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Re: QUESTIONNAIRE: Debian Project Leadership

[Reposted to -vote, so interesting parties, such as other
maybe-DPL-candidates can benefit from my answers, or have a good laugh
at my ignorance, etc, etc, appropriate thing should be underlined.

By the way, I would be interested in what other people answered, so
please Cc the list too!]

> 1.  Rank the following possible functions of Debian Project Leader in
>     order from most important to least important by placing a digit
>     between the brackets to the left of the item.  Use "1" as the most
>     important item(s), with larger integers reflecting less important
>     items.  You can give two items the same number to reflect a tie.
>     Leave blank items you consider unimportant or not appropriate for
>     the role of DPL.
>     [  3] attending trade shows and conferences
>     [  2] resolving disputes internal to the Project
>     [  1] representing Debian to trade associations, businesses and NGOs
>           (non-governmental organizations)
>     [  2] drafting and implementing internal procedures for the Project
>           that aren't already well-defined
>     [  2] appointing delegates per the Constitution
>     [  9] fixing bugs in packages that no one else will fix
>     [  9] cash fundraising
>     [  4] acquiring donations of bandwidth, equipment, and hosting
>     [  9] mentoring other developers
> 2.  Rank the following past and present DPLs in order of greatest
>     effectiveness to least effectiveness (use "1" for the most effective
>     leader(s)).  You need not have been a Debian Developer during the
>     term a Leader to express an opinion here (though knowing who they
>     are and what they did as DPL definitely helps).  You can give two
>     people the same number to reflect a tie.  Leave blank people about
>     whom you feel you cannot form an opinion.
>     [  2] Bdale Garbee
>     [  2] Ben Collins
>     [   ] Bruce Perens
>     [   ] Ian Jackson
>     [   ] Ian Murdock
>     [  1] Wichert Akkerman
> 3.  True or false: the New Maintainer system is still broken.


Well, this is not entirely true... There _are_ shortcomings, but it is
not as broken as some seem to think, methinks.

> 4.  True or false: we should place more emphasis on architectures that
>     have a lot of users.


> 5.  True or false: release management in this Project is a big problem.


It is a problem, just not a big one, IMHO.
> 6.  True or false: there are too many inactive developers.

> 7.  True, false, or not applicable: the Debian Project Leader should see
>     to it that inactive developers are placed on notice that they will
>     be dropped from the Project, and then if they do not become active,
>     "expire" them from our ranks.


But they should not get "dropped", as in userdel, but their accounts
should be deactivated. Like an Active: [True|False] field in LDAP or
the like.

> 8.  True or false: the concept of "one maintainer per package" is
>     outmoded, and packages should be maintained as more of a group or
>     communal process.

Provided that it is not mandatory. Co-maintainership already exists,
and more and more people seem to realise its benefits. On the other
hand, there are packages for which a group to maintain is plain
overkill (think tama :).

> 9.  True or false: the Debian Policy Manual and Bug Tracking System
>     should be used together as a "stick" with which to compel
>     uncooperative maintainers to change the way they maintain their
>     packages.


Policy is not a beating stick, and BTS-tennis sucks. If a maintainer
does not want to cooperate despite the fact he is clearly doing his
job wrong, there is the TC, which should handle the case, methinks.

..or public humiliating on -devel or another appropriate mailinglist
might have a good effect too :]

> 10. True or false: the Debian Project is biased against people who do
>     not speak English fluently.


> 12. Should the DPL attempt to build consensus among a small group of
>     experts or among the whole project before taking a major action, or
>     should he go it alone?  Mark one.
>     [  X] build consensus among a small group
>     [   ] build consensus among the whole Project
>     [   ] take unilateral action

> 13. Rank the following possible traits of Debian Project Leader as
>     assets (with an "A") or liabilities (with an "L") between the
>     brackets to the left of the item.  Leave blank items you consider as
>     having no bearing on the role of DPL.
>     [  A] a high level of visibility as a "regular developer" on
>           internal Project mailing lists
>     [  L] a high level of visibility as Project leader on internal
>           Project mailing lists
>     [  A] a high level of visibility in Debian-related IRC channels
>     [  A] a preference for reading prepared statements over extemporaneous
>           presentations at public gatherings
>     [  L] a preference for brokering agreement behind the scenes between
>           conflicting parties
>     [  L] a preference for brokering agreement in public between
>           conflicting parties
>     [   ] long, flowing hair
>     [  A] a beard
>     [  L] a sense of humor
>     (Those without the last item need not mark the last three.)
>     Comments:

He also needs to have a tama older than a year, weighing more than
> 14. True or false: the Debian Project Leader should attend as many trade
>     shows and conferences as possible for him or her.


> 17. True or false: a simple majority of voting Debian Developers should
>     be sufficient to modify the Debian Free Software Guidelines.

> 18. True or false: a simple majority of voting Debian Developers should
>     be sufficient to modify the Debian Social Contract.


> 19. Should decisions about DFSG-compliance be made on the debian-legal
>     list, or should we have a more formalized body for making such
>     decisions?

A more formalized body might do good, but the discussion should still
be held on debian-legal. I'm thinking of a group who - although do not
have absolute power - can serve as a worthy advisor to the ftp-masters
(who will accept the package in the end, after all) and package

> 21. Mark the statements below that accurately (if not precisely) reflect
>     your opinions with an "X" between the brackets.  Note that these
>     statements are wide-ranging in nature.  If you have insufficient
>     context upon which to ground an affirmative answer, leave it blank.
>     Where I consider it important to determine what the respondents to
>     this questionnaire *don't* believe or agree with, I have supplied a
>     contrapositive statement.  Feel free to elaborate on your answers in
>     the comments section.
>     [   ] The DPL should not waste his time on arguments about the
>           Constitution, Social Contract, or DFSG.
>     [  X] The DPL is always perceived as the DPL, even when he or she is
>           not sending mails from "leader@debian.org" or providing
>           evidence of his or her leader status elsewhere in mail
>           messages he or she sends.
>     [   ] The person elected to the office of DPL has a special
>           responsibility to keep his or her mouth shut on potentially
>           inflammatory issues, except when acting explicitly as DPL.
>     [   ] The Debian Project will only get as good a DPL as it deserves.
>     [   ] Everything in Debian main should be treated as software under
>           the DFSG, even if it isn't software by some definitions.
>     [  X] We let too much stuff that violates the spirit of the DFSG
>           into main.
>     [   ] The debian-legal list is infested with a bunch of nitpicky
>           nitwits who give the Project a bad name and keep Debian from
>           being as good as it could be by rejecting software from main
>           for no good reason.
>     [  X] A good Debian Developer doesn't necessarily make for a good
>           Project Leader.
>     [   ] Debian should toss the DFSG and adopt the Open Source
>           Definition (OSD) instead.
>     [   ] Debian should delegate license interpretation to the Open
>           Source Initiative (OSI) [maintainers of the OSD].
>     [  X] Debian should stop distributing the non-free section.
>     [   ] Debian should keep the non-free section even if it dwindles to
>           the point where there is nothing interesting in it, in the
>           event that important new non-free software appears that our
>           users might want.
>     [  X] Our twin priorities of "our users" and "Free Software" are
>           sometimes in conflict with each other.
>     [   ] The primary purpose of the Debian Project should be to supply
>           a high-quality operating system to as many people as possible.
>     [  X] The primary purpose of the Debian Project should be to supply
>           a high-quality, Free operating system to whoever is interested
>           in it.
>     [   ] The Debian Project is an insufficiently welcoming environment
>           to female geeks and computer professionals.
>     [   ] The DPL should step in to mediate disagreements between Debian
>           Developers and upstream developers, as recently happened with
>           MPlayer.
>     [  X] The Debian Project should work with SPI or some other
>           organization to try and see that its needs and goals are
>           respected, or at least not meddled with, by governments.
>     [   ] Debian Developers are substantially better at critical
>           thinking and logical reasoning than the general populace.
>     [  X] The migration of murphy from qmail to postfix was a good
>           thing.
>     [  X] The migration of murphy from qmail to postfix was important.
>     [   ] Being elected Debian Project Leader is primarily a reward for
>           good work.
>     [   ] The Debian Machine Usage Policy (DMUP) needs to be revised.
>     [   ] Revising the DMUP is important.
>     [  X] Voters in the Debian Project have a responsibility to make
>           themselves well-informed about the issues before casting a
>           ballot.
>     [   ] There should be no one in the Project with
>           extra-constitutional power; that is, Debian keyring
>           maintenance, archive administration, system administration,
>           and so forth should all be formally delegated positions by the
>           DPL.
>     [   ] Making the Debian keyring maintainer, archive administrators,
>           and system administrators DPL delegates has creates a
>           potentially dangerous situation for which there is no analogue
>           under the current situation.
>     [   ] The DPL has more important things to worry about than who's
>           delegated to do what.
>     [   ] People who capitalize the phrase "Free Software" are annoying.
>     [   ] The Free Software Foundation is run by a bunch of crazy hippie
>           communists, and Debian is being taken over by more of the same.
>     [   ] The Open Source Initiative is run by a bunch of Christian
>           fundamentalist right-wing gun nuts, and Debian is being taken
>           over by more of the same.
>     [   ] I deeply resent whimsy intruding into this questionnaire.
>     [   ] A person who lost the DPL election twice shouldn't think about
>           running again.
>     [   ] No one who lost the DPL election was ever subsequently elected
>           DPL.
>     [   ] No one who lost the DPL election twice was ever subsequently
>           elected DPL.
>     [   ] Bdale Garbee is unbeatable.
>     [  X] Bdale Garbee has disappointed me.
>     [   ] We should elect a DPL based on his or her platform and
>           contributions to the project, not based on personality issues.
>     [   ] A DPL candidate shouldn't make promises in his or her
>           platform.
>     [   ] We should elect a DPL who reflects who we want to be, even if
>           they don't reflect who we are.
>     [   ] DPL elections are essentially popularity contests.
>     [   ] There is nothing we can do about the above statement; it's the
>           nature of the beast.
>     [   ] Circulating this questionnaire proves that you're unfit to be
>           Project Leader.
>     [   ] Circulating this questionnaire demonstrates leadership.
>     [   ] Circulating this questionnaire is a cynical attempt to
>           manipulate the electorate.
>     [   ] Debian Developers should publicly and prominently campaign for
>           the person they'd prefer to see as Project Leader.
>     [   ] Debian Developers should keep their DPL preferences to
>           themselves.
>     [   ] DPL campaigns have increasingly come to adopt traits of
>           conventional politics.
>     [   ] I find previous statement true and not a cause for concern.
>     [   ] The DPL can barely wipe his nose without consensus.  (The DPL
>           is essentially a figurehead without much real power.)
>     [   ] Debian's effort at a constitutional system of governance
>           has been a failure.
>     [  X] The Debian Constitution and the apparatuses instituted by it
>           are basically instruments of last resort, called into play
>           when our traditional methods of operation fail.
>     [  X] We'd be better off with a few hundred fewer Developers.
>     [   ] We'd be better off with more Developers.
>     [   ] Debian distributes too many packages; we should narrow our
>           focus.
>     [   ] Branden Robinson is a non-free flame burning bigot.
>     [   ] Branden Robinson is prejudiced against the French.
>     [   ] Branden Robinson is prejudiced against the American
>           government.
>     [   ] Branden Robinson doesn't know when not to make jokes.
>     [   ] Branden Robinson has a lousy sense of humor.
>     [   ] Branden Robinson's sense of humor is not important, no matter
>           how good or bad it is.
>     [   ] Branden Robinson has gotten better at not flaming people over
>           the years.
>     [   ] I haven't really paid attention to whether or not Branden
>           Robinson has gotten better at not flaming people over the
>           years, but it doesn't really matter because I'm not going to
>           vote for him anyway, even though I'll claim that I won't vote
>           for him because he flames people.
>     [   ] Branden Robinson wrote a questionnaire that was way the hell
>           too long.
>     [   ] The number of occurrences of the string "Branden Robinson" in
>           this questionnaire proves that he's an egomaniac.
>     [   ] An egomaniac can make a good DPL.
>     [   ] We already *have* an egomaniac for a DPL.

Well, I think this was a nice questionnaire, thank you!
If my opinion counts, run for DPL-ship. Even if you do not win, the
others might see value in your platform and ideas, and maybe they'll
incorporate them into their own, when elected.

Hrm, too many mights and maybes, oh well..

Gergely Nagy

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