Re: Draft resolution formalising Debian's Associated Project status

From: Josh Berkus <josh(at)postgresql(dot)org>
To: spi-general(at)lists(dot)spi-inc(dot)org
Cc: leader(at)debian(dot)org, Ian Jackson <ijackson(at)chiark(dot)greenend(dot)org(dot)uk>, secretary(at)spi-inc(dot)org
Subject: Re: Draft resolution formalising Debian's Associated Project status
Date: 2007-03-05 17:32:56
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AJ, Ian,

> > In the case of other projects where we've nominated an individual as
> > the `authoritative decisionmaker', that person was the leader of the
> > project.
> And, uh, the "authoritative decisionmaker" for Debian is the duly elected
> leader of the Debian project.

More to the point, even other projects with larger organizational structures
(e.g. PostgreSQL) have no expectations that SPI would monitor our internal
workings. If Josh Drake or Robert Treat got replaced in some disputed
election, we would expect SPI to simply freeze our funds until we worked it
out internally according to the charter we submitted on acceptance.

The issue we're having with Debian is the requests by a couple of prominent
(or at least vocal) Debian community members that we monitor, and react to,
actions on debian-vote, as well as dealing with claims by Debian community
members that the DPL was not authorized for some action and therefore the SPI
board shouldn't listen to him.

This sort of confusion between Debian politics and SPI governance is
understandable given that for a long time SPI pretty much was part of Debian
governance, but SPI is now broadening its reach and it's time to normalize
relations. Since there is this history of confusion, any resolution on the
topic should overdetermine the rules. It should include answers to these
questions, as clearly as possible:

(1) Does SPI listen only to the DPL, or to other Debian officers as well?
Under what circumstances?

(2) How does SPI determine that an officer has been replaced?

(3) If a recall vote is underway, should SPI pay any attention to it? If so,
in what way?

(4) If there is a dispute/disagreement on SPI lists between the DPL and other
Debian members/officers, how should the SPI board regard it?

Ian's resolution is one possible set of answers to these questions. AJ's
version is a different answer, which doesn't go far enough to answer all
questions and IMHO is not worth passing in its current form. I, personally,
don't care what the answers are as long as I can tell clearly and easily when
the DPL is entitled to cut checks for however much money he wants and when he

Josh Berkus
PostgreSQL Project
Core Team Member
(any opinions expressed are my own)


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