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Re: Proposal: Recall the Project Leader

Clint Adams <schizo@debian.org> writes:

>> Delegates aren't somehow magically different, and there aren't enough

> No, everyone with special privileges or access is "magically different".
> That includes DSA, ftpmaster, the release team, and so forth.

I just don't agree with this.  What bright line is drawn around those
particular jobs that makes them special?  I have special access to the
Perl repository on Alioth as a member of the pkg-perl team; am I magically
different?  Or am I magically different because I have commit access to
the lintian repository?  Or am a member of the QA team but haven't done
anything with that access yet due to lack of time?

>> Otherwise, the only people you could get to take on time-intensive
>> delegated positions are people who either have very flexible working
>> conditions or who have sufficient personal funds to not have to work a
>> full-time job.

> Sounds like you're describing a volunteer organization.

I think we're not using the same definition of volunteer.

More to the point, this pattern, however you would care to describe it, is
extremely common among free software projects and, for that matter, many
other types of organizations that do things for the common good.  Many
corporations will sponsor (i.e., fund) employee activities for such
organizations as Habitat for Humanity, for instance.  I don't consider
this to be in any way a bad thing.  I think it's *way* too restrictive to
require that no employer be involved in any way.  One does have to take
care with conflicts of interest, but it's possible to act responsibily
with respect to conflicts of interest without segregating one's life to
*that* degree.

Furthermore, to address this from a more personal level, I *will not*
segregate my life to that degree.  I find it deeply unpleasant to do so
and have no particular desire to be involved in a project that would
require me to make sharp distinctions between work time and not-work time.
I carefully chose my employer precisely so that I would *not* have to do
that.  I chose an employer that would not create difficult conflicts of
interest, I have structured my life so that I can work on what I feel
needs to get done without having to worry about who "owns" that work, and
I would deeply resent someone trying to interfere with that *personal*

>> It is absolutely worthwhile to expect people in such positions to act
>> in the best interests of Debian, to be aware of their different hats,
>> and to be cautious about having a variety of people coming from a
>> variety of different positions involved in critical decisions.  This
>> isn't exactly a new problem, though, and *many* free software projects
>> have already dealt with issues like this in a reasonable way.

> As far as I can tell, the developer body is not united in that
> expectation.

I don't consider that particularly relevant.  The developer body is large
enough that it's unlikely to be united in anything.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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