Re: Re: I hereby resign as secretary
> Now if only we could say positive things about people BEFORE they
> resign, wouldn't this be a better place?
John, thank you for taking the time to write and post that note. I couldn't agree more.
When Manoj and I joined the Debian project, there were only a couple dozen of us, and
we indeed had a very different and more positive atmosphere. That was a different time,
and in some senses a very different place. It might therefore be easy to accept the idea
that "things have changed" and that as a result we just have to live with the current
I don't believe that. Those of you who know me know that I've never believed that.
There is a quote from Margaret Mead that I often include in the presentation materials
when I've giving public talks that I think deserves repeating here:
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can
change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.
I've often used this quote to help explain why Free Software has been as successful
as it has been to date. I think it also applies here. Each of us, individually, must
accept personal responsibility for the contribution we make to the overall Debian
project atmosphere. The only way we can "get things back on track" and re-focus our
energy on the real reason we are all here... to create a free operating system... is
to assume that each of us has the power to change things and make them better!
In hockey, there is a statistic kept about each player. If they are on the ice when
a goal is scored by their team, they get a plus one. If they are on the ice when a
goal is scored against their team, they get a minus one. In this way, there is a
rough measure of whether having that player on the ice was an overall benefit or
detriment to the team. Players with a big positive number are highly valued, players
with a big negative number are likely to get traded or not have their contracts
renewed for another season.
We don't really have metrics as crisp as goals scored by and against us in the Debian
project. But I believe that each of us has the responsibility to keep a personal
"plus/minus" tally in our heads about our own participation in the project. If we
all do that, and all work hard to make sure our personal participation is a net
benefit to the project, then I honestly believe we can and will achieve better results.