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Re: Proposed GR: Repeal the 2005 vote for declassification of the debian-private mailing list

On Fri, Sep 16, 2016 at 08:27:13AM +0000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> To me, Debian at it's best is kind of an extremist leader in
> organisational transparency:

You may be seeing things that I don't see.

>  - we released all our source code for everything before 'open source'
>    was even invented

Free software was invented, though.

>  - we've had a completely open bug tracking system since the '90s

Yes, true.

>  - we do almost everything on public mailing lists or public irc channels

We also do a lot of things in hallway tracks or non-recorded rooms on
debconf, in unrecorded sprints, or in private (as in,
developer-to-developer) emails.

>  - when we make decisions by voting, we do it in public and make the tally
>    available and publicly auditable

That's just a matter of protecting the democratic process, and has less
to do with transparency as such.

>  - our technical committee operates completely in the open (and is
>    required to do so!)

Actually, they're only required to vote (etc) in the open. There is a
debian-ctte-private, and we have reason to suspect it is currently being

>  - we encourage everyone interested/involved to come to our conferences

True, but not as much as we encourage people who actually contribute to
Debian to do so.

> I'm sure there are more; I kinda want to claim meetbot, but apparently
> that one was Ubuntu's. Pretty much all those things are or were hard
> and people will give you plenty of reasons why you'd be crazy to do any
> of them.

I'm not sure that "pretty much all" those things were ever really hard.

Releasing source code? Not much more so than releasing binaries.
Public mailinglists? Private mailinglists are actually harder to do.
Public IRC channels? same
Everything else is just a matter of "we do it on a mailinglist", so that
means we fall back on the "public mailinglist" bit.

Am I missing something that you see but I don't?

[1] https://lists.debian.org/debian-ctte/2016/09/msg00001.html

> > "[...] We promise (and have all 
> > members as testimonials) to restrict it's usage to topics that really need to 
> > be private"
> I don't think we could honestly make that promise (and thus I wouldn't
> give a testimonial to it); it certainly hasn't been true in the past,
> and (at least, aside from manual moderation of every mail) I don't think
> there's any mechanism that would make it so. And "really needs to be
> private" is a judgement call on which people will naturally differ,
> in any event.


< ron> I mean, the main *practical* problem with C++, is there's like a dozen
       people in the world who think they really understand all of its rules,
       and pretty much all of them are just lying to themselves too.
 -- #debian-devel, OFTC, 2016-02-12

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