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Re: The role of debian-private

On 09.06.2010 16:08, Enrico Zini wrote:

there is a discussion in debian-private about the role of
debian-private. There is nothing private in that discussion, so I'm
following it up here.

So, some people are advocating in favour of a private mailing list for
DD chatter. The fact that that idea is being very vocally pushed by no
less than two people prompts me to double check some fundamental facts
about the Debian project.

So, here's how, so far, I understand things are supposed to work.

We have a social contract: http://www.debian.org/social_contract where
we say: "We will not hide problems". This is generally taken to mean
that as much as possible of Debian work and discussion ought to be

That idea is violated, institutionally, in at least two points:

  - embargoed security issues, in order to be able to participate in
  - and debian-private, which is supposed to host discussion about
    sensitive topics, with the understanding that private discussion
    should be kept to a minimum and moved to public lists as soon as it's
    possible to do so.

My understanding is that the intention of the project is to keep these
violations to as little as one possibly can, and this intention has also
been reflected in the results of this GR: http://www.debian.org/vote/2005/vote_002

I used to take all of this as something obvious and well understood
throughout the project. So, if someone thinks that those assumptions are
wrong, I'd like to hear their reasons.

Hmm. I think you are confusing secrecy with privacy.
Embargoed issues should be keep secrets during some time, but anyway
IIRC debian-security is not more automatically forwarded to
debian-private, so I think it is not more a topic.

But the most of the mail in debian-private are about privacy, not
secrets so it is not IMHO a "We will not hide problems".

For privacy reasons we don't want to show all world about our vacation
dates and destinations, about health and children, about personal issues we have with other people (in and outside Debian), etc.

"discussion keep to the minimum": no, we are happy to help, to congratulate, to exchange beer meetings, etc to our fellows. But
still private issues, which IMHO it is not about "hiding problems"

I don't think traffic shoudl be keep at minimun, it is not a
important list. We don't hide problem, so important things are
send to d-d-a (which is the only required list for DD).

Personally I like also that "debian-private" carries strong personal
opinion (instead of public mailing list). We know each others and we
know how to interpret the messages (and IMHO the conclusion are inevitable pubblic, so also not hidding problems). There is less risk of forwarding a part of conversation which could give the wrong interpretation of personal opinion.

With such arguments, I think we can understand better the meaning
of debian-private and that there is not so important discussion in it.
(Reading your mail, people could things that debian-private is
an other (just joking) cabal mailing list.


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