My favorite candidates

So the DPL vote just started and I crafted my ballot. So it’s my turn to give you my opinion on the various candidates. Here’s my top 3 by order of preference:

  1. Jeroen van Wolffelaar
    I had the occasion to work with Jeroen due to our common involvement in Debian-QA and his work on the PTS. He’s only Debian Developer since 2004 but he’s the proof that you can get involved in core teams if you’re willing to work. His commitment to Debian is impressive. He’s also a strong proponent of the DPL team concept, and he managed to gather a well-balanced team. With some changes to the DPL team concept, this can make a big difference this year.
    Yes, I hope to be able to serve the project as a member of his team.
  2. Steve McIntyre
    I worked with Steve on numerous occasions due to our common involvement in debian-cd. He’s very moderate, appreciated by many people and could be very effective in mediating internal conflicts since he’s not involved in any core team. I look forward working with him, his platform is very attractive.
  3. Anthony Towns
    Anthony has been doing a great job for a long time, and I really appreciate his efforts to communicate what he does. I like his idea to bring momentum to the project… and he proposed the last general resolution to bring us to a conclusion on the GFDL problem. That’s the kind of initiative that I’m also expecting from a leader. His strong opinions do not suit everybody but at least he’s trying new ideas.

All the other candidates are well-intentionned (except one) but they do no match all my (fuzzy) criterion for a good DPL.

Revisiting the DPL team concept

I have not been very much involved in this year DPL campaigning, but I’m part of two DPL teams, thus I feel the need to give my point of view on the subject.

I’m not really satisfied by how the current DPL team worked out, and being on the DPL candidate team of both Jeroen and Andreas gave me the opportunity to gather information on what really happened. Also I’ve met Bdale yesterday and he gave me his opinion as well (and I really enjoyed that dinner. Thanks bdale!).

Just for the record, I’ll try to sum up what really happened: Branden had agreed to be a participant of the DPL team concept, but wasn’t a major proponent of the idea. This, combined with his personal problems, explains why he didn’t make use of the full potential of a DPL team.

Does it invalidate the DPL team concept? No, I don’t think so because the concept will evolve this year. Let’s see how it can change.

Both DPL teams would this year receive all the mails sent to This means that the members are involved from the beginning and not only on request of the leader, which means that they can pro-actively take over if they see that the DPL doesn’t manage to follow up up to its expectations (which hopefully won’t be needed this year). Furthermore I expect that the team would be informed of what the DPL does, so that the team can give its opinion on everything done, and prevent big errors (nobody is perfect, errors do happen).

But the most important thing is that the team should not stand behind the DPL, but next to him taking initiatives, and I expect the DPL to work with the team members for the best of Debian. As such I expect the DPL to accept most of the proposals of his team if there’s a consensus on it, even if he doesn’t personnaly think that’s it’s a priority for his DPL mandate.

If I am part of an elected DPL team, I will work on that basis. I do have many ideas to try, and will make proposals. I ran once for the DPL election, and if you check my platform, you can see that I always had ideas for Debian and you can see that I worked on several of them which are nowadays very common (such as the PTS, alioth, collaborative maintenance). I won’t miss an opportunity to get the project moving forward.

About the “condorcet” votes

I just saw the vote of NOKUBI Takatsugu who posted it by error on debian-vote.

The vote ranked “Further discussion” second just after his preferred option. I find such a vote too *strong*. This vote really means “My option or none”, or in other words: I don’t want any compromise (which is quite strange given that his first option is the “compromise” option).

I believe that we should vote with the aim to have a winner in the end and as such we should avoid putting something below “Further discussion”. IMO the only valid reason to put something below is if that option would hurt Debian in one’s own opinion.

Just rank the options in your order of preference. I ranked “Further Discussion” last, it’s my way of accepting the diverging opinions within our project.

(So there’s nothing personal against Takatsugu, I just took the opportunity of his little mistake to point out something I find important)

BTW, if you haven’t voted, please do. Even if you don’t care about the outcome, vote and leave all the fields empty (or rank them equally), that way you’ll express that you’re happy whatever the outcome is and you won’t be part of a silent majority. And the outcome of the vote will be stronger.

This leads me to the following question: I wonder if we shouldn’t require DD to vote and if they don’t participate in 2 or 3 consecutive votes, they shall be considered by the MIA team… it would be a kind of implicit “ping of maintainers”.

Update: FYI, Takatsugu thanked me by private mail for the explanation and will recast another vote.

Yes I do

I want to respond to jb’s cry, after all I’m his favorite teletubby and his message is full of references to events where I’m involved. I’m sure he’s honest in his message but still he misses some points.

Julien says :

we never agreed to be nice to each other

That’s true I’m part of several other associations and I never had to sign a paper saying that I’ll be nice with others. Nevertheless, each time that someone misbehaved he was sanctionned. And nobody in the club took the defense of the faulty person in the name of “free speech”. Understand me, if we didn’t have any problem, I wouldn’t make efforts to define a “Code of conduct”.

I’m not a fan of “Ubuntu’s love here, love there” and I certainly don’t want a world of friendly clones within Debian. I believe there’s room for a code of conduct that would let us work together in a friendly manner.

this project used to be open-minded

Being open-minded applies to people not to a project. Now it’s time that you discover that with 1000 people you have far more chance than with 200 to have several narrow-minded people in the set … and that everyone has his own definition of what open-minded means.

That’s why we need to write down what’s acceptable and what’s not. I’ve heard you several times complain about the behaviour of other Debian developers, why not use the opportunity offered by a code of conduct to define how we should aim to work together ?

We are doing it all for fun

True again ! So how difficult is it to imagine that being insulted is *not* fun ? And since we’re all volunteers, there’s no good reason to let some people kill the fun out of it…

I don’t use kill-files

That’s because you have the luck to have a thick skin. I avoid kill files as well. But look at Lars Wirzenius, look at Theodore Y. Ts’o, they all recognize that they can’t stand the level of unfriendliness that we sometimes reach. I want to be able to work with everyone and not only with those who have leather instead of skin.

Help tell those people to FOAD

Is that your way of being open minded ? Ok, it’s a bit out of context but nevertheless, there’s some truth in my criticism:

  • Stop yelling each time that someone mentions Ubuntu, Debian is not Ubuntu but we have so many things in common that we can both take advantages of what the other is doing.
  • Even if you have a thick skin, it’s not a reason to be harsh with any other Debian developer, not everybody is like you !

And to finish this (long) post, let’s agree on something: yes we’re a technical community, yes we should put Debian’s interests first !

(By the way, on this subject it looks like I agree with MJ Ray. It doesn’t happen very often! ;-))