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Re: Re: xth wrap-up about statement on diversity, statement may be issued without general resolution

Le Sat, Apr 21, 2012 at 05:27:22PM +0200, Stefano Zacchiroli a écrit :
>  By the letter of the Constitution, the DPL cannot bless the diversity
>  statement as a position statement of the Project, even if there is
>  consensus on it. Nor can Developers as a whole, unless they vote, no
>  matter the consensus. [*] That is a pity in this specific case, as it
>  imposes the use of a bureaucratic procedure in one of the (rare)
>  occasions where it could have been avoided. But dura lex, sed lex.

Hi Stefano,

does the diversity statement really need to be stamped « position statement » ?

In my understanding of the Constitution, it is totally acceptable to write on
our website that we welcome everybody, without voting a GR.  What would require
a GR would be to write that it is Debian's position that we welcome everybody.

The section 4.1.5 does not give much cues to draw the line between what is a an
« issue of the day » and what is not.  How about taking « position statement »
, « Debian's position » and similar qualifiers as indicators that a text was
voted in a GR, and correcting our website where it is not the case, rather than
voting a text that, thanks to the patience of Francesca, become a non-issue ?

The problem with a strict interpretation of the Constitution is for instance
that there are other documents in a somewhat similar case as the diversity
welcoming message, like the « Debian Position on Software Patents ».

It would be inconvenient and illogical that the texts that fall under the
section 5.1.4 (The Project Leader may make any decision for whom noone else has
responsibility) would not need a GR, while the diversity message would need
one, because it is a statement that underlines an existing situation rather
than being a decision.

I don't understand much from the last paragraph, but I otherwise agree with Charles. If we're not going to have a GR, that doesn't mean we can't ask everyone to help, it merely means we can't send the call for help as an official message with a "Debian project position statement" stamp.

The way I see it, our contributors are far from being representative of the world population's diversity. They're also far from being representative of people who have the talent needed/ideal to contribute. Nor even representative of people with the talents and skills (knowledge/experience) wanted. I think nobody disagrees with that. The only thing that's perhaps less clear to me is how well our contributors-base represents our "power-user-base".

From there, we could see 2 problems. Some may see diversity as an end, and lack of diversity as a primary issue. We could have "employment equity/diversity" measures, which would certainly be controversial, but that's not what we're talking about here.

Otherwise, our lack of diversity can either be seen as a desired/voluntary state of things, or as the result of a failure to recruit "minorities". Here again, I'd be surprised if we didn't agree that the latter is by far the most important explanation of the two. There must be very few people, if any, that most of us think should be excluded (completely and permanently) from participation. I see the statement as a way to explicitly deny that our current lack of diversity would be wanted. In that sense, I think it's obvious and the message does not need to be made an official statement. It can be simply put on the website.

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