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On demotions to DM status.

Hi all,

last month I expressed concerns related to the idea of demoting DDs to
DM status.  I quote them at the end of the message for convenience.

Later, there has been a discussion on the theme that technical
excellence should not be a reason for tolerating misbehaviours

Thinking about this, it came to me that demotions to DM status are also
problematic in that sense, because they are justified by the existence
of a tangible techical technical contribution, that the DM status shows
that it is still welcome.

Debian is nearly as sensitive to the behaviour of DMs and DDs, as they
interact with the same group of people, with similar regularity
(activity level is not a good predictor of who is DD and who is DM), and
will often face similar frictions (email misunderstanding, race
conditions and commit rights, conflict of interest when two packages
interact in a way that creates extra work that everybody is reluctant to
do, etc).  To some extent, the claim that DMs are not members of Debian,
while factual, is already questionnable when thinking about membership
under other perspectives, such as the collective responsibility of
keeping Debian's environment and reputation as excellent as possible.

Thus, in addition to the concerns that I quote below, I would like to
add think that demotions to DM status are also questionnable because
they seem to imply that repeated disrespect to our Code of Conduct will
have different consequence depending on how we value the person's
technical contribution.

I understand the difficulty of managing the fallout of the expulsions
and I am not pushing for a fast answer, but I hope that it can be
eventualy addressed by the DAMs, DPL and AH team.

Have a nice day,


On Wed, Dec 26, 2018 at 05:35:38PM +0900, Charles Plessy wrote:
> But concerning the demotion to Debian Maintainer (DM) status, I think
> that it is sending a wrong message to the community, that DMs do not
> need to hold the same standards of behaviour as Debian Developers
> (DDs) do.
> Moreover, when the DM status was proposed in 2007, it was not thought
> as a way of punishment for DDs.  Even if one of a thousand DM has this
> status because of demotion, I think that this completely changes the
> balance on how this status serves our project.  Instead of being a
> positive way towards joining more formally, it becomes an inferior
> status.
> Whether DD -> DM demotions will happen again and are going to become a
> new tool for solving social conflicts is an important decision that
> needs an open discussion where conesnsus is being sought.


Charles Plessy
Debian Med packaging team,
Akano, Uruma, Okinawa, Japan

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