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Re: Question for candidate Towns

Anthony Towns <aj@azure.humbug.org.au> writes:

> > Yes, but this doesn't *quite* answer my question.
> > The question is whether the bts people will make their own decision
> > about anything, or just do whatever the maintainer says.
> Of course they'll look over whatever bug you claim is being abused. I
> don't understand why you'd even imagine it'd be otherwise.

[Well, I'm not, but I'm trying not to make unwarranted assumptions, so
I'm erring on the side of not guessing and just asking for

I think what I would prefer for cases like this is to remain somewhat
arms-length.  Human nature is naturally likely to let one's judgment
be clouded be emotional investment in a particular case (as it clearly
was for the other side too).  

Nothing in this case was permanent, there was plenty of opportunity to
reverse your judgment if it were wrong, and even archiving of the bug
doesn't prevent opening a new one if that were ultimately necessary.
So that tends to support the idea that extra caution isn't all that
important, I would agree.

> My technical judgement got a thorough going over on -devel, which is
> archived permanently and available from the above urls, and should my
> judgement have been found seriously wanting any of the other debbugs
> admins would have corrected it.

About the technical question, I'm of two minds, but of course, that
isn't the point; the point is that having made a reasonable technical
decision (even though you could have made a different one), it was
certainly abuse of the BTS to annoyingly reopen bugs.

> Also, the above's getting pretty off-topic -- it's no longer about the
> DPL stuff, and it's not even about anything happening currently, and
> it's even getting kinda close to just being a random personal attack
> about events from a year ago -- focussing as it does on whether I,
> personally, get different standards to everyone else in the project
> and am thus by implication some sort of immoral tyrant -- rather than
> anything particularly technical (since after all you've explicitly
> agreed the right outcome was reached).

No no, not some kind of immoral tyrant, geez no.  I'm asking something
else, I think.  I want a DPL who doesn't use the particular
prerogatives of *that* office to get a special pass on issues relating
to his own packages or his own commitments in other areas of the
project.  One thing I would look for is a certain "arms length"
attitude when different areas of discretion start overlapping.

I'm not attacking at all; I'm not accusing you of any kind of
impropriety.  But what is crucial is the avoidance of the *appearance*
of any impropriety.  If a criminal defendant is the judge's brother,
we ask the judge to step aside, and that's not any kind of implication
that the judge is immoral or dishonest or can't be trusted; it's just
a nod to natural human nature *and* a requirement that not merely
justice be done, but justice must be *seen* to be done.

Now as I grant above, in this case there is hardly any irrevocable
action undertaken, so the reasons for hesitancy are different.  

Does that explain both my worries, why I'm not *upset* at you about a
decision that was, as regards its merit, clearly right in my opinion,
and why I think this is about the DPL election and future directed
events, and not a rehash of the past?

In other words, what I wish you had done would have been to ask
another person with BTS-oversight bits to say: "can you look at this
case and see if it warrants removing so-and-so from bts-control-bot
privs for a space?"  It's not a *fault* that you didn't do this, but
it would have demonstrated a strong awareness of the issues here.
Would you agree that a procedure like this can be important and think
about it in the future?


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