draft alternative proposal: fix problem at the root
Anyone want to sanity-check the section numbering?
--- /tmp/constitution.txt.orig 2014-12-02 15:54:42.758894286 -0500
+++ /tmp/constitution.txt 2014-12-02 16:04:12.864929363 -0500
@@ -20,10 +20,9 @@
Each decision in the Project is made by one or more of the following:
1. The Developers, by way of General Resolution or an election;
2. The Project Leader;
- 3. The Technical Committee and/or its Chairman;
- 4. The individual Developer working on a particular task;
- 5. Delegates appointed by the Project Leader for specific tasks;
- 6. The Project Secretary.
+ 3. The individual Developer working on a particular task;
+ 4. Delegates appointed by the Project Leader for specific tasks;
+ 5. The Project Secretary.
Most of the remainder of this document will outline the powers of these
bodies, their composition and appointment, and the procedure for their
@@ -41,10 +40,9 @@
has been delegated or assigned to them does not need to do it.
However, they must not actively work against these rules and
decisions properly made under them.
- 2. A person may hold several posts, except that the Project Leader,
- Project Secretary and the Chairman of the Technical Committee must
- be distinct, and that the Leader cannot appoint themselves as their
- own Delegate.
+ 2. A person may hold several posts, except that the Project Leader
+ and the Project Secretary must be distinct, and that the Leader
+ cannot appoint themselves as their own Delegate.
3. A person may leave the Project or resign from a particular post
they hold, at any time, by stating so publicly.
@@ -84,9 +82,7 @@
2. Amend this constitution, provided they agree with a 3:1 majority.
3. Make or override any decision authorised by the powers of the
Project Leader or a Delegate.
- 4. Make or override any decision authorised by the powers of the
- Technical Committee, provided they agree with a 2:1 majority.
- 5. Issue, supersede and withdraw nontechnical policy documents and
+ 4. Issue, supersede and withdraw nontechnical policy documents and
These include documents describing the goals of the project, its
relationship with other free software entities, and nontechnical
@@ -101,9 +97,9 @@
supersession. New Foundation Documents are issued and existing
ones withdrawn by amending the list of Foundation Documents in
- 6. Make decisions about property held in trust for purposes related to
- Debian. (See §9.).
- 7. In case of a disagreement between the project leader and the
+ 5. Make decisions about property held in trust for purposes related to
+ Debian. (See §8.).
+ 6. In case of a disagreement between the project leader and the
incumbent secretary, appoint a new secretary.
@@ -111,18 +107,16 @@
1. The Developers follow the Standard Resolution Procedure, below. A
resolution or amendment is introduced if proposed by any Developer
and sponsored by at least K other Developers, or if proposed by the
- Project Leader or the Technical Committee.
+ Project Leader.
2. Delaying a decision by the Project Leader or their Delegate:
- 1. If the Project Leader or their Delegate, or the Technical
- Committee, has made a decision, then Developers can override
- them by passing a resolution to do so; see §4.1(3).
+ 1. If the Project Leader or their Delegate has made a decision,
+ then Developers can override them by passing a resolution to
+ do so; see §4.1(3).
2. If such a resolution is sponsored by at least 2K Developers,
- or if it is proposed by the Technical Committee, the
- resolution puts the decision immediately on hold (provided
- that resolution itself says so).
+ the resolution puts the decision immediately on hold
+ (provided that resolution itself says so).
3. If the original decision was to change a discussion period or
- a voting period, or the resolution is to override the
- Technical Committee, then only K Developers need to sponsor
+ a voting period, then only K Developers need to sponsor
the resolution to be able to put the decision immediately on
4. If the decision is put on hold, an immediate vote is held to
@@ -156,10 +150,9 @@
The Project Leader may:
- 1. Appoint Delegates or delegate decisions to the Technical Committee.
- The Leader may define an area of ongoing responsibility or a
- specific decision and hand it over to another Developer or to the
- Technical Committee.
+ 1. Appoint Delegates. The Leader may define an area of ongoing
+ responsibility or a specific decision and hand it over to another
Once a particular decision has been delegated and made the Project
Leader may not withdraw that delegation; however, they may withdraw
an ongoing delegation of particular area of responsibility.
@@ -174,24 +167,22 @@
4. Make any decision for whom noone else has responsibility.
5. Propose draft General Resolutions and amendments.
- 6. Together with the Technical Committee, appoint new members to the
- Committee. (See §6.2.)
- 7. Use a casting vote when Developers vote.
+ 6. Use a casting vote when Developers vote.
The Project Leader also has a normal vote in such ballots.
- 8. Vary the discussion period for Developers' votes (as above).
- 9. Lead discussions amongst Developers.
+ 7. Vary the discussion period for Developers' votes (as above).
+ 8. Lead discussions amongst Developers.
The Project Leader should attempt to participate in discussions
amongst the Developers in a helpful way which seeks to bring the
discussion to bear on the key issues at hand. The Project Leader
should not use the Leadership position to promote their own
- 10. In consultation with the developers, make decisions affecting
- property held in trust for purposes related to Debian. (See §9.).
+ 9. In consultation with the developers, make decisions affecting
+ property held in trust for purposes related to Debian. (See §8.).
Such decisions are communicated to the members by the Project
Leader or their Delegate(s). Major expenditures should be proposed
and debated on the mailing list before funds are disbursed.
- 11. Add or remove organizations from the list of trusted organizations
- (see §9.3) that are authorized to accept and hold assets for
+ 10. Add or remove organizations from the list of trusted organizations
+ (see §8.3) that are authorized to accept and hold assets for
Debian. The evaluation and discussion leading up to such a decision
occurs on an electronic mailing list designated by the Project
Leader or their Delegate(s), on which any developer may post. There
@@ -234,131 +225,22 @@
The Project Leader should avoid overemphasizing their own point of view
when making decisions in their capacity as Leader.
-6. Technical committee
+6. The Project Secretary
- The Technical Committee may:
- 1. Decide on any matter of technical policy.
- This includes the contents of the technical policy manuals,
- developers' reference materials, example packages and the behaviour
- of non-experimental package building tools. (In each case the usual
- maintainer of the relevant software or documentation makes
- decisions initially, however; see 6.3(5).)
- 2. Decide any technical matter where Developers' jurisdictions
- In cases where Developers need to implement compatible technical
- policies or stances (for example, if they disagree about the
- priorities of conflicting packages, or about ownership of a command
- name, or about which package is responsible for a bug that both
- maintainers agree is a bug, or about who should be the maintainer
- for a package) the technical committee may decide the matter.
- 3. Make a decision when asked to do so.
- Any person or body may delegate a decision of their own to the
- Technical Committee, or seek advice from it.
- 4. Overrule a Developer (requires a 3:1 majority).
- The Technical Committee may ask a Developer to take a particular
- technical course of action even if the Developer does not wish to;
- this requires a 3:1 majority. For example, the Committee may
- determine that a complaint made by the submitter of a bug is
- justified and that the submitter's proposed solution should be
- 5. Offer advice.
- The Technical Committee may make formal announcements about its
- views on any matter. Individual members may of course make informal
- statements about their views and about the likely views of the
- 6. Together with the Project Leader, appoint new members to itself or
- remove existing members. (See §6.2.)
- 7. Appoint the Chairman of the Technical Committee.
- The Chairman is elected by the Committee from its members. All
- members of the committee are automatically nominated; the committee
- votes starting one week before the post will become vacant (or
- immediately, if it is already too late). The members may vote by
- public acclamation for any fellow committee member, including
- themselves; there is no default option. The vote finishes when all
- the members have voted, or when the voting period has ended. The
- result is determined using the method specified in section A.6 of
- the Standard Resolution Procedure.
- 8. The Chairman can stand in for the Leader, together with the
- As detailed in §7.1(2), the Chairman of the Technical Committee and
- the Project Secretary may together stand in for the Leader if there
- is no Leader.
- 6.2. Composition
- 1. The Technical Committee consists of up to 8 Developers, and should
- usually have at least 4 members.
- 2. When there are fewer than 8 members the Technical Committee may
- recommend new member(s) to the Project Leader, who may choose
- (individually) to appoint them or not.
- 3. When there are 5 members or fewer the Technical Committee may
- appoint new member(s) until the number of members reaches 6.
- 4. When there have been 5 members or fewer for at least one week the
- Project Leader may appoint new member(s) until the number of
- members reaches 6, at intervals of at least one week per
- 5. If the Technical Committee and the Project Leader agree they may
- remove or replace an existing member of the Technical Committee.
- 6.3. Procedure
- 1. The Technical Committee uses the Standard Resolution Procedure.
- A draft resolution or amendment may be proposed by any member of
- the Technical Committee. There is no minimum discussion period; the
- voting period lasts for up to one week, or until the outcome is no
- longer in doubt. Members may change their votes. There is a quorum
- of two.
- 2. Details regarding voting
- The Chairman has a casting vote. When the Technical Committee votes
- whether to override a Developer who also happens to be a member of
- the Committee, that member may not vote (unless they are the
- Chairman, in which case they may use only their casting vote).
- 3. Public discussion and decision-making.
- Discussion, draft resolutions and amendments, and votes by members
- of the committee, are made public on the Technical Committee public
- discussion list. There is no separate secretary for the Committee.
- 4. Confidentiality of appointments.
- The Technical Committee may hold confidential discussions via
- private email or a private mailing list or other means to discuss
- appointments to the Committee. However, votes on appointments must
- be public.
- 5. No detailed design work.
- The Technical Committee does not engage in design of new proposals
- and policies. Such design work should be carried out by individuals
- privately or together and discussed in ordinary technical policy
- and design forums.
- The Technical Committee restricts itself to choosing from or
- adopting compromises between solutions and decisions which have
- been proposed and reasonably thoroughly discussed elsewhere.
- Individual members of the technical committee may of course
- participate on their own behalf in any aspect of design and policy
- 6. Technical Committee makes decisions only as last resort.
- The Technical Committee does not make a technical decision until
- efforts to resolve it via consensus have been tried and failed,
- unless it has been asked to make a decision by the person or body
- who would normally be responsible for it.
-7. The Project Secretary
- 7.1. Powers
1. Takes votes amongst the Developers, and determines the number and
identity of Developers, whenever this is required by the
- 2. Can stand in for the Leader, together with the Chairman of the
- Technical Committee.
- If there is no Project Leader then the Chairman of the Technical
- Committee and the Project Secretary may by joint agreement make
+ 2. Can stand in for the Leader.
+ If there is no Project Leader then the Project Secretary may make
decisions if they consider it imperative to do so.
3. Adjudicates any disputes about interpretation of the constitution.
4. May delegate part or all of their authority to someone else, or
withdraw such a delegation at any time.
- 7.2. Appointment
+ 6.2. Appointment
The Project Secretary is appointed by the Project Leader and the
current Project Secretary.
@@ -367,28 +249,23 @@
a new appointment, they must ask the Developers by way of General
Resolution to appoint a Secretary.
- If there is no Project Secretary or the current Secretary is
- unavailable and has not delegated authority for a decision then the
- decision may be made or delegated by the Chairman of the Technical
- Committee, as Acting Secretary.
The Project Secretary's term of office is 1 year, at which point they
or another Secretary must be (re)appointed.
- 7.3. Procedure
+ 6.3. Procedure
The Project Secretary should make decisions which are fair and
reasonable, and preferably consistent with the consensus of the
When acting together to stand in for an absent Project Leader the
- Chairman of the Technical Committee and the Project Secretary should
- make decisions only when absolutely necessary and only when consistent
- with the consensus of the Developers.
+ Project Secretary should make decisions only when absolutely
+ necessary and only when consistent with the consensus of the
-8. The Project Leader's Delegates
+7. The Project Leader's Delegates
- 8.1. Powers
+ 7.1. Powers
The Project Leader's Delegates:
1. have powers delegated to them by the Project Leader;
@@ -398,7 +275,7 @@
concentration of power, particularly over membership as a
Developer, in the hands of the Project Leader.
- 8.2. Appointment
+ 7.2. Appointment
The Delegates are appointed by the Project Leader and may be replaced
by the Leader at the Leader's discretion. The Project Leader may not
@@ -406,17 +283,17 @@
the Delegate, nor may they override a decision made by a Delegate once
- 8.3. Procedure
+ 7.3. Procedure
Delegates may make decisions as they see fit, but should attempt to
implement good technical decisions and/or follow consensus opinion.
-9. Assets held in trust for Debian
+8. Assets held in trust for Debian
In most jurisdictions around the world, the Debian project is not in a
position to directly hold funds or other property. Therefore, property
has to be owned by any of a number of organisations as detailed in
Traditionally, SPI was the sole organisation authorized to hold
property and monies for the Debian Project. SPI was created in the U.S.
@@ -425,7 +302,7 @@
SPI and Debian are separate organisations who share some goals. Debian
is grateful for the legal support framework offered by SPI.
- 9.1. Relationship with Associated Organizations
+ 8.1. Relationship with Associated Organizations
1. Debian Developers do not become agents or employees of
organisations holding assets in trust for Debian, or of each other,
@@ -435,7 +312,7 @@
may, of their own accord, establish relationships with individuals
who are also Debian developers.
- 9.2. Authority
+ 8.2. Authority
1. An organisation holding assets for Debian has no authority
regarding Debian's technical or nontechnical decisions, except that
@@ -445,7 +322,7 @@
for Debian other than that over the use of property held in trust
- 9.3. Trusted organisations
+ 8.3. Trusted organisations
Any donations for the Debian Project must be made to any one of a set
of organisations designated by the Project leader (or a delegate) to be