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Re: Proposal - preserve freedom of choice of init systems

Paul Tagliamonte <paultag@debian.org> writes:
> On Sun, Mar 02, 2014 at 11:16:57AM -0700, Bdale Garbee wrote:

>> The part I don't understand is why reference is made to any TC decision
>> at all.  Unless the objectives include overturning the decision on the
>> default Linux init system for jessie, I see no reason to invoke the GR
>> clause in that resolution at all.

>> Why isn't this just a standalone GR asserting a "position statement
>> about issues of the day" on the coupling question?

> Ian's backdoor would then trigger and abort the TC decision, so he says.

I think you're overreacting.

First, there appears to be a general consensus on the TC (at least, I
recall Steve, Bdale, Ian, and I have all saying things along these lines
and while Andreas had some concerns about the margin, didn't seem to
disagree in principle, and I don't recall anyone else disagreeing) that
the TC should be overridable by a 1:1 project majority in general.

Now, I think one can make a good argument that it's one thing to override
a decision, and another thing to override a decision not to make technical
policy to make technical policy via GR, which would normally require a 2:1
majority.  I think a GR is a poor way to make specific technical policy,
as opposed to deciding on broad outcomes, so I'm not as happy about that.
But it's certainly not some radical idea or a significant deviation from
what we've already been talking about.

Second, Matthew's proposal explicitly doesn't change the TC decision, so
I'm not even sure what you think would be aborted here.  It wouldn't have
any effect on the choice of default.  It dictates in a top-down manner to
individual developers how to do their work and undermines the flexibility
of Debian contributors in ways that I think are unnecessary and a little
condescending, and requires work be done without identifying anyone who is
going to do the work, which is why I voted against it.  But it's not some
sort of end-run around the previous decision.

Third, even if it were, as Andreas points out, we put that clause in there
intentionally.  If the project wants to change the decision about the
default init system, it can do so with a 1:1 majority.

I think the way this GR is phrased is odd, and I agree with Bdale that I
see no reason why it couldn't just be a straight statement on issues of
the day without being attached to a TC decision.  Currently, it's attached
to a decision about the default init system while not actually saying
anything about the default init system, which I think is strange.  I
concur with Kurt that while procedurally this may be allowed, I don't
think it's a particularly good idea.

But I also don't think it really matters.  I think the proposal is a bad
idea, but I don't think trying to argue about supermajorities is the way
to point out that's a bad idea.  If a majority of the project disagrees
with me that it's a bad idea, that quite likely means that I'm wrong and
haven't thought through some aspect of the problem that makes it a better
idea than it appears to be to me.

Also, separately, please don't attack Ian for things that Matthew
proposed, or for clauses in previous decision that Bdale drafted in
conjunction with the project secretary.  This is not a situation of Ian's

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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