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Re: Updating the Policy Editors delegation

Le Sat, Jan 11, 2014 at 05:22:01PM +0100, Secretary - Kurt Roeckx a écrit :
> On Wed, Jan 08, 2014 at 12:10:08PM +0000, Neil McGovern wrote:
> As there has been no comments on the draft text I'll make that
> the official response.  I want to thank Neil from writing this
> all down.

Hi Kurt and Niel,

thank you for the prompt in-depth analysis that you gave us.

I was slow to react because I was puzzled by the discussion (why trying to
change a delegation text that the delegates themselves agree with ?) and wanted
to give to others the opportunity to express positive opinions first, before
coming with my criticism.

It think that it would have been fair to either set upfront a deadline for
answering, or make a last call for comments.  Also, less than a week (not even
including a week-end) is quite a short delay.

> > * Debian policy editors are a delegatable position by the DPL, but only
> > if the DPL wishes to delegate the power to *set* policy, rather than to
> > simply document current practice.

I do not see a difference between documenting current practice and setting the
policy, because in many cases it is unclear what the current practice is, and
somebody needs the final call on this, similar to the role of the Secretary for
interpreting the Constitution.

Note that the delegation text anyway does not restrict the work of the Policy
editors to follow the current practice.


The Debian Policy Editors:

- Guide the work on the Debian Policy Manual and related documents as a
  collaborative process where developers review and second or object to
  proposals, usually on the debian-policy mailing list [1].

  [1]: https://lists.debian.org/debian-policy/

- Count seconds and weight objections to proposals, to determine whether
  they have reached sufficient consensus to be included, and accept
  consensual proposals.

- Reject or refer to the Technical Committee proposals that fail to
  reach consensus.

- Commit changes to the version control system repository used to
  maintain the Debian Policy Manual and related documents.

- Maintain the "debian-policy" package. As package maintainers, they
  have the last word on package content, releases, bug reports, etc.


Here are my interpretations point by point.

Disclaimer: based on material posted earlier on mailing lists and the wiki, I
wrote the text of the delegation.

 1) The possibility of editing the Policy out of a collaborative process is not
    delegated.  This does not say how the Editors should decide within a
    collaborative process, it only says that changes decided in closed comittee are
    not in the scope of the delegation.  The link to the mailing list might be
    removed, however, for newcomers I find it more useful than harmful.

 2) "Count seconds" could be removed indeed, to allow the Editors to accept
    a proposal that did not attract enough attention, but that they estimate
    consensual.  The whole paragraph could also be removed, on the grounds that
    it is redundant with the Constitution's section 8.3 asking to the delegates
    to seek concensus.  But on the other hand, because it is redundant, I think
    that it can not be anticonstitutional.

 3) is indeed redundant with the section 6.3.6 of our Constitution.  Maybe we
    should point to this section instead or even quote it.

 4) and 5) may be too obvious as well, but I like the idea that, on top of
    making decisions, the Editors are also expected to do some more trivial work
    regarding formatting documents and commiting changes, therefore I think that
    these paragraphs, which do not restrict how decisions are taken, are useful.

Have a nice week-end,

Charles Plessy
Tsurumi, Kanagawa, Japan

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