Call for experiences of Norbert Preining

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Call for experiences of Norbert Preining

Ian Jackson-2
Very regrettably, it may become necessary to produce a fuller list of
incidents, including responses, to justify the recent DAM decision.

Please search your communications archives.  If you have had an
adverse experience of any kind with Norbert Preining, in public or in
private, please email me.

Please:
 * Summarise each incident, but:
 * Then give as much additional detail as you like.
 * Give URLs where possible.
 * If there was a complaint (to Norbert or to anyone else),
   say what the reponse/result of that was.
 * Say whether I may include your name in my collation.
 * Use `Call for experiences of Norbert Preining' as your Subject
   line.

I will summarise and collate these reports.  I will *only* share this
information if there is a Debian GR which would have the effect of
reinstating Norbert.  If there is such a GR, I will share the
collation publicly.

(If the Constitution is amended to permit the GR to be held in private
within Debian, I will share it only there.)

If it becomes necessary to make the collation public I may do so via a
web page or as an email, as seems convenient to me.  In January 2021
and every three years thereafter I will review whether retention of
the provided information is still necessary, and if I consider it not
any longer to be necessary, I will delete it.

Ian.

If you have difficulty emailing me because of my spamfilter, send the
bounce to postmaster@chiark, or talk to Diziet on oftc or freenode.

--
Ian Jackson <[hidden email]>   These opinions are my own.

If I emailed you from an address @fyvzl.net or @evade.org.uk, that is
a private address which bypasses my fierce spamfilter.

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Re: Call for experiences of Norbert Preining

Andrey Rahmatullin-3
On Wed, Jan 09, 2019 at 05:03:14PM +0000, Ian Jackson wrote:
> Very regrettably, it may become necessary to produce a fuller list of
> incidents, including responses, to justify the recent DAM decision.
Sorry, but such things should be collected before a decision, not after.
"Please help us justify something that can't be justified with what we
have" sounds silly, to say the least.

> Please search your communications archives.  If you have had an
> adverse experience of any kind with Norbert Preining, in public or in
> private, please email me.
This reminded me about
https://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2018/12/msg00025.html

--
WBR, wRAR

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Re: Call for experiences of Norbert Preining

Roberto C. Sánchez-2
In reply to this post by Ian Jackson-2
On Wed, Jan 09, 2019 at 05:03:14PM +0000, Ian Jackson wrote:
> Very regrettably, it may become necessary to produce a fuller list of
> incidents, including responses, to justify the recent DAM decision.
>
Ian,

How can you consider post hoc evidence gathering and justification to be
ethical?

Regards,

-Roberto

--
Roberto C. Sánchez

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Re: Call for experiences of Norbert Preining

Thomas Lange-2
In reply to this post by Andrey Rahmatullin-3

    > This reminded me about
    > https://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2018/12/msg00025.html

For easier understanding, this is the post from Daniel with subject:

"€ 500 cash bounty for information / Debian privacy breaches"

--
regards Thomas

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Re: Call for experiences of Norbert Preining

Martin Steigerwald
Thomas Lange - 09.01.19, 18:17:
> > This reminded me about
> > https://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2018/12/msg00025.html
>
> For easier understanding, this is the post from Daniel with subject:
>
> "€ 500 cash bounty for information / Debian privacy breaches"

Thanks for looking it up.

I do not consider either of those helpful or ethically sound.

For me it has something about denouncing people aka "please tell us how
bad this person has been".

I do not agree to collect such kind of information *after* a decision
has been made and I do not agree collecting such kind of information via
a public call, whether it is delivered together with a cash bounty or
not.

I just maintain mainly one package for Debian, but my motivation to even
become just a Debian maintainer, an official one with maintainer rights,
right now is next to zero. Cause a project where people start to
publicly call out for evidence to denounce or expel people or keep them
expelled or do any other kind of harm to them is no project I feel
comfortable with.

I think this kind of approach seriously harms the reputation of Debian
as a project. I am thankful that so far no news site I am ware of seems
to have picked this up and I hope it stays that way.

Thanks,
--
Martin


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Re: Call for experiences of Norbert Preining

Michael K. Edwards
Outsider here.  Conflict around Norbert's mode of discourse and Ian's
mode of responding to it has clearly been an ongoing problem for
Debian for over five years:  https://lwn.net/Articles/575390/  What
tools for resolving this exist now that didn't exist then?  If the
answer is "nothing much", then, like, stop feeding the troll, mmmkay?

On Wed, Jan 9, 2019 at 9:43 AM Martin Steigerwald <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> Thomas Lange - 09.01.19, 18:17:
> > > This reminded me about
> > > https://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2018/12/msg00025.html
> >
> > For easier understanding, this is the post from Daniel with subject:
> >
> > "€ 500 cash bounty for information / Debian privacy breaches"
>
> Thanks for looking it up.
>
> I do not consider either of those helpful or ethically sound.
>
> For me it has something about denouncing people aka "please tell us how
> bad this person has been".
>
> I do not agree to collect such kind of information *after* a decision
> has been made and I do not agree collecting such kind of information via
> a public call, whether it is delivered together with a cash bounty or
> not.
>
> I just maintain mainly one package for Debian, but my motivation to even
> become just a Debian maintainer, an official one with maintainer rights,
> right now is next to zero. Cause a project where people start to
> publicly call out for evidence to denounce or expel people or keep them
> expelled or do any other kind of harm to them is no project I feel
> comfortable with.
>
> I think this kind of approach seriously harms the reputation of Debian
> as a project. I am thankful that so far no news site I am ware of seems
> to have picked this up and I hope it stays that way.
>
> Thanks,
> --
> Martin
>
>

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Re: Call for experiences of Norbert Preining

wookey-4
In reply to this post by Ian Jackson-2
On 2019-01-09 17:03 +0000, Ian Jackson wrote:

> Please search your communications archives.  If you have had an
> adverse experience of any kind with Norbert Preining, in public or in
> private, please email me.

What about if we have only had positive experience/communications? Can
we not submit that as evidence too? Perhaps a bit one-sided otherwise?

(I have had several communications over the years - all of it has been
either simply competent and (very) thorough, or pleasant (when we wandered
off-topic)).

Wookey
--
Principal hats:  Linaro, Debian, Wookware, ARM
http://wookware.org/

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Re: Call for experiences of Norbert Preining

Joerg Jaspert
In reply to this post by Ian Jackson-2
On 15277 March 1977, Ian Jackson wrote:
> Very regrettably, it may become necessary to produce a fuller list of
> incidents, including responses, to justify the recent DAM decision.
> Please search your communications archives.  If you have had an
> adverse experience of any kind with Norbert Preining, in public or in
> private, please email me.

I don't think this should have gone to -project, especially not with a subject
like this. Not even sure about -private, honestly, but -project is bad.


While I think the possible GR is an extremely bad (and some less friendly
words) idea, and I like getting support for decisions I had been part of,
having such a with-hunt type thread is not good. No matter about who.[1]


See, we have been trying to keep it not pointing to specific persons in public
as much as possible. That someone is so blinded by "but this is the democratic
way" wrongness, does not understand what a GR really means and wants to drag
it all out in a big shit show is IMO not a reason to run in front of them
doing similar bad stuff. Even if it may end up supporting the DAM decision.
There are just things that one doesn't do to "win".


Footnotes:

[1] For one exception, I am still missing my "Serious problems with
Mr. Jaspert" thread, waiting for years now and still not got it, silly you
all.

--
bye, Joerg (no hat)

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Re: Call for experiences

Ian Jackson-2
In reply to this post by Ian Jackson-2
Ian Jackson writes ("Call for experiences of Norbert Preining"):
> Very regrettably, [...]

Several people whose opinions I hold in high regard have told me that
this was a seriously bad idea.  On an official level, I received a
complaint from listmaster.

So, I'm sorry.  I failed to anticipate how badly people would see
this; no doubt it unhelpfully contributed to the toxic atmosphere.

So, I withdraw my previous message.  Please don't reply to it any
further.  Thanks also to those who took the time and energy to write
to rebuke me.

Sorry,
Ian.
(*sigh*)

--
Ian Jackson <[hidden email]>   These opinions are my own.

If I emailed you from an address @fyvzl.net or @evade.org.uk, that is
a private address which bypasses my fierce spamfilter.

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Re: Call for experiences of Norbert Preining

Jonathan Wiltshire via nm
In reply to this post by Ian Jackson-2
On Wed, Jan 09, 2019 at 05:03:14PM +0000, Ian Jackson wrote:
> Very regrettably, it may become necessary to produce a fuller list of
> incidents, including responses, to justify the recent DAM decision.
>
> Please search your communications archives.  If you have had an
> adverse experience of any kind with Norbert Preining, in public or in
> private, please email me.

I'm very surprised that you would think this an appropriate thing to do and
I would prefer it if you withdraw and apologise.

Why? Because this undermines all the valuable discussion that has been had
in recent weeks about ensuring robust accountability with as much fairness
as possible to all parties. It is really no better than a €500 bounty,
after all.

You do not seem open to building an objective case if you solicit only
information about "adverse experiences".


--
Jonathan Wiltshire                                      [hidden email]
Debian Developer                         http://people.debian.org/~jmw

4096R: 0xD3524C51 / 0A55 B7C5 1223 3942 86EC  74C3 5394 479D D352 4C51

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Re: Call for experiences of Norbert Preining

Danai SAE-HAN (韓達耐)-3
In reply to this post by Ian Jackson-2
Hi Ian

On Thu, 10 Jan 2019, 02:03 Ian Jackson <[hidden email] wrote:
Very regrettably, it may become necessary to produce a fuller list of
incidents, including responses, to justify the recent DAM decision.

Please search your communications archives.  If you have had an
adverse experience of any kind with Norbert Preining, in public or in
private, please email me.
[...]

Searching for "evidence" post factum to rationalise a severe punishment, is just appalling.

Appalling.

-- 
Danai
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Re: Call for experiences

Jonathan Wiltshire via nm
In reply to this post by Ian Jackson-2
On Wed, Jan 09, 2019 at 09:40:24PM +0000, Ian Jackson wrote:

> Ian Jackson writes ("Call for experiences of Norbert Preining"):
> > Very regrettably, [...]
>
> Several people whose opinions I hold in high regard have told me that
> this was a seriously bad idea.  On an official level, I received a
> complaint from listmaster.
>
> So, I'm sorry.  I failed to anticipate how badly people would see
> this; no doubt it unhelpfully contributed to the toxic atmosphere.
>
> So, I withdraw my previous message.  Please don't reply to it any
> further.  Thanks also to those who took the time and energy to write
> to rebuke me.

Our mails evidently crossed; thank you too for responding positively
and with good grace.

--
Jonathan Wiltshire                                      [hidden email]
Debian Developer                         http://people.debian.org/~jmw

4096R: 0xD3524C51 / 0A55 B7C5 1223 3942 86EC  74C3 5394 479D D352 4C51

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Re: Call for experiences of Norbert Preining

Daniel Pocock-4
In reply to this post by Martin Steigerwald
On 09/01/19 17:03, Ian Jackson wrote:
Please search your communications archives.

I notice Norbert is somebody who goes beyond the core responsibilities of maintaining packages, thinks about challenging social issues that affect our community and looks for ways to communicate about them.  Mistakes he may have made in written English pale in comparison to the mistakes I've personally made in German or any other language that I have dared to use in public but that isn't really relevant to somebody's competence as a developer anyway.  Like all of us, he appears to have a genuine concern for users of his work, even when faced with challenges.  I don't believe I have ever met him personally at an event but I hope I will some day.

I will summarise and collate these reports.

I'd like to thank Ian for volunteering and Wookey for enhancing[1] the concept.  Spending some time documenting and talking up the contributions that other people make to this project could help provide a way to address current and future challenges.

Maybe contributors.debian.org could be enhanced to allow people to write ad-hoc reports about things they appreciate in the work of other developers?  This would help build a nice record of contributions, a big improvement over the practice of leaving "unavoidable traces in public databases" as one developer recently put it.


On 09/01/19 17:43, Martin Steigerwald wrote:
Thomas Lange - 09.01.19, 18:17:
This reminded me about
https://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2018/12/msg00025.html
For easier understanding, this is the post from Daniel with subject:

"€ 500 cash bounty for information / Debian privacy breaches"
Thanks for looking it up.

I do not consider either of those helpful or ethically sound.

For me it has something about denouncing people aka "please tell us how 
bad this person has been".


There is a massive difference between the two cases:

This thread concerned an ordinary member of the organization, who had not even been on the mailing list for almost a week and it was very broad in it's aims.

In my post, about conduct of the DPL/DAM, I was holding power to account and legitimately asking about breaches of privacy and also getting to the source of gossip.  It was only posted after I already had good reason to make the inquiry, it wasn't just some dragnet exercise to see if anything was out there.  The intention was not to harm anybody, rather, to prevent further harm.  It also helped in another way: nobody has ever sent  evidence of DAM or AH leaking outside the project, so we found out they were not the source.  It raises an interesting question though: even though there was no evidence of DAM leaking outside the organization, should they be more robust against political interference in their processes?  Privately, they wrote that another person had "seen a draft of the first mail we sent" and it appears that person was responsible for the privacy breaches.

Some people noticed that Bits[2] from the DPL usually ends with a call for people to email the DPL privately with their "concerns".  If this style of communication/call-to-gossip is not what we want in Debian, maybe that is the place to begin changing it?  Perhaps the next Bits could finish with a call for people to speak to each other directly instead of emailing the DPL/AH/DAM?

Regards,

Daniel


1. https://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2019/01/msg00180.html
2. https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2018/11/msg00007.html


--
Debian Developer
https://danielpocock.com