Draft resolution formalising Debian's Associated Project status

Ian Jackson ijackson at chiark.greenend.org.uk
Tue Mar 6 17:54:24 UTC 2007

Josh Berkus writes ("Re: Draft resolution formalising Debian's Associated Project status"):
> Any resolution I support will:
> a) explicitly spell out the authority of the DPL

You would like the Debian constitution incorporated bodily into the
resolution ?  Because that's the accurate description of the DPL's
authority.  It seems to me that it is better to refer to the
constitution by reference and for the SPI Board to read it if there is
a case of any doubt.

Would it help if we included a URL for the constitution, along the
lines of `at the time of writing, the Debian Constitution can be found
at http://www.debian.org/devel/constitution' ?

> b) indicate who (by office, presumably) can bring us a Debian
> constitutional decision in the event that it is not communicated by
> the DPL (such as after a ratified recall vote)

The Secretary, since the constitution makes them responsible for
holding votes (and reporting the results).  My resolution makes this
clear, asking the Secretary to inform the SPI Board explicitly when
it's relevant.

> c) indicate which other offices, if any, can ask for which other
> things from the Board without explicit DPL delegation

Again, this is spelled out in the constitution although in practice
it's not likely to come up.

For example, if there were a dispute about whether to serve debian.org
with bind 9 (on box A) or some hypothetical DPL's home-grown bugware
(on box B), this would be a technical decision to be decided by the
Debian Technical Committee (subject again to any General Resolution to
overrule).  If the DPL then went even madder and was refusing to pass
on the TC's decision then the TC chair would presumably email the SPI
Board asking them to give effect to the decision by changing the DNS
delegation, giving references to back up their authority and
presumably with the support of the Debian Project Secretary.

But this is all starting to sound rather too much like a game of

> d) indicate where we can verify the credentials of these officers.

This might be a good idea but it's difficult to write down - just as
the leadership succession in a smaller, less formalised, associated
project might not be so readily discoverable.

The best I think we can do is to name the current DPL, Secretary and
perhaps TC.  I see that I have failed to put Manoj's name in my draft
which is a mistake.

> All of this can be as simple as: "The Debian Project Leader will be
> responsible for all communication between Debian and SPI, and has
> full authority over all Debian assets held by SPI.  In the event
> that the DPL office is vacant, the Debian Secretary will communicate
> decisions according to the Debian constitution to the SPI Board.
> These decisions may be verified at www.debian.org/decisions."

But the DPL does _not_ have full authority over all Debian assets held
by SPI.  The DPL's authority is limited by the Debian Constitution.


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