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Re: Position statements short of a GR - DPL statements

On Mon, Oct 29, 2012 at 05:39:08PM +0000, Ian Jackson wrote:
> There are often topics about where it would be useful to have a
> statement of position, or some recommendations for project
> participants (or for users or citizens).  I'm speaking here primarily
> of nontechnical matters.


> But there are also topics which aren't covered by an existing team or
> delegation.  There are a couple of these that are on the DPL's plate
> right now:
>   - Dealing with "inbound" trademarks.  Ie, how best to deal with
>     possible trademark risks in the software we deal with;

For ease of reference, this is the summary I've posted here

I think it's a very good example. On one hand we did the corresponding
discussions and synthesized the outcome in a summary that was consensual
at the time. On the other, if we simply leave things as they are, we
will lose track of the result of that discussion and we will be doomed
to repeat the whole discussion eventually. The need is then to document
the result somewhere, as a project best practice.

> Up to this point in the project we have normally published only:
>   - GRs

FWIW, we can theoretically keep on using GRs. But there is a huge
disincentive in doing so due to the heavy footprint of the process.
Additionally, as the last part of the diversity statement GR has shown,
there are also legitimate concerns that GR results are set in stone,
hence "improving" them (which is generally needed over time) will force
to use the same heavyweight process over and over again.

> I think it would be useful to add a new category to this list:
>   - Formal policy document from the DPL
> Of course like any other DPL decision these would be published by the
> DPL after discussion and consensus-seeking.  And if the matter turns
> out to be too controversial, or the DPL wants to make sure the
> document has a good mandate, the GR process is available (either via
> the route of a DPL-initiated GR, or an overruling GR).

I think this would be sensible, but I'm biased on this discussion for at
least 6 more months :-).

I'd like to point out that, de facto, "DPL statements" already exist: if
a DPL is interviewed at events or for magazines for example, people will
pay a lot of attention to what is said and consider them as somehow
official _project_ statements.  And if those statements are annoying for
the project, I'm pretty sure GR will be used to overrule the DPL. We
have seen examples of this in the past, both regarding the DPL and other
"core" teams.

So I don't think formalizing this would change current practices. I'll
just give us a new, less volatile place (e.g. a www.d.o section) where
to store information that at present have no good place where to live.

I'd like to hear more thoughts on this matter...
Stefano Zacchiroli  . . . . . . .  zack@upsilon.cc . . . . o . . . o . o
Maître de conférences . . . . . http://upsilon.cc/zack . . . o . . . o o
Debian Project Leader . . . . . . @zack on identi.ca . . o o o . . . o .
« the first rule of tautology club is the first rule of tautology club »

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