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Re: Reforming the NM process

> On 21 Apr 2006, Panu Kalliokoski uttered the following:
> > My main point is: we would do well to follow the same principle of
> > openness everywhere that we do on our mailing lists and BTS.  I
> > don't think it would hurt Debian.  Voting is also a way to make
> > contribution, and a much less dangerous one than the ability to send
> > mail to a broad-audience mailing list.
>         This is where we differ. A mail sent is just that -- an
>  email. Even a package upload can be reverted or superseded, and while
>  it can be a serious issue, it is reversible.  Getting a say in how
>  the project behaves in the future, or how the foundation documents
>  are modified -- there lies the core of the project, and anyone who
>  gets to have a say in it must have demonstrated something more than
>  mere contribution of free software: commitment, demonstrated
>  responsibility, and trustworthiness.

Hm.  But just like opinions can be turned and packages superseded, a
vote can be superseded by a later vote (if the vote didn't make later
voting impossible).  And all of these may have irreparable effects, like
changes in reputation, data loss on users' machines, glitches, breaches,
and quarrels.

>         In my opinion, voting requires far more responsibility and
>  judgement than maintaining a bunch of packages.

I don't think they're comparable.  I know people who do good packaging
but who I wouldn't trust to vote responsibly, and people who vote
responsibly but whose packaging I wouldn't trust.  In a similar fashion,
you're trusted to count the votes right but not to decide the outcome of
general resolutions on behalf of the project.  If trustworthiness was
something straightforward that one can have so-and-so much, it wouldn't
make a difference: rigging the vote and deciding the outcome publicly
give you exactly the same power.

I can see that responsible packaging and responsible voting do
correlate, but it's hard to say how much.


personal contact:	panu.kalliokoski@helsinki.fi, +35841 5323835
technical contact:	atehwa@iki.fi, http://www.iki.fi/atehwa/
PGP fingerprint:	0EA5 9D33 6590 FFD4 921C  5A5F BE85 08F1 3169 70EC

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