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Thoughts/questions for any candidate

(Hmm, I tried sending this via gmail, but it doesn't appear to have
either gone through or bounced?)


Reading through the DPL platforms this year, there are a couple of themes
that interest me...

Number one is something like "where should the innovation come from?"

GN> You may notice that unlike in previous years, I do not have a Grand
GN> Vision, not in the same sense at least.

MD> Of course, those are not trivial questions and I don't claim I have 
MD> answers. Solutions and ideas will come from contributors. Solutions
MD> will come from you! Do not be shy and do make proposals.

I think it's fair to say algernon and mehdi both emphasise the role of
supporting other people's innovative ideas rather than promoting their
own. (Maulkin splits the difference a bit, I think, given he's got a
specific proposal for PPAs and buildds in his platform)

That's a very workable plan, but it has one (IMO) huge drawback: the
DPL position is /the/ optimal place to be in Debian if you want to be
innovative. You have resources, your ideas have been scrutinised and
(to some extent) approved by the developers, and (almost) whenever
you want it you've got the immediate attention of developers, users,
the press, or sponsors at your beck and call. Is it fair to expect cool
new innovations within Debian if all the attention goes to someone who's
not doing cool new stuff?

So, specific question: do you also see this as problem worth attending
to? Do you have any solutions in mind?


Number two is something in that nature of "how to share the DPL's
workload". I think this is widely acknowledged as a challenge, eg:

NM> the job of the DPL is a tough one that requires a lot of work, and 
NM> I don't want to bite off more than I can chew 

MD> The DPL role is very time-consuming. To be able to do it seriously,
MD> I will put on hold my other Debian activities for the duration of 
MD> the mandate.

I have three thoughts on that. First is that (I believe) one of the
biggest workloads for the DPL is conflict resolution/mediation. But
there's recently been some talk about the tech ctte addressing that same
issue eg [1], [2]. It's obviously an open question whether it will work
or not, but I'd be interested to know if the DPL candidates are thinking
of trying to help make it work, and (if/when it does) to refer folks to
the ctte freeing up DPL-time for other things?

The second idea on this I have is perhaps a little twisty. First a
reference from a while ago: [3]. There have been lots of ideas on how to
scale the DPL role -- teams, 2ICs, boards, helpers, etc. Problem is, none
of them have worked perfectly, and everyone who's elected DPL is a leader,
not a follower, so they come up with their own plan from scratch. Then
that idea doesn't work perfectly either, rinse, repeat. At some point,
we need a DPL who'll take one of the previous ideas that worked a little,
improve it only slightly (ie, so it's still recognisable), and turn it
into a tradition that can keep improving. Any chance of that happening
this year?

Third is just this: there are two people who've just volunteered
(more or less) a year of their life to helping enable other folks make
Debian awesome who aren't going to be elected DPL. AFAICT you've all
got compatible ideas and can work together okay. So, if you're DPL,
how are you going to enable the two losing candidates to enable others
and otherwise do awesome leadery things?


[0] I can barely restrain myself from proposing solutions here. I think
    there are many ways of making this work well, but none of them work
    if I'm the only one that things it's a problem worth solving.

[1] https://lists.debian.org/debian-vote/2014/12/msg00068.html

[2] https://lists.debian.org/debian-ctte/2015/03/msg00008.html

[3] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fW8amMCVAJQ

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