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Debian

Debian Project Leader Candidates' Platforms Online 25

Posted by timothy
from the nice-normal-folks dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The platforms for the Debian Project Leader candidates are now available here with more information about how votes are tallied. The candidates this year are the incumbent DPL Martin Michlmayr, and developers Branden Robinson, and Gergely Nagy (but if you vote for him, his tamagotchi will sit on you.)" Nagy's platform is interesting reading.
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Debian Project Leader Candidates' Platforms Online

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  • ballots (Score:5, Funny)

    by Imperator (17614) <slashdot2@NOspaM.omershenker.net> on Monday March 15, 2004 @08:39PM (#8574499)
    Can I get a paper ballot? I don't trust their "electronic voting machine" thingy. What do these people know about reliable software?
  • Martin Michlmayr (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 15, 2004 @08:54PM (#8574622)
    From Martin's page: "My name is Martin Michlmayr, and I hope that you will re-elect me as your Debian Project Leader" -- I had to double-check, thinking he might not be a native English speaker, and that he might have chosen the wrong word.

    I'm on most of the Debian mailing lists, and I didn't know this. Branden's name sticks out, as he's contributed so much. Before double-checking, if you'd asked me which of the three candidates were running for reelection, I'd have thought it was Branden!

    Good riddance to the do-nothing. A bunch of PhDs don't mount up to a hill of beans if you don't do anything!

    • by Anonymous Coward
      I don't think it's fair to say that Martin has done nothing. I think he's done a lot. You may still prefer Branden, and that's fine. I probably do too. But I wouldn't characterize Martin's work this past year as "nothing."
      • Re:Martin Michlmayr (Score:5, Informative)

        by reaper20 (23396) on Monday March 15, 2004 @10:12PM (#8575217) Homepage
        It's tough to measure what the DPL does if you're not a Debian Developer. I've been using Debian since Potato and I still have no idea what the DPL really does. Should it matter to me? Not really, I don't vote, the DD's do.

        We (as in users) depend on them to provide us with Debian the distribution, and as such they pick the DPL. The parent might see this effort as "nothing" but then again, why fix something that isn't broken? The only main problem with Debian is still the release process, which has been broken for years, some might even argue that it isn't broken at all, I guess it depends on your point of view.

        All I know is that I've been using sid for years, and it has served me well, with over thirteen thousand packages working as well as they do, I hardly think anyone from the outside can call Debian anything other than a miraculous success.

        Of course, those involved in the process can criticize all they wish, that's probably the reason it works so well in the first place.
    • by Bronster (13157) <slashdot@brong.net> on Monday March 15, 2004 @10:30PM (#8575372) Homepage
      "My name is Martin Michlmayr, and I hope that you will re-elect me as your Debian Project Leader" -- I had to double-check, thinking he might not be a native English speaker

      Funnily enough - he isn't, though he did a good enough job when I met him.

      I think it's interesting how democracies tend to change every so often as we dwell on the failures of those in leadership and forget to notice the quiet advances those same people have made. Interesting how the new one never seems that much better.

      Branden would certainly have a different focus - and the question is which area of focus is better for Debian at the moment, Branden's strict constitutional interpretation and "from the ranks" approach as a very active package maintainer, or Martin's more relaxed interpretation of the constitution and behind the scenes / package process support approach.

      If you read past the initial PhD section of Martin's bio, you'll notice that he has worked intensively in the Quality Assurance and New Maintainer areas. Ensuring that bugs get dealt with and that new people are coming on board to maintain packages is just as important as maintaining the packages yourself.

      Branden does make some very good points however, that without a constitution a government is nothing.

      I'm not a developer, just a very avid user who should have got off my arse ages ago and become a developer. Oh well. If I was voting, I would vote for Martin as project leader on the basis that I believe Debian has plenty of maintainers and not enough QA (check the release critical bug count some time), but I would ask him politely to respect the constition or start the process for it to be changed. I don't know the background for the disputed 'delegates' situation, and I don't know if the best solution is changing the constitution or delegating the specific people Branden names.

      And, AC. Maybe you should be aware that being active on development mailing lists is not the only way of doing anything.
    • Re:Martin Michlmayr (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I'm on most of the Debian mailing lists, and I didn't know this. Branden's name sticks out, as he's contributed so much. Before double-checking, if you'd asked me which of the three candidates were running for reelection, I'd have thought it was Branden!

      Perhaps you're just not on the right lists. He's pretty active on the -qa list as well as a few others.

      This is the typical perspective of a non-DD. They don't give just anyone access to the Debian machines, nor the power to head NM, and the authority t
    • Re:Martin Michlmayr (Score:3, Interesting)

      by twilight30 (84644)
      I have problems with this. But I'm not bitching on Slashdot about it, and hiding behind AC status to boot. A bit more information might be useful, such as:
      • Are you a developer? If so, what specifically are your gripes? (I'm a user and will remain so for the foreseeable future)
      • The Project Leader term is too short to make a considerable impact in that time -- one of the many reasons why this particular Project Leader hasn't made an impression on you, I'd say. What do you suggest to ameliorate this?
      • Debia
  • Obligatory (Score:1, Funny)

    by wan-fu (746576)
    I for one, welcome our soon-to-be new Debian overlord. Soon-to-be, meaning as soon as they tabulate the votes, which, (again, obligatory), by Debian standards, will be some time after we colonize the moon.
    • That is a good thing, because the winner's tamagotchi is then going to be sitting on a lot of people and I am in no hurry to wear a pink dress while dancing in the streets.
  • by waldoj (8229) * <`waldo' `at' `jaquith.org'> on Monday March 15, 2004 @10:59PM (#8575548) Homepage Journal
    I can't find out on the Debian site how the votes will be tallied, but I certainly hope that they've got the good sense to use instant runoff voting [fairvote.org]. Mathematically speaking, it's the best method of tallying votes. Practically speaking, it's the best method of ensuring that the person elected is the most widely-desired candidate.

    -Waldo Jaquith
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 16, 2004 @12:20AM (#8575978)
      I can't find out on the Debian site how the votes will be tallied, but I certainly hope that they've got the good sense to use instant runoff voting. Mathematically speaking, it's the best method of tallying votes. Practically speaking, it's the best method of ensuring that the person elected is the most widely-desired candidate.

      Debian uses the Condorcet voting method, with Cloneproof Schwartz Sequential Dropping (SSD) as the tiebreaker method, and some modifications for supermajorities for use when voting on amendments to the Constitution, DFSG, and Social Contract. For people not familiar with Condorcet, the short explanation is that each ballot provides an ranking of the options, from most preferred to least preferred. The winner is the option that is preferred over every other option by a majority of people, meaning that a majority of people ranked that option over each other option.

      Condorcet is far fairer than Instant Runoff. For example, Instant Runoff is non-monotonic, meaning that a vote for a candidate can make that candidate lose, and a vote against a candidate can make that candidate win. In addition, Instant Runoff generally eliminates "compromise" third-party candidates, even if they would have been preferable to the winning option. In fact, Instant Runoff Voting is the only option that is worse than the standard Plurality or "First Past the Post" system (one vote per person, most votes wins). This is primarily caused because Instant Runoff only looks at your top choice, and ignores the preferences below that, until your top choice is eliminated. This forces you to vote strategically, instead of honestly.

      See electionmethods.org [electionmethods.org] for more information on various voting methods (and some good criteria used to evaluate voting methods). In particular, read their article The Problems with Instant Runoff Voting [electionmethods.org]. For more information on Debian's implementation of Condorcet, see the Debian Constitution [debian.org].
    • Well that's interesting but does Instant Runoff Voting work when there are only two candidates? Of the three, one is a joke candidate. If a few Deb Devs vote for him as a joke (or maybe they don't like the other two), then you may have a situation where no one has more than 50% of the vote. I'm not an expert on elections (or the system you are talking about). Does this means there must be a runoff or time to use the Instant Runoff Voting? But there are only two real candidates, wouldn't the winner just
      • by waldoj (8229)
        Well that's interesting but does Instant Runoff Voting work when there are only two candidates?

        It works just fine with two candidates, but no better and no worse than a "traditional" election.

        -Waldo Jaquith
  • by twilight30 (84644) on Tuesday March 16, 2004 @03:30AM (#8576488) Homepage
    Looking over his platform, I noticed one omission:

    What the hell is going to happen to XFree86? He's worked like an animal on it for the last four years or so. Is he planning on handing it off to someone else? Or is he going to juggle both?

    Either way, one of the two sets of duties -- Project Leader or XFree86 -- will certainly suffer.

    As much as I might want him in place as Project Leader, why hasn't he discussed this in his platform? (Not that what I say matters; /me user, non developer :)
  • just remembered (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 16, 2004 @04:25AM (#8576634)

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982

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