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Re: Questions for Branden

On Fri, Feb 21, 2003 at 12:02:27AM +0100, Raphael Hertzog wrote:
> DPL delegates looks like something important to you (iirc I even told
> positive things about the delegation in your questionnaire) but you're
> speaking of those things as impersonal things, you should be more
> concrete.

The principle, as long as it's actually upheld, is more important to me
than the gory details.  I'm suspending a lot of judgement on those gory
details until I'm better informed.  It's my understanding that Bdale has
had private conversations with several DPL delegates -- or people who
should be delegates.  If elected, it is not my intention to storm in and
make demands without getting up to speed on what has gone before in
these private channels (assuming I can).  I will, however, be making my
expectations clear both to them and to the rest of the developers.  We
need to get these roles defined and establish what the rest of the
Project can reasonably expect from a delegate.  It is my hope that most
developers don't have unreasonable expectations of their delegates.
It's my suspicion that most of them *don't* have unreasonable
expectations; some of them just despair at the impression they have of
an information hole.

> Would you create new DPL delegates and which one ?

Yes, I'd create new delegates anywhere they are needed, and anywhere
there appear be both insufficient personnel to do the job at present,
and qualified volunteers to fill the positions.

> Would you officialize some already existing informal delegations and
> which one ? 

Yes, all of them.  :)  An extra-constitutional office means that there
is no formal means of accountability *at all*.  That has to change.

> Would you replace some current delegates ?

Not automatically, and not immediately.  A delegate will actually need
to fail on my watch to merit dismissal.

> Would you appoint some new delegates to current teams and who ?

I won't know the answer to this until I've surveyed the lay of the land,
gotten up to date on what conversations have gone before with Bdale,

> Why would the DPL have a special place in resolving internal disputes ?

The DPL is like a bucket at the bottom of a trough; all the
responsibility that everyone else shrugs off falls onto him.  :)

While I regard internal dispute resolution as important, it is not my
intention to try and preemptively cut off every flamewar.  That is
probably A) impossible, and B) in at least some cases the province of
the Technical Committee.  I do see it, however, as the DPL's role to try
and build consensus and/or broker a deal between conflicting parties on
non-technical issues.  E.g., the long-running "distribute non-free or
not" debate.  If we can't even get a position statement of sorts out of
that, I'll be very disappointed.  I think it's possible.  Judging from
the questionnaire results, there is a fairly large zone of common ground
from which we can work on this issue.

> And what is an internal dispute and what is just yet another useless
> flamewar ?

As I said above, my model of an "internal dispute" is one that is
non-technical and long-running.  It's not strictly within the DPL's
charter to deal with technical issues; the Technical Committee is better
suited to those.  A useless flamewar is one in which there is no common
ground, no shared understanding, or real desire for consensus (where
consensus does *not* mean "bludgeoning the other side into submission").
Where I see common ground, shared understanding, and a desire for
consensus, I think it's the DPL's function to identify that area, and be
able to admit and articulate the parts of the problem space that are
outside it.  It is not, I think, a solution to say, "well, this IS the
Debian position, and that's my FINAL ANSWER!" -- not when one can't make
such a statement and be truly representative of the Project.

> Do you think you have improved your capacity of beeing a good leader
> since last year ? If yes, why and how ?

Yes, in that I have more concrete ideas about how to be representative
leader, and that I have narrowed my focus onto those things that a
Debian Project Leader is uniquely or best suited to handle.  I think
I've had some other good ideas, too, over the years, but one doesn't
necessarily need to be DPL to get some of them done.

> What will happen to the french developers if you're elected ? :-)

I'll tell them to stand behind their government in its opposition to
Bush's warmongering, and if they don't I'll kick them out of the
Project.  ;-)

G. Branden Robinson                |     If God had intended for man to go
Debian GNU/Linux                   |     about naked, we would have been
branden@debian.org                 |     born that way.
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |

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