributors being allowed
to vote on matters of purely technical substance. I am slightly less
comfortable with non-DD contributors being allowed to vote on General
Resolutions about "issues of the day", as per 4.1.5 of the constitution.
I am not comfortable at all when non-DD contributors would be allowed to
vote on subject matters that directly involve their status within the
Debian project.

> It seems to me that we are already in a situation where only the
> people who are really interested in, or informed about, a particular
> question are voting on it.

Sure, but that's irrelevant to my question.

> > * Should non-DD contributors be allowed to propose General Resolutions?
> Why not?

Because non-DD contributors haven't pledged to uphold the Social
Contract and/or the DFSG in any formal sense?

Because one of the things of being a Debian Developer is to show some
commitment regarding Free Software, which people who aren't Debian
Developers haven't formally done?

> > * Should non-DD contributors be allowed to nominate themselves as DPL?
> Why not?  Would someone who isn't maintaining a package but who is
> contributing in other significant ways, enough to think they have a
> chance of being elected, be unsuitable for the essentially
> non-technical role of DPL anyway?

The role of DPL is one that takes a huge effort and commitment. Do you
think it would be wise to have someone be a DPL who hasn't made the
(much smaller) commitment of becoming a Debian Developer first?

> > Hope that answers it,
> I think it raises more questions.  But this is a good discussion to
> have, I think.


Fun will now commence
  -- Seven Of Nine, "Ashes to Ashes", stardate 53679.4

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