Martin Zobel-Helas | 12 Mar 00:54 2013
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[to all candidates] about a DPL board

Hi,

in the past i heared several ideas about a Debian Project Leader board
similar to the SPI board.

So lets imagine the project would have to vote for several members of
this sort of board, with every member being on-board for (lets say) 3y.

What do you think about this idea? Would it be worth in long term to
establish such a leader board (and therefore a change to our current
constitution) for the Debian Project, or do you think the DPL should
stay a single person?

Cheers,
Martin
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Gergely Nagy | 12 Mar 08:20 2013

Re: [to all candidates] about a DPL board


Hi!

Martin Zobel-Helas <zobel <at> debian.org> writes:

> in the past i heared several ideas about a Debian Project Leader board
> similar to the SPI board.
>
> So lets imagine the project would have to vote for several members of
> this sort of board, with every member being on-board for (lets say) 3y.
>
> What do you think about this idea? Would it be worth in long term to
> establish such a leader board (and therefore a change to our current
> constitution) for the Debian Project, or do you think the DPL should
> stay a single person?

A few years back - even last year! - I might have said I'd support such
a board, it is something that's been lingering at the back of my mind
for a long, long time. But no, I would not support such an initiative,
for a multitude of reasons:

First of all, for a board to function well, we need people with similar
vision, who can work together. Electing not one, but 3-5 people is not
only much harder for the project, it is also much more risky, as there
are no guarantees that compatible people will be elected. Trying to
guarantee that with the Constitution or by any other means is just
adding insult to injury.

Over the past year, Zack started the DPL Helpers initiative, which does
show some resemblance to a board, in that it takes load off of the DPL,
(Continue reading)

Gergely Nagy | 12 Mar 09:14 2013

Re: [to all candidates] about a DPL board

...and I managed to sign it with the key I use for signing my
repos, instead of the correct one. *sigh*

Sorry about that.

--
|8]

Moray Allan | 12 Mar 16:16 2013

Re: [to all candidates] about a DPL board

On 2013-03-12 02:54, Martin Zobel-Helas wrote:
> What do you think about this idea? Would it be worth in long term to
> establish such a leader board (and therefore a change to our current
> constitution) for the Debian Project, or do you think the DPL should
> stay a single person?

Before answering, I will point out that forming a board is *not* part 
of my platform.  While I have mentioned the "DPL helpers" initiative, 
and other similar topics, I don't think that a true board of equals is 
really possible under our current constitution.  And as DPL I would want 
to ask for views, help and delegates from the whole of Debian, not only 
from people who might be part of a board experiment.  Nor is it part of 
my platform to push the constitutional changes required to get us a 
board.

Having said that, I suspect that some kind of permanent board is almost 
inevitable sooner or later.  While I don't think that keeping the 
current concentration of power in the DPL and adding a board alongside 
would work well, I can see some positive aspects in moving from a single 
"leader" to a board of equals.

Positive ways to use this would include:

- A board could include more diversity.  This would clearly depend on 
how elections happened, but it's not hard to be more diverse than one 
person.  In particular, many good leadership candidates are excluded at 
present simply because they don't have enough time for the DPL role due 
to other commitments.

- A board could increase transparency (and perhaps quality) of 
(Continue reading)

Lucas Nussbaum | 12 Mar 20:39 2013
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Re: [to all candidates] about a DPL board

Hi,

On 12/03/13 at 00:54 +0100, Martin Zobel-Helas wrote:
> Hi,
> 
> in the past i heared several ideas about a Debian Project Leader board
> similar to the SPI board.
> 
> So lets imagine the project would have to vote for several members of
> this sort of board, with every member being on-board for (lets say) 3y.
> 
> What do you think about this idea? Would it be worth in long term to
> establish such a leader board (and therefore a change to our current
> constitution) for the Debian Project, or do you think the DPL should
> stay a single person?

Powers inside Debian rely on a very subtle balance, and we need to be
careful about not breaking that balance.

A team to help the DPL is a very attractive idea, and it's great that
Stefano started his DPL helpers initiative. It could help share the load
with more people, get people to "train" and understand the job, etc.

But do we need an official board, or just an informal team of "DPL helpers"?

I think that for now, an informal team is enough.

Many of the actions that people expect from the DPL do not require special 
powers (and those are generally the most time-consuming).
For those which require special powers, there are other solutions:
(Continue reading)

Stefano Zacchiroli | 13 Mar 13:06 2013
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Re: [to all candidates] about a DPL board

On Tue, Mar 12, 2013 at 12:54:37AM +0100, Martin Zobel-Helas wrote:
> in the past i heared several ideas about a Debian Project Leader board
> similar to the SPI board.

For people interested in this, I've presented some reflection on it at
DebConf12, near the end of my DPL talk there [1]. In particular, the
question time of that talk has focused quite a bit on the board idea
(and on how "board" is possibly not the best term for it :-)).

[1]: http://penta.debconf.org/dc12_schedule/events/881.en.html

Cheers.
--

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