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Re: Questions for all candidates

On Wed, Feb 26, 2003 at 01:19:11PM +0100, Raphael Hertzog wrote:
> Le Tue, Feb 25, 2003 at 09:22:53PM -0500, Branden Robinson ?crivait:
> > > 2. If you're
> > 
> > As DPL, or as Joe Q. Developer?  I can't unquestioningly check any of
> > these.
> Joe Q. Developer... 
> > I don't have a strong personal opinion on this.  Sorry to be so
> > non-commital, but I live in Debian unstable and so the release schedule
> > doesn't impact me the way it does our users.  I think it would be
> > interesting to survey the developers and have some conversations with
> > the Release Manager before mandating any sort of time frame.
> You're saying that the leader should show the way but you don't have
> your own opinion. How can you show us the path in those conditions ?

By listening to the delegates and developers first.  Why do I need to
have an opinion on everything poured in cement before I even assume the
office, and whatever I learn afterwards be damned?  I think that would
be a stupid way to run the Project, and would promote a lot of internal
discord, which I've said several times is not my aim.

I admit that the traditional political approach is to claim to have all
the answers and the ability to solve all the problems (even if the
office for which one is running doesn't particularly empower one to do
so).  I'm not interested in taking that approach.  I prefer frankness.
My platform is not "I will solve everyone's problems and Debian will
ender a new Golden Age under my leadership".  I personally am skeptical
of glib promises, and if what people want is a leader who will utter
them, then they should vote for someone else.  I'm relatively
comfortable losing under such circumstances.  Maybe that's not the most
politically prudent thing to say, but that's how I feel.  In the U.S.,
anyway, we have a long and venerable tradition of not bothering to hold
our elected officials to their campaign promises in any meaningful way.
I'd like to think the Debian Project can manage to a little better than
that, and cultivate an environment where candidates for Project Leader
won't make promises they know they can't keep.

I do not think the DPL is empowered to command a release to take place
on a particular timeframe.  That's what we have a Release Manager for,
though even that position is limited by what the Developers in general
can actually accomplish with their packages.  Given that, I don't think
it's necessary that I have a strong opinion on a release timeframe.

When it comes to release management, I do not think it is possible to
please all of the people all of the time.  I don't think we have the
resources to have a stable release every 3 months and maintain security
and important-bugfix updates for every release in perpetuity.  I could
be wrong about that, and I'm open to cogent arguments that we do have
such resources.

Do I have a "gut feeling" about release schedules?  Sure.  If *I* were
Release Manager, I'd be tempted to say "I think it would be good if we
released once a year, and terminated support for the previous release
after six months -- longer at the Stable Release Manager's discretion".

But a lot of people would probably have valid complaints about such a
schedule.  That's why I don't have a strong opinion on the subject.  I'm
much more interested in hearing from the RM and SRM, and getting their
frank assessments of what they think is manageable.

G. Branden Robinson                |    If you wish to strive for peace of
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    soul, then believe; if you wish to
branden@debian.org                 |    be a devotee of truth, then
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |    inquire.     -- Friedrich Nietzsche

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