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Re: Vote Robinson for DPL!

On Wednesday 23 February 2005 7:07 am, MJ Ray wrote:
> I doubt anyone would take a "yes" here now, quite rightly. We
> need to watch and decide for ourselves.

Hey. I agree.

> No and I think you've demonstrated why not very well. I would
> hope that there are laws against presidents doing that, but US
> company laws seem very lax to me.

As I've said, I can be combative, irrational and mean tempered. At the same 
time, I was able to get a few years of accounting problems cleared up in a 
week or two. I think it is great that we are focused on group concensus in 
Debian but I think everyone can agree that we paralyze ourselves with that 
focus at times. If you look underneath the skin, most interesting things in 
Debian get done by individuals who work without permission to build something 
interesting. Fundamentally, all I was trying to do was hack on SPI because it 
was broken. 

Think of it like this. If the Debian mailservers were broken, how long would 
Debian wait for the "official mailserver guy" to fix them if it became clear 
that he didn't really know much about mailservers? How long would keep 
someone who knew exactly how to fix the problem from doing so in the name of 
an official title? I may be a pain in the ass but I do run a business and 
have a full time accountanting help. I also write ecommerce websites for a 
living. Fixing the SPI accounting is kiddie stuff.

> In SPI's minutes, I see Branden being appointed (September
> 2001), working for a while (to mid-2002), flagging up the
> problem (January 2003), trying to get help to deal with the
> problem (July 2003) and resigning (January 2004). I have seen
> him being a bit annoyed with the other people in the mess with
> him, but I can understand that. Can you tell me where to see
> him blaming everyone else?

When I say that he blames everyone I mean just those defenses. That the job 
was more than one person can do, that no one would help him. When raising 
that argument he fails to include the fact that it took months for him to 
ship the paperwork even at my expense. Also, the job just isn't that hard. 
It's tiresome, boring and detail oriented but not overly time consuming. Its 
only when it is neglected that the backlog becomes difficult to deal with. 
Even then, with an enormous back log, it wasn't that hard for us to iron out.

> This seems similar to an earlier situation where a secretary
> was appointed, couldn't fill in past holes and resigned,
> although you didn't give any time between pointing it out
> and resigning. Maybe you gave up too quickly and Branden gave
> up too slowly?

Could be. I have a short attention span.

> Also from the minutes, it looks like SPI was slowly failing from
> mid-2002. Branden was part of the board, but so were you. Who
> should we blame? Is there any point blaming anyway?

Blame me for sure! I am not good at getting volunteer hackers to participate 
in a bureaucracy. I've learned that the hard way in flying colors. I can get 
things done with my normal team. I wanted to use that team to clear up SPI's 
problem but that meant breaking stride with the existing processes. The 
existing processes weren't working and, to my way of thinking, are only 
barely limping along now. I didn't see the harm. That, of course, is part of 
why I failed.

> Branden wasn't leader of SPI. You were.

See above. I failed to lead SPI effectively.

(I did, however, alert hundreds of people that their donations to Debian had 
failed to complete because of ineffective processes and returned their checks 
to them and I did that by myself. Not that I'm complaining. It wasn't that 

> Can you substantiate that claim besides trying to blame him for
> the SPI bug? His packages don't seem to be worse than a few other
> people I've looked at, although it seems his upstreams aren't
> particularly cooperative.

Well. I would like to make the bold distinction that hacking on software is 
not the same thing as maintaining a bureaucracy and that assumption is why we 
have failed to make SPI work again and again and again.

> Not really a Branden/DPL issue, but more a DPL question in general:
> Will the DPL go to many SPI board meetings or appoint a delegate?

Debian money held by SPI is still Debian's money. SPI is a corporation and 
Debian is its main customer. If I had a bank mislay checks constituting 50% 
of my account holdings I would take a very active interest in its operations. 

I don't think its a question of who will represent Debian in SPI but rather 
the level of performance Debian expects. The representative is irrelevant so 
long as results are achieved.

Ean Schuessler, CTO
214-720-0700 x 315
Brainfood, Inc.

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