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Re: Standardization, large scale changes, innovations

On Tue, Apr 06 2010, Anthony Towns wrote:

> Hi,
> On Fri, Apr 2, 2010 at 18:54, Wouter Verhelst <wouter@debian.org> wrote:
>> On Thu, Apr 01, 2010 at 09:57:35AM +0200, Frank Lin PIAT wrote:
>>> BTW, does Manoj own those package?
>> Yes.
> Another word for something that's owned by someone is "proprietary",
> so another way of saying the above in English is "Manoj's packages are
> proprietary".
> I realise that's "just" playing with terminology, and isn't the same
> as saying "Manoj's packages are not DFSG-free" -- but saying "Manoj
> owns the corner of the archive that allows uploads of packages named
> make, fvwm, angband, etc" has problems, even if nowhere near as many
> as would saying "Manoj owns the right to modify or redistribute this
> sequence of bytes wherever they may occur".
> Personally, I'd draw the line more at considering Manoj as someone who
> tends to his packages, and thus is someone worth talking to about
> them, but who doesn't have any authority over them beyond how well he
> can persuade other developers that his preferred course of action is
> the right one.

        But is this the model we have been following? (It might be
 entertaining to see a random developer going out and uploading, say,
 gnome, all converted to using yada and dbs). In the past, we have
 managed to draw a fine line between these positions: We do have a
 concept of package maintainers, and give maintainers wide latitude over
 their packages, but we also allow NMU's, which implies the maintainer
 is not the absolute "owner".

        So it boils down to social norms, etiquette, if you will, also
 codified in the NMU rules, tht says people listed in the maintainer or
 uploader fields are indee dgiven some authority over packages they work
 on, but that authority falls short of "ownership". This happens
 orthogonal to how persuasive the maintainer is about their course of
 action; and usually it takes concerted effort (TC, GR,  flammage) to
 override the maintainer decisions.

> Of course, in my world, the same would be true of other people trying
> to convince Manoj that the best way to maintain his packages is with
> debhelper or similar. Sometimes I think the art of persuasion (or
> perhaps the art of be persuadable) is sadly underutilised.

        Based on one reading of what you wrote here, the  take away I
 have is that no one has any authority apart from their ability to
 persuade people (persuade how many of the? All? Super majority? rough
 consensus?) how a package should be maintained. I don't think that is
 how we have behaved, though, as a project.

I'm prepared for all emergencies but totally unprepared for everyday
Manoj Srivastava <srivasta@debian.org> <http://www.debian.org/~srivasta/>  
4096R/C5779A1C E37E 5EC5 2A01 DA25 AD20  05B6 CF48 9438 C577 9A1C

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