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Re: First call for votes for the Lenny release GR

On Wed, Dec 17 2008, Russ Allbery wrote:

> 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.

        I am not sure how even choice 1 is over riding that
 decision. Do you believe that the release team, despite their
 protestations, is bundling DFSG violatons into main? If the release
 team is releasing only free stuff, then option 1 is being followed.

        I do not see where you get this over ride a delegate bit from,
 unless you are accusing the release team of violating the 100 % free
 debian system bit.

        Can you clarify?

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

        Hmm. So, in my role as a vote taker, I have to decide on the
 majority requirement of every option, and so my daily tasks require
 interpretation of the SC/DFSG to see if they are being overridden or
 changed. Now, who gets to interpret that SC/DFSG? perhaps what follows
 may shed some light.

> 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.

        Wonderful. The delegate, or the role in charge, decodes how to
 interpret the  DFSG and the SC in their day to day work.

        All we have to do is decide who the role in charge is that
 decodes how the DFSG and SC is to be interpreted when deciding of the
 procedures and form of the ballot in a vote.


> 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

        It defines what the Debian system is, since our OS is what I
 think the SC is referring to. So, any decisions about the Debian system
 does impact the social contract, which is something I do considere
 binding on the developers -- we all agreed to it, right?

        Now, we are saying that we are giving away the decisions to
 decide about violations of the social contract with respect to the
 Debian system to a handful of developers.

> 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.

        So, who gets to decide how to interpret the DFSG and the SC when
 it comes to voting procedures and the final form of the ballot?

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

        Why is option 1 different from option 4, unless the release team
 is deciding to violate the social contract (which they have repeatedly
 said they are not)?

I'd put my money where my mouth is, but my mouth keeps moving. Larry
Wall in <199704051723.JAA28035@wall.org>
Manoj Srivastava <srivasta@debian.org> <http://www.debian.org/~srivasta/>  
1024D/BF24424C print 4966 F272 D093 B493 410B  924B 21BA DABB BF24 424C

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