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Re: Gergely and Wouter: on the need of becoming a DPL

On Wed, Mar 14, 2012 at 04:30:06PM +1100, Ben Finney wrote:
> Wouter Verhelst <wouter@debian.org> writes:
> > On Wed, Mar 14, 2012 at 07:33:06AM +1100, Ben Finney wrote:
> > > Wouter Verhelst <wouter@debian.org> writes:
> > > 
> > > > I will try to be a DPL who will care a bit less about the letter
> > > > of the constitution or the letter of the social contract, than
> > > > about the people and the job that needs doing.
> > > 
> > > The above (and the rest of your message) doesn't give any specifics of
> > > what you plan to *do* as DPL, though.
> >
> > No, because (as I've said before) there is no detailed plan.
> As I've said before, “what will you do” doesn't request that you lay out
> a plan.
> Saying what you will care about doesn't tell us anything about what you
> will *do*. Saying what you will focus on doesn't tell us what you will
> *do*.

So, I've given this some thought, and I think I understand why we seem
to be talking two different languages here.

The role of the DPL, as I see it, is something of an observer, an
overseer (in the non-boss kind of way), someone who only intervenes when
otherwise things would go wrong, or the project would go off track. At
the same time, the DPL should keep his eye on the long-term goals and
plans of the project, since otherwise it's difficult to decide when
things are, in fact, going "off track", which requires some vision on
the part of the DPL.

There are other ways of interpreting the role of the DPL, however. One
way could be to be someone who wants to steer the project, leading by
making suggestions of where to go next. This would be a much more active
role than how I've just come to describe, and would require a plan of
things you want to do. Not necessarily a time-based plan (as in, "I'll
do this by X, and that by Y"), but a "plan" as in, "I want to have this
and that and those things all done by the time my term is over". While I
may have one or two things that I want to suggest (the Code of Conduct
overhaul is one of them, but even that is by no means certain), this is
absolutely not what I stand for.

Now, the first form is much more of a reactionary form of being DPL than
the second form, and as such makes it very difficult to say what I'll be
"doing", since I don't know that yet; it depends on what will happen
during my term. That doesn't make me unpredictable, it just reflects the
fact that Debian, as a project, is unpredictable; but if you know how I
think about important matters, you should be able to defer how I will
react to a given situation, and as such you should be able to predict my
reaction somewhat.

So, if you have things that matter to you, which you think might happen
during the year, or which have happened or are ongoing and aren't (or
didn't) happen in the way you think should have happened, feel free to
ask some specific questions about that, and I'll be glad to answer them
in as much detail as I think is reasonably possible. But asking me to
say "how will you act" is asking me to say how I will react to anything
that might possibly or impossibly happen during the next year, which I
dont't think is a question that I can usefully answer.

I hope that explains it. If not, I'm afraid I'm going to have to tell
you that I don't believe I can give you an answer which will satisfy

The volume of a pizza of thickness a and radius z can be described by
the following formula:

pi zz a

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