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Re: Questions to candidate Anthony Towns

On Thu, Mar 09, 2006 at 05:45:27PM +0200, Riku Voipio wrote:
> At the time you seemed to defend your decision really aggressively[1],
> although the GR 2004-003 disagreed with your interpretation of the effect 
> of Editorial amendments GR to sarge.

2004-001 was the DPL election; -002 was non-free; -003 was the editorial
amendments; -004 was the release schedule in view of -003. If you mean
-004 by the above, I don't see how it disagreed with my interpretation;
the result was:

   The Debian Project,

   affirming its commitment to principles of freeness for all works
   it distributes,

   but recognizing that changing the Social Contract today would have
   grave consequences for the upcoming stable release, a fact which does
   not serve our goals or the interests of our users,

   hereby resolves:

   1. that the amendments to the Social Contract contained within the
   General Resolution Editorial Amendments To The Social Contract (2004
   vote 003) be immediately rescinded;

   2. that these amendments, which have already been ratified by the
   Debian Project, will be reinstated immediately after the release of the
   next stable version of Debian, without further cause for deliberation.

If you didn't mean to say GR 2004-004, I don't know what you mean.

> Looking backwards, do think your decission to implement the GR immeadetly 
> even thou sarge was already 4 month late was a mistake? 

I don't think it was my decision at all; I think I was bound by the social
contract to act as I did. I invited the technical committee to overrule
my actions, and the developer body as a whole had the opportunity to do
so by GR. Neither did so.

I should also note that all I did was make a post to -devel; nothing in
the archive changed while that debate was underway, and as a consequence
of the follow-on vote, the GR remained unimplemented until after sarge's
release. You might reasonably argue it's still not implemented now,
pending a resolution on the GFDL topic.

> What do you think
> you have learned from the whole episode? How would you avoid similar
> escalation patterns in future?

I did not believe then, and I don't believe now that any single
individual should be held either solely or primarily responsible for
that -- and that presumption was precisely what offended me in the mail
you cite. 

However, some things that could be done differently that would have avoided
the conflict:

    * having GR proposers clearly indicate what they think the outcome of
      the resolution should be, before the vote

    * having the DPL or secretary invite developers to comment on how
      a given GR would change the way they operate (if at all), and
      include that in the summary pages

    * having the technical committee and the DPL comment able to comment on
      controversial issues promptly, to either support the actions taken, or
      take responsibility for changing them

But really, if you want to have a say in the project via elections,
the question has to be turned around to the voters: if you're unhappy
with the result, what have *you* as a voter learned from it, and what
are *you* going to do in future?

Personally, I expect I'll try to make sure that on any vote there's an
option that interests me that I'll want to vote above further discussion.

> [1] http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2004/04/msg02074.html


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