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Re: [all candidates] DPL term duration

On 2013-03-12 20:35, Gunnar Wolf wrote:
In the past, when I was a new DD, there was this strange
and sad tendency that after finishing their DPL term, DPLs tended to
leave the project (or strongly reduce their involvement) — I *think*
there is some correlation with the DPL task pickup burnout time, which
can be an important portion of the term.

While this burnout has been most visible in DPLs, we have seen the same pattern in other Debian roles. I would relate this to the more general point I have been making, that we should aim for people to rotate into new roles earlier (not later, as you are suggesting here ;). It's a waste if we leave people in roles until they burn out then leave the project, rather than guiding them earlier into new roles where we can transfer their experience to other areas.

In the specific case of the DPL role, I would rather that someone stayed around the project a long time as an occasional advisor than that we pushed them to take an extra year as DPL then saw them burn out and disappear.

We have seen some discussions in the past regarding whether the term
should be lengthened to two years, with a mid-term referendum (or
chance to politely step down) rather than full election procedure. How
would you feel about it?

I can certainly see a potential benefit for the project from spending less time on elections (currently > 10% of each year is the election period). And a two-year term would allow people to work on some of their plans on a more relaxed timetable.

However, the DPL role for a single year is already a big commitment, taking a lot of energy and time (typically including a lot of the time that person previously spent in other areas of Debian). Already many people who would perform the role well choose not to run due to the required commitment. While you suggest that the second year would be separate and optional, I can see it becoming a point of pride in the election period to say that you plan to perform the full two years, discouraging those who don't feel so confident about asserting this.

Equally, losing a referendum could be more stressful for an incumbent DPL who wants to continue than being beaten by another candidate -- and if they failed the referendum we'd presumably need a full vote, but would face an interim period with either no DPL or one who knows that they lack formal support.

In my view, if we want to lengthen the term of office for our leadership roles, which could have beneficial aspects, we should do that as part of a wider reform that reduces the concentration of roles/power in a single person.


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