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Re: question for all candidates

Andreas Schuldei <andreas@debian.org> wrote:
> * Matthew Garrett <mgarrett@chiark.greenend.org.uk> [2006-03-09 20:39:20]:
>> 1) You now appear less willing to do so. What has changed?
> The GR was intendet to clarify that point.
> However, in a small oppinion poll I found that this apparently
> was already clear to everyone in the project. A GR would not have
> added much value but instead created unnecessary unrest and work

No, that doesn't make sense. Phrasing it like that makes it sound like 
the GR was intended to have no effect, but at the time you were willing 
to discuss the fact that it may be necessary to replace the existing 
ftp-masters and security team. In fact, you'd already planned for that.

>> 2) At the time you said that you had new ftp-masters and a new security 
>> team ready to replace the existing ones. Does this mean that you already 
>> have good additional people that could (in your opinion) make a 
>> difference in team dynamics and performance?
> At that time I emphazised several times that replacing the teams
> was only the very last, desperate option, which we were trying to
> avoid but for completeness sake had considered along with a
> variety of less drastical ones.

No. Making somebody a constitutional delegate does precisely one thing - 
it gives the DPL the power to fire someone. It's hardly a secret that 
adopting a resolution that, in effect, says "The DPL should be able to 
fire the following people" is not something that encourages nice happy 
behaviour where everyone involves goes for naked swimming and saunas. 
It's a threat.

Now, it has been pointed out to you that threatening the people 
concerned would be likely to make them resign. In fact, it would have 
been an almost inevitable consequence of this GR. So saying that 
"replacing the teams was only the very last, desperate option" is 
somewhat disingenious - if you'd put forward that GR, you were going to 
have to replace the teams.

(As an aside, the London Metropolitan police have denied having a 
"shoot to kill" policy. They have a "shoot to incapacitate" policy. 
Further questioning has revealed that, in this context, "shoot to 
incapacitate" means "Unload your firearm into the suspect's head at 
close range". The aim is to incapacitate, but a near-inevitable 
consequence of the act is that the suspect is killed. You ought to be 
able to see the parallels)

> I told you that we were trying to mediate, encourage
> reconciliation, deescalate by getting different people to talk to
> them, change the social setting to give them incentive to change,
> etc.

You told me that you thought that that process had failed:

23:54 <stockholm> then he can find people who are able and willing to 
work together and delegate to them, if all else fails.
23:54 <stockholm> so far, pretty much all has failed.

Why do you now believe otherwise?

>> 3) You have previously claimed that new people were formally delegated 
>> to the security team during the past year. This was never announced on 
>> debian-devel-announce, and these delegations were never posted on 
>> http://www.debian.org/intro/organization . If you were unable to 
>> successfully add people to teams then, why do you believe you would be 
>> able to do so during your time as DPL?


> During this conversation you yourself pointed out a major "flaw"
> of my position at that time: I was not the DPL. This time around
> I would be DPL when continuing to talk with these people, unlike
> then, when I was only a DPL-team member.  With the body of
> developers empowering me to lead these negotiations these teams
> would know that the Debian Community was very much interested in
> the reform of their teams for the better and would most likey
> consider it very seriously.

At that time, the DPL made two (unreported) formal delegations to the 
security team. That didn't work. Why do you think they'd be any more 
likely to respond to you in your role as DPL?

>> 4) You were planning to propose a GR that would have made the
>> ftp-masters formal delegates. However, at the time you had not actually
>> raised this with the ftp-masters. How does this fit with your desire for 
>> the project to be more open and communicative?
> Please see above. There had been talks and mails, even
> face-to-face ones. People were informed of the intention to
> delegate. Regarding not coming out with the GR out front,
> irritating and potentially threatening them, was totally
> intented. As written above I was interested to hear what my
> fellow DDs thought and get feedback on it. The people were not
> informed of the GR that never came to pass since they are overly
> touchy and feel threatend quickly. Until you told them, that is.
> (c:

Do you really think that it would have been wrong for people to consider 
the following as a threat?

20:04 <stockholm> this is the summary of the GR text that we think 
20:04 <stockholm> he most serious of Debian's problems is that we have 
people in key
20:04 <stockholm> infrastructural positions who monopolize 
administrative powers, are opposed
20:04 <stockholm> to the idea of delegation, do not recognize the 
Project Leader's authority,
20:04 <stockholm> and do little to nothing to educate others on how to 
assist them or replace
20:04 <stockholm> them in those roles.
20:04 <stockholm> I think a GR reasserting the language of the 
Consitution on this subject,
20:04 <stockholm> and explicitly stating the developers' expectation 
that the Project Leader
20:04 <stockholm> will abolish any position of authority that is not 
directly answerable to
20:04 <stockholm> the Project Leader (via delegation) and the developers 
generally (via
20:04 <stockholm> General Resolution).

Let's be entirely clear here. You wanted to propose a GR that threatened 
the existing ftp-masters, DSA and security team with being fired. You 
didn't think that discussing this with the affected people in advance 
was a good idea because they might have felt "threatened" because they 
are "overly touchy".

Do you think that describing the security team, DSA and ftp-masters as 
"overly touchy" brings harmony to Debian? Do you believe that it's 
effective communication? Why do you believe that it would be "overly 
touchy" to consider a GR with the sole aim of allowing the DPL to fire 
people a threat?

17:55 <stockholm> we even have prepared for the case that they say "no, 
we wont give you root"

Do you believe that it's possible to function as DPL when you don't feel 
that you can trust people who do important work?

Matthew Garrett | mjg59-chiark.mail.debian.vote@srcf.ucam.org

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