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Something Constructive out of Disgust and Rearguard Battles

>>>>> "Holger" == Holger Levsen <holger@layer-acht.org> writes:

    Holger> I'm also utterly disgusted that this GR was proposed by Ian,
    Holger> someone who perceives himself as loser of the tech-ctte
    Holger> decision (instead of accepting a group decission of a group
    Holger> which he is part of) and thus deciced to beat Debian into
    Holger> shape via this GR - and who has already announced that he
    Holger> will not keep quiet if he looses the GR and only will be
    Holger> quiet if he wins.  (I'm happy to provide the message-id for
    Holger> this... but I'm sure people do rememeber.)

    Holger> This makes me quite very sad. From a responsible and
    Holger> reasonable tech-ctte member I would have expected (and I
    Holger> still expect!) to see the bias and act accordingly, as in:
    Holger> step back.

    Holger> cheers, Holger

I think my position in this has been made very clear  by my mail to
debian-project: my hope is that we can all work together with compassion
and respect when this is done.

I appreciate  your cander in sharing your disgust  when you read Ian's
Let me see if I got what you are feeling correctly.  You're feeling
disgust because you're hoping that the project's decision making
processes will be respected and you're hoping that people will act in
good faith.
Have I got that right?

I'd like to share Ian's text on this:

Marco d'Itri writes ("Re: Legitimate exercise of our constitutional
decision-making processes [Was, Re: Tentative summary of the
> ijackson@chiark.greenend.org.uk wrote:
> >I don't want to be having this conversation again in a year's time,
> And still, I am ready to bet that we will...

Ian>If my GR passes we will only have to have this conversation if those
Ian>who are outvoted do not respect the project's collective decision.

Ian>If my GR fails I expect a series of bitter rearguard battles over
Ian>individual systemd dependencies.

I cannot think of a time when I've felt more disappointed in my Debian
work than when I read that text above for the first time.

However, there is a grain of something positive in that text.

Ian believes that his resolution makes a fairly strong statement against
coupling replacements to traditional unix facilities with an init

None of the other options really answer this question at all.  Even
choice 3, maintainers may do whatever they like, doesn't overrule the
policy process for anything other than init system choice.  Policy could
still cover how Debian handles Cron (it does today); it could cover
logging (it sort of does today), it could cover time sync, it could even
cover logind.  All that would be left up to the normal process on
debian-policy.  That's even more true of choice 2, 4 and of course
choice 5.

If Ian had said that if his resolution fails, we're going to have some
complex policy discussions on each systemd feature, I would have agreed
with him.
That's how we handle technical policy: we have complex discussions about

Even Russ, who I think is generally viewed as fairly pro-systemd has
said that he doesn't favor replacing cron, and favors fairly strongly
keeping with syslog in most cases.  Russ believes we can get a quick
consensus on those points.  I'm less rue, but I think we'd all agree
that choice 2-5 imply we'll be having individual discussions of all
those points on the policy list and some may rise to the TC.

The phrase that brings that sharp sense of disappointment is the phrase
"bitter rearguard battles".

Ian doesn't say that he will make the battles bitter.  he may just be
expressing his frustration and disappointment and lack of confidence
that those discussions will rise to the highest quality ever seen on
However, I think it is easy to see why we might be skeptical that
someone who phrases things that way would rise to the challenge of doing
everything he could to  maintain the quality of the technical

No matter.
So, Holger, everyone who feels something strong when they read Ian's
words...  I challenge you, I challenge myself to turn that strong
emotion into something positive.

I hope we are committed to actually having discussions that need having
even if they are a bit challenging.  I hope we're committed to having
them with respect that there are valid viewpoints on both sides.  Not
telling maintainers what to do balanced against consistency of the
system overall is one of the most basic challenges.

Let's commit to holding those discussions to respect and understanding
and not allowing them to  fall to the levvel of "bitter rearguard."  We
welcome input.  If people let their emotions get ahead oftheir
respectful participation, we do
the following:

1) Offer to spend time off-list understanding their feelings and trying
to find constructive ways of bringing their needs into the discussion

2) Offfer to welcome the person back to the discussion when they are
able to participate with respect  if the discussion is still ongoing

3) Not hold back progress; people should not be able to throw emotions
into the mix simply to slow things down.

4) Commit to taking the time to actually understand and balance the
issues raised by those who do participate with respect.

Holger, are you willing to do this?
Ian, what about you?

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