Re: QUESTIONNAIRE: Debian Project Leadership
* Branden Robinson (firstname.lastname@example.org) [030203 17:05a:
I find your questions relevant to the overall understanding of
the debian project and the position of the DPL. I wish we would
see discussion on this and i propose to discuss this at debconf
in some form or an other in great(er) depth.
> 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.
> [ 60 ] attending trade shows and conferences
> [ 10 ] resolving disputes internal to the Project
> [ 51 ] representing Debian to trade associations, businesses and NGOs
> (non-governmental organizations)
> [ 3 ] drafting and implementing internal procedures for the Project
> that aren't already well-defined
> [ 50 ] appointing delegates per the Constitution
> [ 1000 ] fixing bugs in packages that no one else will fix
> [ 53 ] cash fundraising
> [ 52 ] acquiring donations of bandwidth, equipment, and hosting
> [ 1 ] mentoring other developers
I try to reflect my opinion that your choices represent totally
differnt classes of activities.
I see mentoring as any leaders first goal, and since one person
allone scales realy badly in the context of debian, the dpl
should focus on sub-leaders (which are not formally defined yet),
and who in turn should mentor and coach their "sheep" and
what you left out as an option and what i would have voted for as
#2 is develop and realize visons and modifications to debian as a
whole to keep the project on track and keep it fit to meet coming
> 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.
> [ 20 ] Bdale Garbee
> [ 20 ] Ben Collins
> [ 3 ] Bruce Perens
> [ 2 ] Ian Jackson
> [ 1 ] Ian Murdock
> [ 10 ] Wichert Akkerman
> Comments (why did you rank these people as you did?):
1- he founded the project, 2- he wrote the constitution, 3- he
wrote the DFSG
these three created something lasting for debian, and moved it a
good deal forward by doing so.
again i try to express different classes of leadership. the
letter ones seem(ed) to excell by passivity.
> 3. True or false: the New Maintainer system is still broken.
neither. it is allready improved a good deal, but can become even
more integrated into the debian community.
> 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.
Debian is of limited value to companies, a gradual improvement
could make a real difference here.
> 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.
> 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.
very much true
i think there should form smaller groups of developers with
common interests, and if possible in local/closer proximity
(and/or irc) maintaining a little pool of packages and meet
regularly (increase web of trust, decrease developer flux). New
maintainers can look at different smaller groups and start
working gradually. the group could recomment people after half a
year or year to become full-blood developers.
> 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
> 10. True or false: the Debian Project is biased against people who do
> not speak English fluently.
true. Especially you, branden seem to look down on people who make
errors in their english, ignoring the fact that *they* are making
the effort to communicate in a foreign language, which you can
not even begin to understand.
My above "idea" of local sub/small-groups of debian developers
can remedy that problem to some degree.
> 11. True, false, or not applicable: there is not a lot that we can do
> about the Debian Project being biased against people who do not
> speak English fluently.
see my workaround above.
> 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
the majority is less informed then the experts, trust the
> 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
> [ L ] 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
> [ A ] a preference for brokering agreement in public between
> conflicting parties
> [ A ] long, flowing hair
> [ ] a beard
> [ L ] a sense of humor
> (Those without the last item need not mark the last three.)
> 14. True or false: the Debian Project Leader should attend as many trade
> shows and conferences as possible for him or her.
the DPL is first a Leader to debian, and should fokus on debian
internal things. He should make the debian community as strong as
> 15. True, false, or not applicable: Debian Project funds should be
> spent on getting the Debian Project Leader to as many trade shows
> and conferences as possible when corporate sponsorship is
> 16. True or false: the Technical Committee is operating as intended
> under the Constitution.
dont know, have not seen it operating
> 17. True or false: a simple majority of voting Debian Developers should
> be sufficient to modify the Debian Free Software Guidelines.
this is a core part of debian. not change this on the fly.
> 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
debian legal has the experts, they should know and feel responsible and decide
> 20. True or false: under the current Constitution as written, a simple
> majority of voting Debian Developers is sufficient to modify the
> Debian Social Contract and Free Software Guidelines.
> 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 "email@example.com" or providing
> evidence of his or her leader status elsewhere in mail
> messages he or she sends.
he should function as a role model
> [ ] 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.
> [ x ] The Debian Project will only get as good a DPL as it deserves.
> [ x ] Everything in Debian main should be treated as software under
> the DFSG, even if it isn't software by some definitions.
> [ ] 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].
> [ ] Debian should stop distributing the non-free section.
> [ x ] 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
> [ 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.
> [ x ] Debian Developers are substantially better at critical
> thinking and logical reasoning than the general populace.
mostly because the general public seems to be pea-brained.
> [ x ] The migration of murphy from qmail to postfix was a good
> [ ] The migration of murphy from qmail to postfix was important.
> [ ] Being elected Debian Project Leader is primarily a reward for
> good work.
> [ x ] 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
> [ x ] 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
as package maintanance this work should happen in small groups with
plenty of communication and team work.
> [ ] 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
> [ ] 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
> [ x ] We should elect a DPL who reflects who we want to be, even if
> they don't reflect who we are.
> [ x ] 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.
> [ x ] Circulating this questionnaire demonstrates leadership.
> [ ] Circulating this questionnaire is a cynical attempt to
> manipulate the electorate.
> [ x ] 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
> [ ] DPL campaigns have increasingly come to adopt traits of
> conventional politics.
> [ ] I find previous statement true and not a cause for concern.
> [ x ] The DPL can barely wipe his nose without consensus. (The DPL
> is essentially a figurehead without much real power.)
> [ x ] 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.
> [ ] We'd be better off with a few hundred fewer Developers.
> [ x ] We'd be better off with more Developers.
if we manage to harness the number and their power
> [ ] Debian distributes too many packages; we should narrow our
> [ ] Branden Robinson is a non-free flame burning bigot.
> [ x ] Branden Robinson is prejudiced against the French.
> [ x ] Branden Robinson is prejudiced against Andreas
> Schuldei aka stockholm.
> [ x ] Branden Robinson is prejudiced against the American
> [ ] 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.
> [ x ] 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.
> [ x ] An egomaniac can make a good DPL.
> [ ] We already *have* an egomaniac for a DPL.