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Technical committee resolution

Hello world,

I've been thinking for a while [0] it'd be good to do a real revamp of
the tech ctte. It's been pretty dysfunctional since forever, there's
not much that can be done internally to improve things, and since it's
almost entirely self-appointed and has no oversight whatsoever the only
way to change things externally is constitutional change.

Here's an idea. I'd rather not push it very much, but since no one else
seems like proposing much change here; I thought I'd at least go that far.


Replace section "6.2. Composition" (of the tech-ctte) with:

6.2. Composition

   1. The Technical Committee consists of up to 8 Developers.

   2. When there are fewer than 8 members, the Project Leader may appoint
      any Developer to to the Technical Committee provided that at
      least one existing member of the Technical Committee supports the
      appointment, or there are no existing members of the Technical

   3. When there are 8 members, the Project Leader may appoint any
      Developer to the Technical Committee replacing the longest serving
      current member, provided there have not already been 2 or more
      appointments to the Technical Committee during the current Leader's

   4. Members of the Technical Committee may resign at any time by giving
      notice to the other members and the Project Leader.

   5. As the primary duties of the Technical Committee is to resolve
      difficult and often contentious technical decisions, the Project
      Leader should evaluate potential members on both their technical
      ability and also their ability to build a consensus around technical

Remove 6.1(6) ("The Technical Committee may ... Together with the Project
Leader, appoint new members to itself or remove existing members.").

Replace 5.1(6) ("The Project Leader may ... Together with the Technical
Committee, appoint new members to the Committee.") with "Appoint new
members to the Technical Committee."

The idea is to encourage DPLs to appoint two new members during their
term, so we get new blood in the committee, and people don't get stuck in
the committee until they eventually fade away from the project. The last
appointment to the committee at the moment was during Branden's term as
DPL; and as best I can tell, Ian and Manoj have been on the ctte for its
entire existance. We've got a pretty good depth of talent, and there's no
reason to monopolise the vast powers of the technical committee the way
we are. There's nothing stopping the DPL from suggesting the oldest two
TC members resigning, then reappointing them (so they become the youngest
two TC members), if we actually do want to keep particular people on.

That removes the possibility for the tech ctte and the DPL combined
to remove a member of the tech ctte; that's something that's only ever
been used when people have vanished, and if there'd been two new members
appointed each year replacing people, wouldn't have been needed.

Overruling maintainers

Change 6.1(4) from "Overrule a Developer (requires a 3:1 majority)." to
"Overrule a Developer (requires a 2.5:1 majority)."

Given the way vote counting is defined later, that means that 1 vote
for FD is the same as 2.5 votes for overruling a developer; so 3 votes
(or more) in favour are required to defeat 1 vote against, and 6 votes
in favour are required to defeat 2 votes against (since there are only
at most 8 members, you can't have 7 votes for and 2 against; and 3 votes
against can't be defeated; the Chairman's casting vote also can't save
an option that's got 5 votes for and 2 against).

Since this has caused some angst, it seems sensible to do it at the same


[0] http://lists.debian.org/debian-vote/2005/03/msg00518.html

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