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

Wouter Verhelst <wouter@debian.org>
> They don't need to be in the web of trust to affect those issues. They
> can just step in and do something.

This is often overlooked as a form of democracy. It's a bit brutal,
but can be useful.

> [...] and b) there is no clear-cut and
> objective criteria currently to identify those people who do make
> regular contributions without being a developer.

Unless something has changed since I last looked, the NM process
was hardly clear-cut or objective either.

> 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?

Making a worthwhile contribution to the project. Interestingly,
self-censorship by non-members allows projects such as Indymedia
to function with much weaker membership qualification than debian.

> * 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).

We should see submissions by contributors and those could be signed.

> * 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.

- Appoint or recall the Project Leader.
- Override any decision by the Project Leader or a Delegate.
- Override any decision by the Technical Committee.
- Issue, supersede and withdraw nontechnical policy documents and statements.

I exclude the power to amend the constitution, which they've
agreed to even less than developers. All of the others affect
the work done by contributors in some way, so I think there's
an argument for giving them a voice. Maybe one or more of the
above should be subdivided, but I'm not sure.

> * Should non-DD contributors be allowed to propose General Resolutions?

Only ones that they can vote on.

> * Should non-DD contributors be allowed to nominate themselves as DPL?

No, it should require a number of seconds.

Kevin Mark <kmark@pipeline.com>
> [...] But if there
> was a vote on say 'should debian create a new irc channel for mutt
> users' or 'what applications should be translated first for the urdu
> desktop?' or 'what is the number one thing that debian users want for
> etch?'  Then would a user need to be in the Debian web of trust to
> affect those issues? What would be required, short of joining the web of
> trust?

All of the above seem like JFDI ("Just F Do It") issues, not
requiring a vote.

Frans Pop <aragorn@tiscali.nl>
> [...] If you do get more involved, you may want=20
> to read the Debian Constitution and Social Contract too. That would have=20
> given you the correct information regarding the democratic processes=20
> within Debian.

Except for the situations where they are ignored. I thought some
DDs claimed never to have agreed to those processes because they
predate the NM process: am I mistaken?

Manoj Srivastava <srivasta@debian.org>
>         Far from it being a known bug, I don't think it is a bug at
>  all.  There has to be some criteria for allowing people decision
>  making powers in the project (conducting the vote on slashdot would
>  be unacceptable to most people).

There is a space between "only uploaders may vote" and "everyone
may vote". Also, I believe non-uploading contributors also have
some responsiblity for the operating system debian distributes,
so they should have some decision-making role. Arguably, they
already do, but what weight should that role carry?

>  [...]  Becoming a DD also entails a level of commitment tot he
>  project that a casual contributor has not made.

Is anyone suggesting casual contributors get the vote? There are
some long-term contributors who do not have the vote and seem
unlikely to get through the current NM process: it's hard enough
for package maintainers with years in the free software scene
who get left in DAMnation for many months while they are quizzed
repeatedly over whether they know the difference between free beer
and free speech.

It may be that there needs to be clearer information for l10n
teams about who can become DDs and how, but I thought there was
resistance to non-uploading DDs. Did I misunderstand?

Best wishes,
Laux nur mia opinio: vidu http://people.debian.org/~mjr/
Bv sekvu http://www.uk.debian.org/MailingLists/#codeofconduct

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