Draft resolution formalising Debian's Associated Project status

MJ Ray mjr at phonecoop.coop
Wed Mar 14 13:04:52 UTC 2007

Josh Berkus <josh at postgresql.org> wrote:
> MJ,
> > Why?  SPI is not proposing to do that for OpenOffice.org.  Only the
> > vague term "liaison" is specified, and it is proposed that SPI
> > recognises an OpenOffice.org council process at an external URL.
> Actually, we are.  OpenOffice.org will have *exactly one* represenative to 
> SPI, known as the Liason on our side and the Advisor on theirs.

That's the case initially, but is there any requirement that the
liaison is one person, or that SPI would ignore other valid requests
from OpenOffice.org just because the liaison walks off the map?

Through the associated project framework, the resolution commits SPI
to "honour" OpenOffice.org's "rules and procedures about its
relationship with SPI".  As such, SPI is rightly not restricting
OpenOffice.org to a limited one-person interface.

ISTR that even PostgreSQL's verbose associated project resolution
didn't limit PostgreSQL to having exactly one liaison.

> > If SPI is awkward enough to name particular roles in debian and not
> > recognise the debian project process, then changing the roles will
> > require SPI to pass another resolution.  SPI is considering
> > recognising OpenOffice.org's process - why is it a problem to
> > recognise debian's process?
> Again, as long as Debian designates *exactly one* person who can request 
> funds, etc., I don't care how that person is selected.  What I'm going to 
> vote against is any resolution which suggests that that multiple Debian 
> people could independantly make finanicial and/or legal requests of SPI in 
> conflict with each other.

Why?  SPI already has policies about dealing with disputes and
conflicts within associated projects.  They can all make the requests,
but probably most would be invalid.  Adjudication is likely to be
fairly simple, asking the project secretary to interpret the
constitution and say which (if any) decisions are valid.  If it's
urgent, the DPL wins anyway.  That's already handled by SPI's
policies, isn't it?

This special-for-debian "exactly one" requirement is improper in at
least two ways:

1. If SPI designated exactly one person in debian, instead of relying
on debian's resolutions and SPI's policies to deal with it, SPI would
change debian's internal decision-making process. It's also a (wrong
IMO) suggestion that SPI's policies on associated project conflicts
are inadequate.

2. SPI members had a chance to comment and require a special debian
SPI liaison when debian was updating its constitution about this a few
months ago.  ISTR that some people explicitly asked that we wait for
any SPI board view (which didn't come AFAICR).  But all that probably
wouldn't have stopped the possibility that DDs could reverse decisions
of the liaison.

Finally, I'd swear that Josh Berkus has voted to approve projects
without specifying only one allowed person before (the Corporate ->
Minutes section of www.spi-inc.org is very empty, so how to check?)
but I guess we'll now see him voting against all future Associated
Project resolutions which don't specify only one allowed person,
including the OpenOffice.org one, or changing his position.

MJ Ray - see/vidu http://mjr.towers.org.uk/email.html
Webmaster/web developer, statistician, sysadmin, online shop maker,
developer of koha, debian, gobo, gnustep, various mail and web s/w.
Workers co-op @ Weston-super-Mare, Somerset http://www.ttllp.co.uk/

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