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Re: Proposal: Recall the Project Leader

> 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?

If Company X bribes you to break libstat-lsmode-perl, there are roughly
a thousand people that can upload a fix.  If Company Y bribes you to
remove all the files from pkg-perl's svn repo, there are dozens of
people who can revert this, and roughly a thousand who can NMU the
relevant perl packages in the meantime.  lintian is a similar situation.
If Company Z bribes you to not make QA uploads, no one will notice.

Now, if you become the release manager, and your employer makes your
compensation contingent on Debian not releasing before February of 2010,
no one can NMU the release.  Theoretically, we could replace you, but
we cannot fix the problem directly.

Would you not agree that this affects the risk assessment?

> 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.

If my employer encourages me to spend an hour a week working on Debian,
I think that's fine.  If my employer demands that I spend one hour per
week trying to get HotJava through NEW, I will either refuse or resign
myself to be an unscrupulous hypocrite.

> 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*
> decision.

Then I'm not sure of what I might be saying that applies to you.

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

Perhaps this is nostalgic hagiography, but we used to be united in
producing a quality OS.

I suspect that I've reached Matthew Wilcox's 3-post-per-day limit

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