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Re: Question restated

On Mon, Mar 04, 2002 at 08:48:11AM -0500, Dale E Martin wrote:
> > As DPL, you can expect me to take action when I see that our policies, or
> > the quality of our distribution, are being threatened.  However, you need
> > only expect me to act as DPL on such issues as a last resort.  Most of
> > the time, I think problems like the ones you point out can be addressed
> > by ordinary Debian Developers, or by the DSA team.
> I think this answer hedges on the question a little bit.  The context of
> the question was something like "I feel you've been rude to people in the
> past - if you're elected DPL will you continue to use such a tone?"
> Your answer make sense, basically you won't wield the stick of DPL too much
> if possible.  (Whatever stick there is to wield anyways ;-)) But the
> question still stands in my mind - when acting simply as Branden Robinson
> would you plan on softening your tone some?

Yes.  By making reference to my SPI Treasurer work, I was endeavoring to
illustrate how, in many respects, I've already done so.  Maybe it's just
me, but I think this is a better approach than glib testimonials about
how "yes, I'll be a good boy in the future".

This is why I encouraged Mr. Beermann to bring any concerns with my
conduct as SPI Treasurer to my attention as soon as possible.

> Even if you're not signing emails as "the almighty DPL", if you're
> being perceived as rude - even if it's not your intention - you'd
> still be the DPL and that might sour people on the project in general.

That's true, but I think we also need to let our project leaders be
human from time to time, as well.

I can think of times when Bruce Perens, Ian Jackson, Wichert Akkerman,
and Ben Collins have all blown their tops on the mailing lists or in the
Debian Bug Tracking System, to some degree or another.  I don't think
their reputations -- or Debian's -- have suffered terribly as a result.

I'm not going to cite examples of these because I think it's
counterproductive, and people can probably go dig the flamefests out of
mail archives on their own time, if they're so motivated.  I do not
think the DPL campaign period should come to resemble Senate
confirmation hearings for federal judgeships in the United States, where
the totality of a nominee's past statements are dredged in excruciating
detail for humiliating soundbites.

Project Leaders aren't angels, and shouldn't be held to unreasonably
strict standards of conduct.  More to the point, I don't think the current
crop of DPL candidates should be held to higher standards than the
former officeholders have been.  If the current DPL had abused his
authority or power, and/or conducted himself in a way that embarrassed
the project, I might feel differently, but that plainly hasn't been the
case.  Ben's done a fine job.

In short, I think I can match the standards of decorum set by our recent
Project Leaders.  They've set a fine example.

> To me it doesn't matter if the statement made was justified or not - I
> don't really want to see the DPL making such comments in public forums.

I agree that it was moment of weakness on my part -- and I'll work to
minimize those in the future regardless of the outcome of this election
-- but I'd like to ask you if you think this sort of email is unique to
me among the Debian Developers generally or among past and present
Debian Project Leaders in particular.  If you're going to hold me -- or
this year's group of candidates -- to a different standard than the one
established to date, then I suggest that your mechanism for evaluating
us is biased.

G. Branden Robinson                |     No math genius, eh?  Then perhaps
Debian GNU/Linux                   |     you could explain to me where you
branden@debian.org                 |     got these...       PENROSE TILES!
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |     -- Stephen R. Notley

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