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Re: Questions to the candidates


On Sun, Feb 25, 2007 at 07:57:21AM +0200, Kalle Kivimaa wrote:
> Now that we are well into the campaigning period, I'd like to ask each
> candidate a couple of questions. Feel free to say that "this is
> answered in my platform", if that is the case.
> What is the role of the DPL? Is he a strong leader, who uses his
> position to Get Things Done His Way, a public figurehead, who just
> Speaks For The Project, a mediator, who tries to solve internal
> squabbles, or something else?

This, I think, is a very good question, and part of what has driven me
to become a candidate this year. It's partially answered in my platform,
but since parts aren't and since the platforms aren't up yet as of this
writing, here goes:

I do not think a good DPL can be a strong leader. Debian has always
tried to do "The Right Thing", whatever that means; this is something
you can only get through having the right people discuss about a
problem, and have them try to get to a solution. That's not always easy,
and it probably never is the fastest way to get something done; but
personally, I value quality and correctness over speed.

That is not to say that I think the DPL should be a mere figurehead; I
do think there can be cases where the voice of the DPL is more important
than the voice of any developer. This can be through mediation, but it
can also be done in many other ways, such as, e.g., by trying to analyse
and focus a discussion.

In short, I think a DPL cannot be a Benevolent Dictator; but OTOH, I do
not think he should be a total politician, either.

> Do you feel that the DPL is first and foremost The Debian Project
> Leader, in the sense that anything Debian-related the DPL does, he
> does so as the DPL, not as a DD or a private person?

No. However, since the DPL is the DPL, it is not uncommon nor unexpected
for people to confuse "something the DPL does" with "something the
person who just happens to be DPL does"

> There are problems with communication between some key teams and
> the rest of the project. What solutions will you try to implement
> during the next year?

As I said in my platform, I will try to work on this.

I don't think it's prudent to come up with a detailed plan right now,
however, for a very simple reason: while I'm generally aware of how
these "key teams" of which I presume you're talking usually do their
work and how or when they fail to complete it in a way that is
satisfactory, I do not know about all the details which I think will be
relevant. As such, any plan I could come up with right now might very
well turn out to be impossible to implement in practice.

I do agree that there is a problem in that area, however, and I hope to
be able to work with these teams to do something which will at least
improve the situation.

> How do you feel about spending Debian monies into buying core
> infrastructure support?

If that is required and would help the project, then we should do it.

> Currently just about every single conversation on -project and
> -vote degenerates immediately into a (minor) flame war. What will you
> do to fix the current atmosphere?

The main problem, as I see it, is that Debian's culture inherently
condones flaming. I do not feel this is correct, and I will let people
know so. I will encourage other people to react to flaming, too.

The key word there would be politeness: politely ask people to stay

<Lo-lan-do> Home is where you have to wash the dishes.
  -- #debian-devel, Freenode, 2004-09-22

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