Question for candidates: the d-i conflict

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Question for candidates: the d-i conflict

Josselin Mouette
Hi,

I'd like to ask Anthony and Steve what they think of how they handled
the conflict between Frans Pop and Sven Luther, and other candidates how
they would have handled this conflict.

To everyone: how would you avoid such situations to become this
problematic in the future?

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Re: Question for candidates: the d-i conflict

Wouter Verhelst
On Tue, Feb 27, 2007 at 02:10:32PM +0100, Josselin Mouette wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I'd like to ask Anthony and Steve what they think of how they handled
> the conflict between Frans Pop and Sven Luther, and other candidates how
> they would have handled this conflict.
>
> To everyone: how would you avoid such situations to become this
> problematic in the future?

I would try to mediate. This is exactly what our current DPL and others
have tried; however, in this particular case these mediation attempts
did not produce a result that was satisfactory for all parties involved.

Whether this is the fault of the mediator, of Sven, or of Frans, is not
something I wish to comment on, simply because I was not deeply involved
in either of the two mediation attempts that I'm aware of.

That being said, I do think mediation is not something which is easy,
and which can be done by just about everyone. To be able to mediate, a
mediator needs to put effort in understanding both parties involved, and
needs to actively help in finding a compromise. What a mediator must not
do at any time, is to judge; when he does, all chances of success of the
mediation attempt will have failed.

Note, again, that I'm not saying that the previous mediation attempts
have failed because of anything was not done as I just outlined above;
I'm only outlining what I think is necessary for a mediation attempt to
succeed.

Finally, it's important to realize that mediation isn't always possible,
and that they can fail for various reasons. Sometimes people just don't
want to compromise; sometimes both parties' positions are so widely
apart that a compromise would be impossible. Just look at the middle
east for an example -- people have been fighting, killing, and hating
there for decennia, and the end is still not near, despite several
mediation attempts.

At least Debian Developers won't start killing eachother any time soon
:)

--
<Lo-lan-do> Home is where you have to wash the dishes.
  -- #debian-devel, Freenode, 2004-09-22


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Re: Question for candidates: the d-i conflict

Raphael Hertzog-3
In reply to this post by Josselin Mouette
Hi,

On Tue, 27 Feb 2007, Josselin Mouette wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I'd like to ask Anthony and Steve what they think of how they handled
> the conflict between Frans Pop and Sven Luther, and other candidates how
> they would have handled this conflict.

I would have delegated the mediation attempt because I know Sven IRL (he's
French like me) whereas I have less contacts with Frans (although I met
him several times during debian gatherings).

> To everyone: how would you avoid such situations to become this
> problematic in the future?

I have no idea, there's no generic response to such situations. Mediation
is a good idea in general but this story showed us that mediating is not
an easy task and that it can't always succeed.

In that particular case, given that it's not Sven's work but Sven's
relationsship with d-i that is in cause, I would have hoped that we could
have found someone knowledgeable enough in powerpc that could act as
intermediary between the d-i project and Sven. Sadly, it looks like nobody
is able to play that role (or maybe nobody wants to play that role because
the difficult situation is there for too long already).

I can only advice both sides to concentrate on technical stuff without
blowing up each time that the other side does a mistake.

Cheers,
--
Raphaël Hertzog

Premier livre français sur Debian GNU/Linux :
http://www.ouaza.com/livre/admin-debian/


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Re: Question for candidates: the d-i conflict

Gustavo Franco-2
In reply to this post by Josselin Mouette
On 2/27/07, Josselin Mouette <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I'd like to ask Anthony and Steve what they think of how they handled
> the conflict between Frans Pop and Sven Luther, and other candidates how
> they would have handled this conflict.
>
> To everyone: how would you avoid such situations to become this
> problematic in the future?

Hi Joss,

Probably i won't be able to avoid that such situations become so
problematic in the near future, i can't control babies how can i
control debian developers? Anyway, i would like to see these issues
affecting less, people like you, that do more of your hard volunteer
work than engage on flamewars.

I'm not wrings about Frans or Sven, since the situation become so
problematic due to others opinions, and general flame. Don't get me
wrong, i think mediation is good but similar these situations during
my term will be evaluated individually and based on our past
experiences. There's no general solution for this, IMHO.

regards,
-- stratus
http://stratusandtheswirl.blogspot.com


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Re: Question for candidates: the d-i conflict

Aigars Mahinovs-2
In reply to this post by Josselin Mouette
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

> On Tue, Feb 27, 2007 at 02:10:32PM +0100, Josselin Mouette wrote:
>> Hi,
>>
>> I'd like to ask Anthony and Steve what they think of how they handled
>> the conflict between Frans Pop and Sven Luther, and other candidates how
>> they would have handled this conflict.
>>
>> To everyone: how would you avoid such situations to become this
>> problematic in the future?
>
> I would try to mediate. This is exactly what our current DPL and others
> have tried; however, in this particular case these mediation attempts
> did not produce a result that was satisfactory for all parties involved.
>
> Whether this is the fault of the mediator, of Sven, or of Frans, is not
> something I wish to comment on, simply because I was not deeply involved
> in either of the two mediation attempts that I'm aware of.

I must agree with Wouter on this. I have not been involved in this
conflict, so I can not comment on the specifics, but I have involved
with the discussions around krooger and I can see very well how
mediation is a very sensitive problem that is best solved in person.
Therefore my best advice for the current conflict would be to delay any
decisions on that until the Debconf and have all the patries involved in
the discussion there in person.

- --
Best regards,
    Aigars Mahinovs        mailto:[hidden email]
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Re: Question for candidates: the d-i conflict

Steve McIntyre
In reply to this post by Josselin Mouette
On Tue, Feb 27, 2007 at 02:10:32PM +0100, Josselin Mouette wrote:
>Hi,
>
>I'd like to ask Anthony and Steve what they think of how they handled
>the conflict between Frans Pop and Sven Luther, and other candidates how
>they would have handled this conflict.

I believe I handled the dispute fairly. I spoke to both Sven and Frans
a huge amount over the months while we tried to mediate. AJ and I came
up with what we thought was a fair compromise to allow work to
continue, but it was not found acceptable. At that point we were
accused of back-stabbing and conspiracy, so I withdrew from the
proceedings as I saw no reasonable way forward.

>To everyone: how would you avoid such situations to become this
>problematic in the future?

It's difficult to say, as each situation is unique. In the hope that
we have reasonable people involved, then mediation may succeed in
other cases.

--
Steve McIntyre, Cambridge, UK.                                [hidden email]
Can't keep my eyes from the circling sky,
Tongue-tied & twisted, Just an earth-bound misfit, I...

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Re: Question for candidates: the d-i conflict

Sven Luther
On Sun, Mar 04, 2007 at 06:45:48PM +0000, Steve McIntyre wrote:

> On Tue, Feb 27, 2007 at 02:10:32PM +0100, Josselin Mouette wrote:
> >Hi,
> >
> >I'd like to ask Anthony and Steve what they think of how they handled
> >the conflict between Frans Pop and Sven Luther, and other candidates how
> >they would have handled this conflict.
>
> I believe I handled the dispute fairly. I spoke to both Sven and Frans
> a huge amount over the months while we tried to mediate. AJ and I came
> up with what we thought was a fair compromise to allow work to
> continue, but it was not found acceptable. At that point we were
> accused of back-stabbing and conspiracy, so I withdrew from the
> proceedings as I saw no reasonable way forward.

Steve, early in the first mediation, i made the proposal to :

  1) i stop discussing problematic issues on debian-boot, and in general keep
  a low profile.
  2) my svn commit access is restablished.
  3) i work only on areas where i know nobody else is working, and which
  interest me, namely the apus and prep ports, for example.

I would like to know from you, why you did not even give me a return about
this until i insisted, and if you proposed this compromise to Frans, and what
effort did you make to actually try to reach a compromise which was acceptable
to both parties.

For your information, quoting Steve Langasek on irc about the above proposal :

  <vorlon> Seems reasonable, but *shrug*

Also, in your opinion of what should be a mediation, do you find it normal and
acceptable that the decision would be taken without even discussing it with
both parties, and seeing if it is acceptable, before going forward and taking
it ?

> >To everyone: how would you avoid such situations to become this
> >problematic in the future?
>
> It's difficult to say, as each situation is unique. In the hope that
> we have reasonable people involved, then mediation may succeed in
> other cases.

So, a second question. Which of the persons involved in this incident do you
consider as non-reasonable ?

Friendly,

Sven Luther


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