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Making Debian work: a question of trust indeed

   Hi James,

   I hope that your current guilt-o-meter status will allow you to
sympathise with your fellow developers and their current feelings,
because I wouldn't enjoy an e-mail like this one either.

   It has come to a point where quite a few people I like and respect
are considering leaving the project out of frustration (not even
counting those who already did). They are not even trying to make a
point, or threatening to quit: no, they just have had enough and they
know it will be better for their personal health.

   You know as well as everyone else that you are slow in doing things
and that you work in burst mode. But whatever the reasons or excuses
can be, it hurts us badly, yet for the last five years (at least) there
has been no real sign of improvement, and that's the nicest euphemism I
can find.

   So, after having spent years wondering who you trusted enough to
help you into what you were doing, and today obviously failing to
make things better on your own, I urge you to let go the burden. You
do not believe in buildd co-maintenance? Fine, can't blame you. But
leave your buildds to people who do. You don't have time to create
accounts? Leave it to people who do. Leave the keyring to someone
else, really! Someone who doesn't need 2 damn years to upload a new
keyring package. If you are waiting for elmo-alikes to pop up from
nowhere, just forget about it, there aren't enough of them in this 
world. Please find *one* thing you still enjoy in Debian, forget
about the rest, and do that thing, but do it *often*, at a pace that 
satisfies people and does not cause our frustrated developers to join 
other projects.

   Because today, it is as if the project had outsourced its IT
management to you, an external, hardly reliable contractor: when was
the last time you took part in a mailing-list discussion? Don't you
feel more and more a stranger to the new, young developers who still
strugglingly manage to attain developer status these days? It's sad,
because you are obviously trying to make things better (the RT system
is great, allowing Peter to join DSA was nice) but they're drops in
the ocean. Honestly, a crucial question is now this one:

     Does the project still trust you?

   I know that forcibly removing any task from you will make you very
upset, and might cause you to stop any Debian activity for some time
as it already happened, or even leave the project, maybe taking a few
followers with you. Will the project be hurt? Certainly. Badly. But
for a few months, and then everything will be a lot, lot better. And
since the beginning of my term, the most hints have been that this was
the only reasonable thing to do.

   So, please let me know whether we'll have to fight, or if a few
things can still go smoothly. This is certainly no longer something
about which I can afford to wait 2 months between each answer from


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