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Re: Logo swap vote is bogus

On Wed, Jun 30, 1999 at 01:57:36AM +0100, Philip Hands wrote:
> Well, quite.  If people had left it alone, I probably would have too, at least 
> until last weekend when I found myself explaining to several people that I 
> couldn't sell them a swirl T-Shirt, because they were licensed in a way that 
> probably meant that only developers, on official business can wear them :-(
> (we were giving away CDs at the time, which seems sort of official)

Well, if my proposal passes, you get to sell/give away those shirts.  If
not, the situation you describe will remain true for quite some time.

> Here's my problem.  Subverting the process by proposing something that is 
> tangential to ones aims seems plain wrong to me.  We're not sneaky politicians 
> here, so why are we acting like them ?

You tell me.  I made a proposal that embodied something I sincerely wanted
to see (though I wasn't inflamed with passion about it), and did my best to
handle it in accordance with the Debian Constitution.  My apologies if this
reeks of political corruption.

> You went on on to say two other things:
>   1) the logo swap was aired during the vote.
>   2) the Modified swirl lost, so should be discounted
> Where was the swap discussed?
> Let me guess: On debian-vote prior to it being published on the archive pages? 
>  Would that also be the hiding place that was found for the definition of 
> ``Modified Swirl'' ?

These unfounded accusations are really tiresome.

From branden Fri Jun  4 04:49:09 1999                                                               
Date: Fri, 4 Jun 1999 04:49:09 -0400                                                                
To: debian-devel@lists.debian.org                                                                   
Subject: [PROPOSED] Swap the "open" and "official" versions of the new logo                         
Message-ID: <19990604044909.A12571@ecn.purdue.edu>                                                  
Mime-Version: 1.0                                                                                   
Content-Type: multipart/signed; boundary=xHFwDpU9dbj6ez1V; micalg=pgp-md5;                          
X-Mailer: Mutt 0.95.4i                                                                              
Status: RO                                                                                          
Content-Length: 2001                                                                                
Lines: 60                                                                                           

Sorry if bringing it up on debian-devel was too "sneaky" for you.  It was
the best forum I could think of at the time.

As far as the "Modified Swirl" went, I didn't like it and didn't vote for
it because it was a proposal to adopt a logo that wasn't actually presented
in graphical form.  If nobody, not even the person who proposed it, could
be bothered to come up with a graphic, is it all that surprising it didn't
win the vote?  (As it turns out, it didn't do too badly in the final count;
if its advocates had taken some initiative it might well have won, and we
wouldn't be here today.)

> Is anyone else feeling just a little disenfranchised here?

I'll say to you what I said to Sven Luther.  It is not the responsibility
of everyone else in Debian to keep you abreast of things that we think you
might care about, when these things have nothing to do with your
contributions to the project, or your functions within the project (i.e.,
writing code, maintaining packages, or holding an office like the Project
Leader or Project Secretary).

I *do* think that proposals that are sufficiently broad to become general
resolutions should be brought up on a public *discussion* forum, and to my
mind debian-devel is the best place.  If a proposal dies, there's no sense
cluttering debian-devel-announce with it.  Once it has garnered sufficient seconds and
the discussion period has passed, and if the proposer wants to go ahead
with it, a Call for Votes (CFV) should be posted to -devel-announce and

The initial discussions of a potential general resolution should, as far as
I can tell, be announced on -devel but *held* on -vote.  I.e., don't
further clutter -devel with stuff that is firmly within the charter of
-vote.  I suppose for threading coherence the initial proposal should be
posted to both -devel and -vote.  Then *all* direct discussion of the
proposal, amendments, objections, and seconds should take place on -vote.

Yes, there are lots of developers who exercise their option to not
subscribe to either of these lists.  If they don't have time to read either
of those lists, then I don't think they should complain when they first
hear of an impending vote on -devel-announce.  After all, since all
developers are supposed to be subscribed to that list, this is sufficient
notice that they will have the opportunity to exercise their

Also, since it probably hasn't been said enough, seconds of a proposal
should be PGP-signed to establish that they come from developers.  On the
-policy group, which has a similar but less rigorous mechanism, seconds
must be PGP-signed and come from developers, but a proposal can come from
anyone.  The Consitution says that developers may make general resolutions,
but it does not say that non-developers can.  This is probably a good idea;
in -policy, proposals are technical/mechanical in nature and it doesn't
really matter who makes them (even the easier ratification mechanism of
-policy doesn't translate to a rubber stamp of all proposals; see Joey
Hess's Policy Weekly newsletter for proof).  On the other hand, General
Resolutions are more nebulous, principle-driven things, and it might be
dangerous to let just anyone propose them ("outsiders" might use them to
provoke flamewars or otherwise cause distraction, and God knows we're
plenty good at that without any help).

> I've had a couple of mails today from people who were unaware that a vote was 
> on, until I started making waves on -devel.  This really isn't good.

My CFV and Darren's ballot both went to -devel-announce last week.  We've
established that all developers are expected to read -devel-announce.  It
is a very low-traffic list (at least when people remember to not reply to
it :-P ).

> Swirl had pretty much won when I voted IIRC (which looking at my mail was 28 
> May 1999) whereas the description of what Modified Swirl was didn't appear on 
> the vote page until some time later.  How can you draw any conclusion from the 
> fact that Swirl got more votes in these circumstances?

See above.  And note we had two logo selection "votes", but one was
withdrawn before it actually became "live".  Furthermore, the modified
swirl was added to the vote page because it was an amendment; it went up
during the discussion period, but before the vote started or first ballot
went out.  Are you suggesting that amendment of proposals should be

You don't seem to have a very strong command of the facts at issue.

> As it happens, I voted for Swirl over Modified Swirl at the time, and didn't 
> bother to change it because I couldn't imagine that anyone was going to try to 
> use the relative ordering as significant, given the cock-up of the vote page 
> for the bulk of the voting period.

If you're referring to my proposal, it was totally independent of the
modified swirl business.  Perhaps they are the same in your mind but they
weren't and aren't in mine.  We voted for a two-license, two-logo approach
and I am not trying to undermine that.  I just thought that it was more
intuitive to have the bottle in the official logo, rather than the open
one.  Please read my CFV again.  I stated all the reasons I had making the
proposal in the CFV.  Please either accept them at face value or come out
and accuse me of deceit.

[sarcasm snipped, it's not productive]

> What I don't think we have a consensus on is how precisely that logo is to be 
> deployed, or whether there should be two licenses, or whether one of them 
> should include a bottle.

It all seems pretty clear to me.

The -legal guys came up with language for two logo licenses: an official
version and an open-use version.  This process does not seem to have met
with serious challenge.  Thus, consensus by general acclamation.

We voted on whether to implement a single license, or two licenses, which
would demand two distinct logos to which to attach each license.  The dual
license option won.  Thus, consensus.

We voted on which logo submission (some of which contained multiple
versions of the logo) should represent the project.  The original,
unmodified swirl, as submitted by Raul, won.  Thus, consensus.

> Looking at the voting record, only 21 people listed both Swirl and Dual as 1.  
> These are the only people you can claim definitely wanted the bottle for some 
> purpose, and some of them may have actually wanted it the way it is, not 
> swapped.

Now you're going to gripe about the margin of victory?

The Constitution describes how a winner is determined; see section A.6.

If people had this much of a problem with the Consitution, they should have
voted against it.  That, or you can propose to amend it now.  Good luck.

> In fact there is a much stronger case for suggesting that we agreed that there 
> should be two licenses, since at least it was completely clear what that vote 
> was about, and yet this latest vote seems likely to put one of those licenses 
> out to pasture, along with the bottle that will never be used.
> Is this the hidden agenda that I was smelling ?

You are suggesting that both the logo selection vote and the logo swap vote
have been proposed merely to derail the outcome of the license selection
vote.  Unless the Project Secretary is guilty of gross malfeasance in
handling the ballots, or there has been widespread compromise of
developers' PGP keys, this would have to be a conspiracy involving
literally dozens of individuals (probably more like 100).

Hey, I have an unquenchable craving for conspiracy theories myself, but
given the incredibly contentious bunch the Debian developers are, I find
that suggestion pretty hard to swallow.  But since I proposed the logo
swap, I'm one of "them" and thus I must be speaking with a forked tounge.

G. Branden Robinson              |    The greatest productive force is human
Debian GNU/Linux                 |    selfishness.
branden@ecn.purdue.edu           |    -- Robert Heinlein
cartoon.ecn.purdue.edu/~branden/ |

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