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Re: Questions for the candidates

On Thu, Mar 06, 2003 at 08:53:40PM +0100, Michael Banck wrote:
> I'd like to know the candidate's opinion on the following questions.
> They can either be processed here or during the irc-debate (but I don't
> know if I can make it for the debate physically).

Thanks!  These are interesting questions; I hope you can make it to the
debate to pose follow-ups.

> For the following points, I'd like to know whether the candidates think
> this particular thing/issue/question lies in the scope of the DPL, and
> if yes, whether they have an opinion about it or how they would cope
> with it:
>  - Debian did have stronger ties to the FSF in the past. Maybe it is
>    time to think about our relationsship with the FSF and try to
>    cooperate/communicate more with the FSF in places where it might be
>    appropriate, like licensing issues, documentation, contact to the
>    GNU-tools developer etc. (of course, this could only work on a peer
>    to peer basis, and would not neccessarily include RMS)

Yes, I think this within the scope of the DPL's activities.

I recently commented on this very subject on the debian-legal mailing
list, as a matter of fact.


In that message, I proposed that, if elected DPL, I might delegate an
ambassador to the Free Software Foundation.

>  - The Linux Standard Base is an important effort for the future of
>    Linux IMHO. I consider it important that we are as compliant as
>    possible, without giving up our identity. This would probably mean
>    coordination between developers and also includes the question
>    whether we should include updates for better LSB-compliance into
>    stable point releases alongside security updates (if there are any,
>    and they are acceptable)

I don't think this strictly within the scope of the DPL's activities;
the technological questions are more properly within the domain of the
Release Managers.  However, the DPL can certainly jawbone on this issue,
and get behind an LSB initiative, exhorting the Developers to think
about and support the LSB in their packages better.

I personally have no beef with the LSB and would very much like to see
Debian certified as LSB-conformant.  I'd be quite willing to create a
delegate's position for this job if that becomes necessary.

>  - Inclusion of NetBSD (or any other BSD) and the Hurd need cooperation
>    between the respective developers, the archive maintainers and the
>    dpkg authers, as far as I can tell. Especially for the Hurd, my
>    feeling is that its developers have become quite embittered during
>    the last years because of lack of support by the rest of Debian. Some
>    talking and motivation behind the scenes might have a positive
>    effect, in my humble opinion.

I agree, but I'm not sure your diagnosis is the whole story.

Still, I very much support the principle of support for alternative
kernels and operating environments under the Debian name.  Debian's
mission to be the universal, free operating system, and support for
alternative kernels, C libraries, and so forth do not detract from that

If the people doing work on the port have specific needs or feel
particularly stonewalled in some concrete at a technological or
infrastructural level, I'd urge them to approach me with their concerns.

>  - There are quite a few developers who are either MIA or left the
>    project for various reasons in the past. In some cases the situation
>    might have changed in the meantime and it might be worth trying to
>    reinvite them into the project, but I wouldn't know which delegate
>    would be responsible for something like this.

As DPL, I would create a delegated position for this and seek a
volunteer to fill it.  I think my record of concern for this issue is
fairly clear, though I'm happy to elucidate if you have a more specific

>  - I've read the -private archives of '96 and early '97 lately and I had
>    the impression that there was a lot more discussion (and flow) about
>    formal stuff in Debian back then than now. Maybe it is time to
>    rethink about the constitution and see if some modifications would
>    better match the project in its current state?

That's a big question.  I'm not sure the Constitution has been shown to
be a failure yet, and the Project has changed a lot in the past 6 years.
These days, highfalutin' philosophical discussions are regarded as out
of place on debian-private.  The debian-project list now exists to house
such discussions, and it does in fact serve that purprose from time to
time, though of course we get highflown and idealistic on other lists as
well (particularly -devel and -legal).

As DPL, I'd like to see what I can do to get some of the old
non-privileged discussions out of the old -private archives and into
public view.  The discussions that led to the Social Contract and DFSG
are of particular historical interest.

G. Branden Robinson                |     Reality is what refuses to go away
Debian GNU/Linux                   |     when I stop believing in it.
branden@debian.org                 |     -- Philip K. Dick
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |

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