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Re: still more questions for the candidates

On Wed, Mar 10, 2004 at 01:55:36AM -0500, Branden Robinson wrote:
> > > > > I don' think it's a professional attitude if the RM has given up
> > > > > talking to the maintainer of xfree86. Please, Anthony, adjust your
> > > > > attitude, or ask someone else to be the RM.
> > > > Ah, what I love about Debian is just how _rewarding_ it is to contribute.
> > > Indeed; how do you suppose I felt today when I learned -- apparently
> > > long after the fact -- that the Release Manager had placed an embargo on
> > > his communications with me in that official capacity?

Well, to answer that question, I expect you felt pleased to find out
about an existing concerned, considering you've said in the past that
you like to be told about problems, and that you apparently weren't
aware that anyone might still think you were abrasive.

If you think about things a little more, you might even choose to
appreciate that in spite of personal disagreements, you've been able
to continue managing X in the way you see fit, without calls for your

> Let's review our original exchange:
> > > Yes, but as I noted in another message, this is increasingly a thing
> > > of the *past*, as you seem to have observed.
> > How sure are you that's not just because people have given up trying
> > to talk to you? Certainly, as RM I've had to keep all the X related
> > stuff dealt with by other people, or not dealt with at all, lest minor
> > issues spiral completely out of control again, as happened last release
> > for Bug#97671.

That's not much of an exchange, considering you're still avoiding the
question. You've been abrasive to a fair number of people in a fair
number of contexts, what makes you think that you've mended those fences
subsequently, and what makes you think that people you've offended in
the past aren't just avoiding you? You've got one example, but given
the unfriendly response by Andreas, I can't imagine you'll get any more,
whether they're out there or not.

> So I have a few questions for you:
> 1) Is there anything that has gone "not dealt with at all", and if so,
>    if it's "hard to see how it's caused any problems", what is the
>    drawback here?

The question was whether you're still abrasive or not. It's possible
that a DPL with an abrasive personality, or the increased difficulty
in communication resulting in that isn't a problem for Debian.

> 2) If something's a "minor issue", as you put it, is it really the
>    province of the Release Manager?  Can something be both minor *and*
>    release-critical?

Some release-critical issues are more minor than others. A security hole
allowing remote root access in the kernel is more significant than a
local root hole in X, is more significant than a copyright problem in
ircii, is more significant than whether the maintainer is working on
fixing some arch-dependent file that's currently in /usr/share.

> 3) On or about 18 April 2002, according to an IRC transcript I posted to
>    the bug report, you told me "Overfiend: nah, leave it 'til after woody
>    now".[1] 

Indicating that it's amongst release critical bugs, it's pretty
minor. That keeping that bug tracked correctly resulted in appeals to
the tech ctte and the DPL, and tonnes of verbiage, and an RC bug that
lasted years without the maintainer fixing it, and is an issue whose
outcome you're still challenging:

>    That we came to a mutual agreement about the actual urgency
>    involved in resolving the bug seems clear.  Is the discussion of
>    related -- but fundamentally auxiliary -- issues such as the meanings
>    of bug severities in the Debian BTS, really directly relevent to your
>    role as Release Manager?

indicates to me that I'm better off not bringing issues to your attention
if they can be avoided.

> 4) If the answer to 3) is "yes", can you please provide us with a list
>    of other auxiliary issues developers would be wise not to discuss
>    with you?

And ooo, would you look at that! Just like magic it's turned out that
Branden's not abrasive at all, but that I have a bunch of hot button
issues that I can't talk to *anyone* about.

This would be one of the reasons why it's not worth my time or energy
discussing things with you when I can avoid it. It's also why I'm
reluctant to bring up any current issues to serve as examples, I don't
need you making big issues out of those, either.

> Furthermore, I asked for assistance with this bug many times, and no one
> ever offered any.  

Does that mean that the rest of the project was unable to help, or that
you aren't effective at encouraging people to help you? Someone outside
the project has fixed the bug now, so it should be fairly easy to work
out just how hard that was, and if anyone in the project had the skills
to assist.


Anthony Towns <aj@humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
I don't speak for anyone save myself. GPG signed mail preferred.

             Linux.conf.au 2004 -- Because we could.
           http://conf.linux.org.au/ -- Jan 12-17, 2004

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