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Re: Questions for the Debate

On Mon, Mar 10, 2003 at 02:35:52AM +0000, James Troup wrote:
> Branden Robinson <branden@debian.org> writes:
> > As with the Release Manager, the first thing to do with a delegate is
> > *talk* to them.  More importantly, in fact, *listen* to them.
> No offence, but in my experience[1], you've had lots of trouble
> communicating with the existing DAM and Release Manager in the past;
> what's going to change in that regard when you're DPL?

While I'm not crystal clear on the specifics of what you're referring
to, and I'm not sure how productive it would be to revisit old history,
one might just as easily say that the existing DAM and Release Manager
have had lots of trouble communicating with *me*; it takes two to

I think I've been crystal clear about the approach I'm going to take;
I'm not calling for your head on a platter, though some people do from
time to time, which causes the usual tiresome flamewar on -private.
(But that's okay, they call for my head too, every time a day passes
since the latest XFree86 upstream release and there aren't already
packages of it in unstable that work flawlessly with their hardware
which isn't even supported upstream -- but I digress.)

Also, I don't recall having any particular disputes with
James-Troup-as-DAM or Anthony-Towns-as-Release-Manager.  I've gotten
into some humdinger arguments with Anthony over things that have
absolutely nothing to do with release management, like the details of
our implementation of the Condorcet method, but why should that
matter?  Should we elect as DPL someone who's so timid and insecure in
his convictions that he'll never argue about anything with anyone?

Moreover, I think it's a problem if anyone in this project, be it a
developer, a delegate, or the DPL, is going to let negative feelings
from one dispute spill over into other aspects of his or her
responsibilities.  Anthony Towns and I may disagree about, say, the
utility of supermajoritarianism.  Big deal.  I don't think this makes
him less receptive to my needs of him as Release Manager, and likewise I
don't dismiss what he has to say on any subject because dared to
disagree with me about supermajoritariansm.  Oh, horrors!  :)

I don't, as a rule, hold grudges, and I don't maintain killfiles of
Debian developers I can't tolerate.  I believe everyone has it within
him to stop being an ass from time to time, including me.  ;-)

> [I'm not necessarily blaming or judging you; I don't have any conceits
>  about my communication skills, but that doesn't change my question.]

I think you and I will get along exactly as well as you want us to.  I
pledge to do my best to keep an open mind and be attentive to your needs
as a delegate; I'm assuming that all of the DPL candidates have a
complementary commitment from you, and that you're not planning to be
uncooperative with certain people should they win the election.  I'm
confident that you'd agree with me that that would be silly and
counterproductive; certainly it must be more important for us to get our
work done than nurse grudges and keep old wounds open.

So, if a truce needs to be offered, I'm offering one; but I would be
disappointed to learn that you felt there were some sort of ongoing
hostilities between us -- if there were, I haven't seen much evidence of

G. Branden Robinson                |     Human beings rarely imagine a god
Debian GNU/Linux                   |     that behaves any better than a
branden@debian.org                 |     spoiled child.
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |     -- Robert Heinlein

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