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Re: First call for votes for the Lenny release GR

Manoj Srivastava <srivasta@debian.org> writes:
> On Wed, Dec 17 2008, Russ Allbery wrote:

>> Basically, to declare this option as requiring a 3:1 majority assumes
>> an answer to precisely the question that's being disputed, and I don't
>> think that falls under the purview of the secretary.  The secretary
>> interprets the constitution, but not the DFSG or the SC.  It's one of
>> those difficult balancing acts: you do have to decide whether to
>> require a 3:1 majority, which partly requires interpretation, but
>> interpretation may be the matter under dispute.

>         So who interprets the DFSG and the SC  in regular day to day
>  activities? Do we not interpret it as best? Isn't your argument that
>  the release team should be interpreting the DFSG and SC in their work?

Yes.  And they seem to have already done this and arrived at a conclusion,
and this GR is being proposed to override that decision.  Since option
four effectively supports the existing delegate decision about how the SC
and DFSG should be applied, deciding whether or not it requires a 3:1
supermajority is basically equivalent to deciding whether or not you think
the release team is following the DFSG and SC now.  Which reduces to the
same problem that's the subject of the vote in the first place.

To some extent, as secretary, you're basically screwed here.  Every
decision that you can make about majority is arguably begging the

I think the best way out of that trap is to take a step back and defer to
the decision-making process: there's a conflict over the DFSG and SC,
currently "who decides?" is the delegate, and they've decided that it
means the lenny release can go forward.  Therefore, in this area, that's
the prevailing interpretation unless the project overturns that decision
via GR.

Of course, the other argument that can be made here is that option four is
intended to be more sweeping than the existing delegate decision by making
that decision binding on the rest of the project or making it permanent or
some other material change.  I can sort of see that if I squint at it, but
I don't think that was the intention.  (The "if necessary we authorize
those decisions" adds some ambiguity, since it's not really clear to me
which power of the developers acting via GR that's referring to.  I, of
course, didn't say anything about that at any point when it would have
been useful to do so, and your points about how you're not responsible for
any of the wording are very well-taken.)

>  If the release team is not allowed to interpret the DFSG and SC in
>  order to release who is?

Yeah, that's exactly the problem.  My reading of the constitution is that
in the absence of a GR, the release team has that power.

In other words, my reading of option four is that what it proposes is the
same as the current state, modulo details of wording.

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

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