Draft resolution formalising Debian's Associated Project status

Theodore Tso tytso at mit.edu
Wed Mar 14 14:42:49 UTC 2007

On Wed, Mar 14, 2007 at 01:04:52PM +0000, MJ Ray wrote:
> 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:

I think people have been say "at most two", not "exactly one".

And the two IMHO should be the DPL and the Debian Secretary.  Note
that there is a huge amount of trust put into the Debian Secretary,
since he or she is the person who runs the elections and the GR's.  So
if Debian ever degenerates to the point where the majority of its
members don't trust the Debian Secretary, it has major problems
anyway, and it either (a) represents a hole in the Debian
Constitution, or (b) just an known issue for which fixing would
represent over-engineering.

So my proposed interface would be the DPL designates the identity of
the Debian Secretary to the SPI, and the Debian Secretary designates
the identity of the DPL to the SPI.  Note that Debian invests a huge
amount of trust in these individuals in any case, and if both of them
are in conspiring against the wishes of everyone else in Debian (and
how would you prove it, given that the mere presence of a vocal
minority doesn't mean that the majority of the DD's really feel that
way, and if you don't trust the person running the GR's and Elections,
you're kind of toast anyway).   

It would be easier if Debian had an elected board with rotating terms
instead of a single DPL, such that if there was any kind of question,
in cases of extreme emergency, at least the SPI board could interview
the elected board and try to sort what is going on.  But Debian's
governance structure (which simply doesn't scale to the size that
Debian has grown into --- there are now 1000 DD's that could currently
approach the SPI board and try to claim that the SPI should pay
attention to their pet grievence) simply doesn't allow that.  But
that's a matter for Debian to figure out, at some point (hopefully!).

						- Ted

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