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Re: how informed should a DPL be?

Paul Wise <pabs@debian.org> writes:

> Recent threads have made me concerned about how well informed some of
> our current DPL nominees are about what is going on within Debian.

FWIW, if I say something stupid, or misinformed, please publicly hit me
with a cluebat. I'm very interested in my mistakes being pointed out, so
that I can improve in the future, so please apply the educational stick
to my head as appropriate.

> How well informed should a DPL be about the activity of the Debian
> project?

Reasonably. I don't expect any human being to be completely well
informed, especially not about something as big and diverse as
Debian. If we consider how many lists, forums, channels and other media
there are that one would need to follow to be completely in picture -
it's insane.

I'd expect a reasonably well informed idea about what goes on within and
around the project, but allow for honest mistakes or lack of
knowledge. The rest of the project - especially those involved in the
respective tasks - can correct this deficiency.

> Do you feel you are sufficiently informed about the Debian project?

Yes, otherwise I wouldn't have nominated myself.

> What might be some deficiencies in your understanding of Debian?
> How would you improve that if you were to be elected?
> Same questions for Debian's relationship with the wider free software
> world and with the wider world in general.

Among other things, I have very little insight into Debian's finances,
and money-related areas, for the simple reason that it's neither my area
of expertise, nor of interest. This should be improved if elected DPL,
and I expect that the people already involved would help me get up to
speed, and that I could delegate the work to someone more knowledgable.

Our relationship with upstreams, downstreams and the wider (free
software) world is another area where I'm a little behind of times, I
think. I'm trying my best to fix that, though, by re-reading the
relevant lists and announcements of the past few years.

In all cases, however, my plan is to continue to improve my
understanding both by keeping an eye open, and by actively researching
areas I feel lacking in - whether elected or not, this is something I am

I'm also open to suggestions as to what knowledges I'm lacking, in which
areas, so that I can fix that. Sadly, I'm not good at figuring out what
I would need to know (or what I do know), therefore I often rely on
others to figure out my shortcomings - they're in a much better position
to do that than I am.

> 1. http://lists.debian.org/debian-vote/2010/03/msg00059.html

This has a few questions that you did not explicitly ask this time,
which I would like to answer nevertheless:

> Which project and external Debian-related communications media do you
> follow? and contribute to? As well as a general list I'm interested in
> specific lists (for eg #debian, #debian-devel, debian-devel@l.d.o,
> debian-project@l.d.o, the Hardware forum on forums.d.n etc).

I'm on #debian-{devel,mentors,qa,java,soc,newmaint}, #debconf and
#debexpo. I'm most active on #-mentors, I believe, but I'm highlighting
the rest too for interesting keywords.

As for lists, I'm subscribed to a ton of lists (including, but not
limited to -devel, -mentors, -bugs-dist, -devel-changes). Most of my
contributions come from reading -bugs-dist, I think.

I do not follow any forums at the moment, nor identi.ca (I do check it
from time to time, but not on a regular basis).

Oh, I also read planet.d.o (and a couple of other planets of various
free software projects).

> How do you see those two lists changing if you become DPL?

I would probably unsubscribe from -devel-changes. -bugs-dist is the
highest traffic media I follow, and it doesn't take up much time. I
developed a very efficient reading habit over the years, and running
through -bugs-dist takes up very little time. Something I could do on
the way to work using a smartphone if I had one.

If elected, I would most probably overcome my dislike towards
smartphones and invest into one, so that those two hours I travel to
work and back each day could be spent more efficiently. (This would also
allow me to subscribe and follow more lists and the like, for which I
find no immediate need right now.)

> Which of these communications media do you feel is important for the
> DPL to read?

-bugs-dist surely isn't, but that's one of the few things I'm not
willing to give up! ;)

In all honesty, I can't tell. There are so many, that following them all
and doing a good job does not seem plausible. However, periodically
skimming through, and/or relying on others to poke me if there's of
immediate interest is more important than trying to keep up with

The rest of the questions from 2010 have been answered elsewhere, at
least partly, so I won't repeat them here.


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