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Re: Question for candidate Towns [Was, Re: DPL election IRC Debate - Call for questions]

Matthew Garrett wrote:
(I'm not suggesting that the ftp-masters are doing their job
inadequately here,
See, that's the thing, you _are_. You can tell, because you had to explicitly refute the idea; it's the same as being able to tell you're being offensive when you feel the need to say "no offense intended". And sometime's that's necessary; but it's happening _continually_, which is just tiresome and demotivating.
No. I don't believe that the ftp-masters are doing their job

I didn't say you believed it -- I said you were suggesting it. Which is worse, because it's not something that can be addressed straight up, because you'll just say "But that's not what I /meant/". But how else do you think "Oh, NEW's not being processed! There's not enough communication. And we need to work out how to deal with inadequate teams, anyway." is going to appear to anyone at all? Heck -- any rumours that the NEW is deliberately stopped because of the release presumably started when that was explicitly denied by the RM; how much easier is it for your sequence of thoughts to get misconstrued to "I think ftp-masters are doing their job inadequately and must be retrained/replaced." ?

However, that doesn't mean that we should ignore any
situation where a team /does/ do their job inadequately.

That doesn't mean we should ignore the possibility of aliens orbiting the planet trying to hack their way into Debian, either.

Are there any teams doing their job "inadequately"? If not, shouldn't the whole issue be treated the same as the space aliens one, who I presume we're confident don't exist either? If there are teams doing their job inadequately -- and you've explicitly said you don't think that's the case for ftpmaster -- why are you attaching this discussion to one about ftpmaster?

If you don't think ftpmaster is the most inadequate team in Debian at present, why are you contributing to the false perception that they are by participating in this thread?

At what point
do we (as a project) step in and do something, and how do we deal with
that sort of situation without demotivating other teams? I think these
are difficult questions, but I think we need to find answers to them.

At what point do you see sufficient requests from a team for support, and respond to them?

Not really -- the question then becomes "How do you get that consensus?", and that's hard -- if it weren't we'd have already replied "REJECT: Your package has these problems, please fix them." The question's then immediately, "How do we deal with the followup question?" and there's no real answer to that.
Telling people that there is inadequate consensus about a package means
that they can either accept that they're not going to get that
consensus, or alternatively start doing something about gaining that

No, then they'd start mailing lists asking for "support" -- which isn't gaining consensus or resolving the underlying issues. What needs to happen is the underlying problems need to be brought to light, then addressed directly: the problem here is that the underlying problems aren't even clearly known in the first place. And the package maintainers are usually the /worst/ people to be doing this, because by the fact that they've decided its worth packaging, they've usually already concluded, explicitly or implicitly, that the problems aren't worth taking seriously.

Failing to tell them that just leaves them puzzled. It's not
the job of the ftp-masters to gain that consensus, but I think it
/should/ be their responsibility to tell people that they don't think it

Do you think explaining that should take priority over the activities ftpmaster are currently prioritising, and if so, which ones?

For comparison helping the crypto-in-main team get a consensus about that problem took something like three or four months of my time as RM/ftpmaster -- and that was with explicit support and activity from the DPL, a team of people working on the problem, and a lawyer whom we could contact fairly easily.

It'd be possible to prioritise increased communication, but that's YA thing to do, leaving less time for even the things that're currently being done.
Sure. How can that be improved?

Well, here's a simple train of thought:

 (1) Hrm, ftpmaster aren't doing things as quickly as normal.
 (2) Gosh, that probably means they're really busy.
 (3) I wonder what I could do that would help.

Here's a train of thought that doesn't work so well:

 (1) Hrm, ftpmaster aren't doing things as quickly as normal.
 (2) Not that that's very quick anyway.
 (3) Why the hell isn't there an explanation somewhere about the change
 (4) Oh, that's right, because they're in the Cabal and don't care about
     us peons. Bastards.
 (5) GAR! What can I do to make them hurry up and do what I want?

I've no grudge against ftpmaster.

Then how about doing the courtesy of not using ftpmaster as a perfect opportunity to discuss "inadequate teams"?


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