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Re: Issues regarding powerpc and Sven

On Mon, May 15, 2006 at 11:26:09PM +0200, Sven Luther wrote:
> > The d-i team were acting under the belief that you no longer wished to
> > work on d-i after a number of conflicts in the past [0]; they then sought
> This may be true, but you have still not commented about the special
> circunstances involving this particular mail. 

I don't think it's relevant -- Debian developers should act in a way that
benefits our users and the free software community. It would be great if
that meant that Debian was 100% fun all the time, but sometimes that's
just more than we can actually manage.

> Why is everyone so silent about this part of it ?

Because we don't want to dishonour your mother, or diminish your loss by
reconciling it with Debian's priorities. You've been dealing with more
than what anyone could reaosonably expect you to recently -- and normal
people would respond to that by just not doing Debian stuff. That you
keep trying to contribute is only to your credit; but in so far as your
contributions are harmful to Debian -- such as posting that the powerpc
port is unreleasable -- we can't put our users' interests aside because
of your personal issues, severe as they are.

I was told this evening that you've also been privileged to have had a
second child recently; if I may, I'd like to wish you congratulations,
and express my continuing amazement that you have any time to spend on
Debian at all.

> Ah, i was lead to believe (from an email from frans i believe), that the svn
> commit removal was removed in early april or even earlier. I may be mistaken
> though, still, 

It's more likely that I'm mistaken; or that I'd intended to say "you
didn't notice for a month; but maybe it had already been removed earlier,
I don't know".

> there has been a huge amount of svn commit access who where
> left open for months (or even years) after they became inactive, so ..

Becoming inactive and resigning are different things. We generally give
people who become inactive the benefit of the doubt, and assume they
might come back. People who resign however don't leave any doubt.

> > That you now indicate that your intention had been to resign as *lead*
> > powerpc porter for d-i doesn't really change matters; you weren't clear
> Why doesn't it change matters ? 

You can't determine your actions based on what other people /think/, only
what they say and do. You said you were resigning, and didn't contradict
Frans' statement that you weren't working on d-i at all anymore. How can
it possibly be unreasonable in those circumstances to remove your access?

> Given this, how could you justify that this 'resignation' mail i wrote in
> response of another of those frans bashing was taken seriously ?

Personally, I would have taken your mail as "please try to understand
what I'm saying underneath the hystrionics or swearing", and assumed that
your resignation was serious, but any negative comments or predictions you
made were just in the heat of the moment, and done much the same as Frans.

> Frans clearly knew what was behind this, 

That's not true, I think. I'm sure you did everything you could to make
him understand, but I don't think it's realistic to expect him to actually
be able to -- your circumstances have been pretty severe, after all.

> and i have told to many others since, but it is
> clear this was of no consequence to the d-i team, and there i am humanly very
> very disapointed in them, or in frans at least, since the others didn't know
> unless he told them. This is a point i repeteadly asked you to clarify,
> and that was totally ignored by all i have spoken about. Can you tell me why ?

I've ignored it because I don't believe it's a part of solving this
problem -- and I might of course be wrong in that. In short the d-i
team certainly care that you're not frustrated and annoyed, but they
have to care more about producing a good installer for our users, and
at the moment they can't trust you to do that. It would be great if
they could, and we could all just work together as contented friends,
but we can't -- we need to re-establish that trust on both sides: on
your behalf by demonstrating you are willing to accept the d-i guys
will accept your patches or only reject them in favour of alternate,
better implementations; and on their side by demonstrating that they
care about powerpc and won't just ignore bugfixes because they don't
fit some overarching design.

I believe the process I proposed will allow that trust to be
re-established without relying on it already existing -- but if you
find it offensive and refuse to try it, I don't think there are many
plausible alternatives.

> > That means it becomes a question of whether you joining the d-i team at
> > this point actually makes sense on its own merits, rather than merely
> > as a reversion of a previous bad decision.
> Well, anybody expressing a desire to participate will be added to the d-i
> team, so why not me?

Anybody who wants to work with the d-i team is welcome to participate;
you've repeatedly expressed your discomfort in working with Frans and
other d-i team members, so until that changes you simply don't qualify.

> > Since both you and Frans have made it very clear you're uncomfortable
> > working closely with each other at this point, forcing you together
> > seems entirely inappropriate, and against explicilty expressed desires
> > from both of you.
> This is where you are wrong. 

The phrase you used in mailing me was:

"I do believe that the way the current d-i team is working is a problem,
and i don't believe that Franz is a good leader for the d-i team,
[...]  Furthermore he has had negative impact on other teams, like the
kernel team."

> I am honest enough, and enough dedicated to the
> debian project, that i will not willingly hurt d-i as frans feared, and this
> is a guarantee enough to allow my svn commit access back.

That's not for you to judge, it's for the d-i team, and they are not
convinced.  If you're sincere, then I think working with them via the BTS
and NMUs for a few months will convince them of this; but if you're not
willing to do that, and focus instead on posting to the lists instead
of working on code to improve the powerpc port, then I think you're
mistaken in your self-assessment.

> > > Further, i want to point out that i am the original author of both the
> > > nobootloader and prep-installler .udeb packages, and was also early involved
> > > in partman-prep (which is currently broken) package from Cajus Pollmeyer.
> > Note that your technical abilities are not in any question.
> ???

Your technical abilities are not in any question.

Frans, myself and others appreciate your experience, skill and dedication
in working on the powerpc port, and it's really annoying to all of us that
we've devolved into these silly arguments rather than working together
productively. Unfortunately just adopting the rule that "no matter what
Sven says, it's okay, he can get away with anything" isn't acceptable.

> My feeling is that we are all (me, frans and you included) making a mountain
> of nothing, and that it would be perfectly possible to restore my svn commit
> access without any problem for anyone.

It'd be perfeclty possible for you to keep working without svn commit
access without any problem for anyone too. That's not really the
condition that's important here -- rather it's that the consequence
of restoring your commit access would be that Frans, Joey, Colin and
others' contributions to d-i would be discredited in so far as they
aren't allowed to determine who they work with.

In this instance you've acted quite unreasonably -- albeit under
circumstances that would have caused the best of us to act unreasonably
also -- and it's you that should make amends for that, not Frans or
anyone else. If you're not willing to do so, that's your choice -- we
are all volunteers after all, but you can't expect that there won't be
any consequences to that choice.

> So, are we not all bored of this over-long thread ? Can we please come to our
> senses, and let everyone who want to do work do so in the most efficient way ?

The most efficient way to do work is to ignore anyone who disagrees with
you -- it saves a lot of time, after all.

It's not the best way of doing work, however, because it means you
miss the opportunite to benefit from other people's ideas. You've been
repeatedly demonstrating an inability to work through disagreements
with others in a cooperative fashion, and you shouldn't be surprised if,
as a consequence, other people stop letting you ignore them.

Fixing that won't be remotely efficient -- you will need to go out of your
way to prove you are willing to listen to people who disagree with you,
and that when that happens you will work with them to either ease their
concerns or produce a new, better solution. But that means putting aside
immediate "efficiency", which is something you've rarely seem willing
to do.

A good first step would be to slow down your replies to these threads,
for example by editing the mails you send two or three times (with ten
to twenty minute breaks in between drafts), or getting your posts reviewed
by people whom you trust, and who aren't having similar problems interacting
with people. 

A better step would be to work on d-i, the kernel or other packages in a
manner that doesn't involve getting upset when things don't immediately go
your way, and demonstrating a willingness to ensure that other people's
goals aren't being trampled on as you try to meet yours. If you aren't
able to find a way to do that without subversion commit access, I don't
think you'll ever be willing to do so, and I don't think it's reasonable
to ask people to work with you in those circumstances.


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