Intent to Delegate: Delegation Advisory Group

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Intent to Delegate: Delegation Advisory Group

Sam Hartman-5
[intentionally not signed because this is a comment-seeking draft]

Hi.  As discussed in [1], I'm forming a delegation advisory group to
help me with upcoming delegations.

  [1]:
  https://lists.debian.org/msgid-search/tslftm5c1e7.fsf@...

This group will help me by being a group that I can get advice from even
when I need to share confidential information to get that advice.
One of the reasons I'm proposing to delegate this rather than treating
it informally is to make it clear that these people can be part of the
process enough to receive confidential information.

This group will help the project by being in a position to know the full
details behind a delegation and being able to raise any concerns they
have to the project.

I want this because I want a group of people I feel comfortable seeking
advice from even if I need to include private details in my request.

Some people in the project wanted additional people besides the DPL to
be able to review the internal aspects of delegations.
This is the best approach I've come up with for allowing that review
while keeping discussions of specific delegates private.

The formal mechanism behind delegations is not changing.  Formally, I
wouldn't need to consult this group,  although if I didn't it
would be reasonable for people to ask why.  I don't need to agree with
the advice from the group, although if they have remaining concerns at
the time of delegation, that's likely to spark a lot of discussion.

Draft Delegation
================

I appoint the following individuals as  a Delegation Advisory Group:

* Joerg Jaspert <[hidden email]>
* Steve McIntyre <[hidden email]>
* Theodore Y. Ts'o <[hidden email]>
* Enrico Zini <[hidden email]>

This delegation expires at the end of Sam Hartman's DPL term or when
replaced or updated by the DPL.

Task Description
----------------

When requested, the delegation Advisory Group may provide advice to the
DPL surrounding delegations.  Advice may include advice about the choice
of delegates, the task description, or the delegation process.  The
group may be privy to confidential information such as the DPL's
analysis of possible choices for delegates that is not suitable for
sharing with the project as a whole.

If the group is concerned that a particular delegation may not be a
reasonable choice for the project, they are encouraged to share their
concerns with the project.  The group decides how widely concerns should
be shared.

The group is delegated the power to introduce or amend a general resolution
overriding a delegation that the DPL makes without requiring other
developers to second the resolution.

Non-Normative Appendix
----------------------

Here's how I imagine this working.
I include the advisory group in  discussions of the delegation.  I'd run
things by them like my thoughts on delegates and the task description.
I'd also be able to talk to them about issues like how fast to go in
trying to get  resolution on who should be delegates etc or in balancing
political issues.

I'd expect that in the delegation statement I would note that I'd
reviewed the delegation with the advisory group and they didn't have any
concerns they wanted to share with the project.  I would not expect the
advisory group to endorse or lobby for the delegation or write a lot of
text to be shared with the project.

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Re: Intent to Delegate: Delegation Advisory Group

Norbert Preining-5
Hi Sam,

I think this is a good idea, but ...

On Wed, 28 Aug 2019, Sam Hartman wrote:
> * Joerg Jaspert <[hidden email]>
> * Steve McIntyre <[hidden email]>
> * Theodore Y. Ts'o <[hidden email]>
> * Enrico Zini <[hidden email]>

I consider this list too strong an aggregation of duties and powers
- most of them are already in core positions in Debian.

Aren't there any other DDs you can trust?

Best

Norbert

--
PREINING Norbert                               http://www.preining.info
Accelia Inc. + IFMGA ProGuide + TU Wien + JAIST + TeX Live + Debian Dev
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Re: Intent to Delegate: Delegation Advisory Group

Jonathan Carter (highvoltage)-2
In reply to this post by Sam Hartman-5
On 2019/08/28 17:47, Sam Hartman wrote:
> This group will help me by being a group that I can get advice from even
> when I need to share confidential information to get that advice.
> One of the reasons I'm proposing to delegate this rather than treating
> it informally is to make it clear that these people can be part of the
> process enough to receive confidential information.

Just one thing that I am /slightly/ confused about (which means that
there might be someone else who is too). The topic, and particularly
"Delegation Advisory Group" gave me the impression that this would be a
group of people that help you out with delegations specifically, but the
description in the body seems to imply that this group will be a body of
general advisors that you can consult as a springboard on any
topic/problem that concerns the DPL? Do I have that right?

Either way I think the text is good and it's a nice selection of people
who aren't just "yes men", which is kind of important in a group like that.

-Jonathan

--
  ⢀⣴⠾⠻⢶⣦⠀  Jonathan Carter (highvoltage) <jcc>
  ⣾⠁⢠⠒⠀⣿⡁  Debian Developer - https://wiki.debian.org/highvoltage
  ⢿⡄⠘⠷⠚⠋   https://debian.org | https://jonathancarter.org
  ⠈⠳⣄⠀⠀⠀⠀  Be Bold. Be brave. Debian has got your back.

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Re: Intent to Delegate: Delegation Advisory Group

Sam Hartman-3
>>>>> "Jonathan" == Jonathan Carter <[hidden email]> writes:

    Jonathan> Just one thing that I am /slightly/ confused about (which
    Jonathan> means that there might be someone else who is too). The
    Jonathan> topic, and particularly "Delegation Advisory Group" gave
    Jonathan> me the impression that this would be a group of people
    Jonathan> that help you out with delegations specifically,

That is my intent.

    Jonathan> but the
    Jonathan> description in the body seems to imply that this group
    Jonathan> will be a body of general advisors that you can consult as
    Jonathan> a springboard on any topic/problem that concerns the DPL?
    Jonathan> Do I have that right?

I'm a bit confused.

>Task Description
-----------------

>When requested, the delegation Advisory Group may provide advice to the
>DPL surrounding delegations.  Advice may include advice about the choice
>of delegates, the task description, or the delegation process.  The
>group may be privy to confidential information such as the DPL's
>analysis of possible choices for delegates that is not suitable for
>sharing with the project as a whole.

>If the group is concerned that a particular delegation may not be a
>reasonable choice for the project, they are encouraged to share their
>concerns with the project.  The group decides how widely concerns should
>be shared.

>The group is delegated the power to introduce or amend a general resolution
>overriding a delegation that the DPL makes without requiring other
>developers to second the resolution.

The above text looks fairly delegation-specific to me.
What am I missing?

To be clear, I could totally see reaching out to those people with
non-delegation questions, just as I sometimes reach out to you or
various other people in the project.  But thatwould be purely informal
or would fall under some other delegation (for example talking to
members of the debconf committee about DebConf).

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Re: Intent to Delegate: Delegation Advisory Group

Sam Hartman-3
In reply to this post by Norbert Preining-5
>>>>> "Norbert" == Norbert Preining <[hidden email]> writes:

    Norbert> Hi Sam, I think this is a good idea, but ...

    Norbert> On Wed, 28 Aug 2019, Sam Hartman wrote:
    >> * Joerg Jaspert <[hidden email]> * Steve McIntyre
    >> <[hidden email]> * Theodore Y. Ts'o <[hidden email]> * Enrico
    >> Zini <[hidden email]>

    Norbert> I consider this list too strong an aggregation of duties
    Norbert> and powers - most of them are already in core positions in
    Norbert> Debian.

    Norbert> Aren't there any other DDs you can trust?

Unsurprisingly (given that it's the entire reason this all started) I'm
unwilling to comment on the delegates I didn't pick.
I do think we can talk about the strengths of the team I'm proposing and
about whether that meets the project's needs.

To your specific concern, I asked Ted to serve exactly because he's not
in a core Debian position beyond maintaining packages we all use.
I think that's a valuable point of view to get here.
Ted also has management experience that is valuable in these situations.

I asked Enrico and Joerg to serve because through DAM they have already
demonstrated important qualities.  They are able to think about disputes
and make hard decisions when necessary.  But they display compassion,
are not too quick to act, and care about stability of the project.
Enrico is also one of the people I most turn to within Debian when
looking for advice on compassionate empathetic communication, diversity,
ane, and promoting underrepresented groups.

I asked Steve to serve because he is very much a Debian insider.  He has
a long history of the personalities and politics involved.  He's also
good at leadership and has consistently given me good advice so far.

I think this team is a reasonable choice for the task description.
If others think that  there need to be more members who are not involved
in core functions, then we can discuss that.  I'd need:

* People I've worked with and trust to think about people issues.

* People who are reasonably responsive to email

* People who understand the difference between "this is a reasonable
  choice," and "this is the choice I would have made."

--Sam

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Re: Intent to Delegate: Delegation Advisory Group

Holger Levsen-2
In reply to this post by Sam Hartman-5
Hi Sam,

why exactly do you think a delegation is useful and/or needed here?

On Wed, Aug 28, 2019 at 11:47:44AM -0400, Sam Hartman wrote:
> Task Description
> ----------------
[...]
> The group is delegated the power to introduce or amend a general resolution
> overriding a delegation that the DPL makes without requiring other
> developers to second the resolution.
 
I'm not sure our constituion allows this.


--
cheers,
        Holger

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Re: Intent to Delegate: Delegation Advisory Group

Ian Jackson-2
Holger Levsen writes ("Re: Intent to Delegate: Delegation Advisory Group"):
> On Wed, Aug 28, 2019 at 11:47:44AM -0400, Sam Hartman wrote:
> > Task Description
> > ----------------
> [...]
> > The group is delegated the power to introduce or amend a general resolution
> > overriding a delegation that the DPL makes without requiring other
> > developers to second the resolution.
>  
> I'm not sure our constituion allows this.

  8.1 The Project Leader's Delegates:
  (1) have powers delegated to them by the Project Leader;

The implication of "delegate" is that these are powers of the DPL.
Looking at powers of the DPL:

  5 Project Leader
  5.1 Powers
  (5) Propose draft General Resolutions and amendments.

I'm not sure why you think this isn't a thing that can be delegated ?

Ian.

--
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: Intent to Delegate: Delegation Advisory Group

Holger Levsen-2
On Thu, Aug 29, 2019 at 12:22:35PM +0100, Ian Jackson wrote:
> The implication of "delegate" is that these are powers of the DPL.
> Looking at powers of the DPL:
>
>   5 Project Leader
>   5.1 Powers
>   (5) Propose draft General Resolutions and amendments.
>
> I'm not sure why you think this isn't a thing that can be delegated ?

mostly because it's very unusual, usually delegations are about the
powers defined in in 5.1.4 ("Make any decision for whom noone else has
responsibility.") and not about the powers defined in 5.1.X where X!=4.

but you are right, upon re-reading the constituion now, I also don't see
wht this would be unconstitutional.

thanks.


--
cheers,
        Holger

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Re: Intent to Delegate: Delegation Advisory Group

Ian Jackson-2
Holger Levsen writes ("Re: Intent to Delegate: Delegation Advisory Group"):
> On Thu, Aug 29, 2019 at 12:22:35PM +0100, Ian Jackson wrote:
> > I'm not sure why you think this isn't a thing that can be delegated ?
>
> mostly because it's very unusual, usually delegations are about the
> powers defined in in 5.1.4 ("Make any decision for whom noone else has
> responsibility.") and not about the powers defined in 5.1.X where X!=4.

Right, that's very true.

In this case I think this is a good expansion of current practice.
I think DPLs should make much more use of delegation so I think
that Sam's proposal here is a step in the right direction.

Also I'm happy with the proposed list of people.

Regards,
Ian.

--
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: Intent to Delegate: Delegation Advisory Group

Pierre-Elliott Bécue-3
In reply to this post by Holger Levsen-2
Le 29 août 2019 13:33:14 GMT+02:00, Holger Levsen <[hidden email]> a écrit :

>On Thu, Aug 29, 2019 at 12:22:35PM +0100, Ian Jackson wrote:
>> The implication of "delegate" is that these are powers of the DPL.
>> Looking at powers of the DPL:
>>
>>   5 Project Leader
>>   5.1 Powers
>>   (5) Propose draft General Resolutions and amendments.
>>
>> I'm not sure why you think this isn't a thing that can be delegated ?
>
>mostly because it's very unusual, usually delegations are about the
>powers defined in in 5.1.4 ("Make any decision for whom noone else has
>responsibility.") and not about the powers defined in 5.1.X where X!=4.
>
>but you are right, upon re-reading the constituion now, I also don't
>see
>wht this would be unconstitutional.
>
>thanks.

Doesn't this mean that now it's a delegated power, the DPL can't on his own submit a GR ?
--
PEB (from my phone)

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Re: Intent to Delegate: Delegation Advisory Group

Adam D Barratt
On 2019-09-05 11:28, Pierre-Elliott Bécue wrote:

> Le 29 août 2019 13:33:14 GMT+02:00, Holger Levsen
> <[hidden email]> a écrit :
>> On Thu, Aug 29, 2019 at 12:22:35PM +0100, Ian Jackson wrote:
>>> The implication of "delegate" is that these are powers of the DPL.
>>> Looking at powers of the DPL:
>>>
>>>   5 Project Leader
>>>   5.1 Powers
>>>   (5) Propose draft General Resolutions and amendments.
>>>
>>> I'm not sure why you think this isn't a thing that can be delegated ?
>>
>> mostly because it's very unusual, usually delegations are about the
>> powers defined in in 5.1.4 ("Make any decision for whom noone else has
>> responsibility.") and not about the powers defined in 5.1.X where
>> X!=4.
>>
>> but you are right, upon re-reading the constituion now, I also don't
>> see
>> wht this would be unconstitutional.
>>
>> thanks.
>
> Doesn't this mean that now it's a delegated power, the DPL can't on
> his own submit a GR ?

Why?

It might mean that the DPL can't "introduce or amend a general
resolution overriding a delegation that the DPL makes", but that seems
like an odd thing to want to do.

Regards,

Adam

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Re: Intent to Delegate: Delegation Advisory Group

Sam Hartman-3
>>>>> "Adam" == Adam D Barratt <[hidden email]> writes:


I don't think it even means that.

>  8.2. Appointment

>   The Delegates are appointed by the Project Leader and may be replaced
>   by the Leader at the Leader's discretion. The Project Leader may not
>   make the position as a Delegate conditional on particular decisions by
>   the Delegate, nor may they override a decision made by a Delegate once
>   made.

That is, if they introduced a resolution overriding a decision I made, I
could not remove that resolution.  I cannot change the decision they
made.

There's a related provision:

>  5.1. Powers

>   The Project Leader may:
>    1. Appoint Delegates or delegate decisions to the Technical Committee.
>       The Leader may define an area of ongoing responsibility or a
>       specific decision and hand it over to another Developer or to the
>       Technical Committee.
>       Once a particular decision has been delegated and made the Project
>       Leader may not withdraw that delegation; however, they may withdraw
>       an ongoing delegation of particular area of responsibility.

Even that doesn't say that there cannot be overlaps in areas of
responsibility; the thing that cannot be overidden is a *decision*.

However, it is slightly more complicated:

>    4. Make any decision for whom noone else has responsibility.

It has generally been interpreted that once the DPL delegates something
under 5.1 (4) that's something for whom someone else now has
responsibility and so the DPL themselves cannot act.

My interpretation is that the DPL can revise the delegation and
potentially even create overlapping delegations, but in general
(especially without special wording in the delegation text) cannot
themselves act in such a situation.

Which is to say that I strongly agree with the principle behind how
we've interpreted it, I agree with the practical consequences I can
think of, but there are some corner cases (that are unlikely to come up)
where I think evolution of our thinking would be valuable.

However none of this matters to the current situation.
The power in question comes from 5.1(5) not 5.1(4).
We'll save the question of whether I could write a delegation such that
I delegated all of my 5.1(5) power and retained none of it myself: I'm
definitely not doing that here.

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Re: Intent to Delegate: Delegation Advisory Group

Pierre-Elliott Bécue-3
Le jeudi 05 septembre 2019 à 09:35:01-0400, Sam Hartman a écrit :

> >>>>> "Adam" == Adam D Barratt <[hidden email]> writes:
>
>
> I don't think it even means that.
>
> >  8.2. Appointment
>
> >   The Delegates are appointed by the Project Leader and may be replaced
> >   by the Leader at the Leader's discretion. The Project Leader may not
> >   make the position as a Delegate conditional on particular decisions by
> >   the Delegate, nor may they override a decision made by a Delegate once
> >   made.
>
> That is, if they introduced a resolution overriding a decision I made, I
> could not remove that resolution.  I cannot change the decision they
> made.
>
> There's a related provision:
>
> >  5.1. Powers
>
> >   The Project Leader may:
> >    1. Appoint Delegates or delegate decisions to the Technical Committee.
> >       The Leader may define an area of ongoing responsibility or a
> >       specific decision and hand it over to another Developer or to the
> >       Technical Committee.
> >       Once a particular decision has been delegated and made the Project
> >       Leader may not withdraw that delegation; however, they may withdraw
> >       an ongoing delegation of particular area of responsibility.
>
> Even that doesn't say that there cannot be overlaps in areas of
> responsibility; the thing that cannot be overidden is a *decision*.
>
> However, it is slightly more complicated:
>
> >    4. Make any decision for whom noone else has responsibility.
>
> It has generally been interpreted that once the DPL delegates something
> under 5.1 (4) that's something for whom someone else now has
> responsibility and so the DPL themselves cannot act.
>
> My interpretation is that the DPL can revise the delegation and
> potentially even create overlapping delegations, but in general
> (especially without special wording in the delegation text) cannot
> themselves act in such a situation.
>
> Which is to say that I strongly agree with the principle behind how
> we've interpreted it, I agree with the practical consequences I can
> think of, but there are some corner cases (that are unlikely to come up)
> where I think evolution of our thinking would be valuable.
>
> However none of this matters to the current situation.
> The power in question comes from 5.1(5) not 5.1(4).
> We'll save the question of whether I could write a delegation such that
> I delegated all of my 5.1(5) power and retained none of it myself: I'm
> definitely not doing that here.

Ack, thanks for the clarification. :)

--
Pierre-Elliott Bécue
GPG: 9AE0 4D98 6400 E3B6 7528  F493 0D44 2664 1949 74E2
It's far easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them.

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Re: Intent to Delegate: Delegation Advisory Group

Sam Hartman-3
In reply to this post by Holger Levsen-2
>>>>> "Holger" == Holger Levsen <[hidden email]> writes:

    Holger> Hi Sam, why exactly do you think a delegation is useful
    Holger> and/or needed here?

Holger and I discussed that off-list.
As a result he made two proposals:

1) Avoid the word privy in the delegation text as that's confusing to a
non-native English speaker.  I'll do that.

2) He asked me to clarify whether it was the members or the team who had
the power to file a GR.
In effect he argued that as written the text is unclear on the team's
internal process for how they would decide to do something like file a
GR overriding the DPL.

That is intentional.
My understanding of the secretary's interpretation of the constitution
is that delegations cannot describe the process by which a team makes
decisions that are delegated to the team.
I don't agree with all the rationale involved, but I do believe that:

1) Even if there are cases where a delegation can give process details,
it is often a bad idea to do so

2) This is a case where the team should have latitude to figure out
their own internal process.

My hope is that they will either choose that a consensus or majority of
the team is required to introduce a GR overriding a delegation.  But
they could decide that any member can introduce such a resolution, or
decide all members must agree, or many other things.  My hope is also
that they will appoint a member to accept or decline amendments on
behalf of the team should they ever introduce a GR.  (That gets around
an inconvenience that the TC used when exercising similar power).  But
all that should be up to the team.

--Sam