2006-11-24 09:24:39 UTC
== Introduction ==
6 Month ago i already had contacted the tech comitte in hope that the current
mess between frans and a few other members of the d-i team and me can be
solved. The tech comitte refused a ruling on this issue.
We are many months later, and the issue is not even near to being solved, and
i thus reinvoke the technical comitte.
First, what is the issue exactly. I am totally at a loss to understand what it
is exactly what is reproached me, and feel that i am unfairly handled. It is
very difficult to try to solve the issue if there is absolutely no feedback on
what is actually the issue, and the DPL is not helping in this.
== Fairness of the technical comittee ruling ==
In order to keep the objectivity and fairness of the technical comittee
ruling, all those technical comittee members who have a vested interest in one
side of this matter, and as thus are not able for whatever reason to make an
objective and fair decision, should abstain from participating in this
== Is it a private or technical matter ==
The first problem we have, is to understand if this dispute is a private issue
or a technical issue. I know that Frans is trying to say it is a technical
one, but he gave no valid reason for it, and others do believe it is a private
If it is a private dispute, then it is the right of the technical comitte to
intervene, and to force the d-i team to reactivate my d-i svn commit access,
since it is not ok for someone to use technical use of debian ressources in
order to further a private feud. Especially as this has caused me a technical
disagreement and seriously hinders my ability to work on d-i for the best of
If it is a technical issue, then it should be judged on technical terms, and
a reason for the removal of the svn commit access should be clearly given in
technical terms. Furthermore, the history of these past 6 month clearly show
that any imagined reason for removing the commit access is clearly
out-weighted by the hindrance caused by this decision.
So, in both case, and as will be detailed below, there is no valid reason to
support the removal of my svn commit right, and i thus ask for a timely
judgement of the technical comittee in my favour on this matter, for the
greater good of both debian and our users.
== Technical issues ==
What are the technical issues that i have been reproached ? Let's list the few
i have seen against me :
1) i do last minute changes, which break d-i.
This is pure diffamation without any real backing. I will be happy to
investigate all such detailed case. That said, even if there was a few case
of breakage caused by my commits, well error is human, and there is nothing
which could not have been fixed in minutes if there was a will to do so.
Naturally, saying nothing, and then coming with a barrage of reproaches and
agressive bashing is not the way to handle harmless errors.
2) the d-i team is unable to review my commits, because they have me
Well, first, one could question the blacklisting in the first place, as an
associal behaviour, but lets not go into this. This is an argument that is
just an excuse, since it is easy enough to separate the svn commit logs from
other mailing list posts from me.
Furthermore, i wonder what the reasoning behind this reviewing is.
Especially given that i am the expert on powerpc d-i support, and we have
seen recent clueless guesswork from frans, who caused more breakage than did
any good. And even Colin Watson, who is more competent in matters powerpc,
introduced bugs in my patches, causing untested RC breakage.
Finally, such review could as easily be done on my svn commits, and could be
done before packages upload, which could be left to others than me.
Now, let's weight this two technical complaints against me, with the
constraints and hurdles cause to me by the current approach :
1) having no svn commit access is a pain, it causes regular svn conflicts,
which are difficult to fix, and have caused twice already the work i did to
Well, i know that i could use tools like svk or git-svn to make this issue
less, but as i do more and more work, and the committers of my patch lag
behind, as has been the case recently, this cause additional work and need
for me to keep a huge open list of issues, often open since months.
In particular, the less than timely response time from the d-i team on bug
reports i provided has exacerbated this problem.
2) having no possibility to upload fixed packages commited to svn cause a
hurt to our ability to provide timely fixes to our users.
Well, not much to say here, in addition to the above causing me extra work
and lost time, which in turn limit the amount of fixes i can contribute to
d-i, this also has a negative impact on our users, especially for issues
where the ability to test fixes is limited, because the users has only a few
days before the server goes into production for example, which will be more
and more the case if we want to support for example IBM Power server
3) the current approach causes unneeded work for other d-i team members, who
are forced to commit the patches, which takes them time they could better
spend on their own problems.
This has an additional problem, in that it forces frans to be in
communication with me, and since he seems unable to profesional and fair,
increases the risk of verbal and social escalation, but we will speak of
this more in the next part.
So, seeing this on the technical side, there are more drawbacks than benefit
from the current situation, and even the benefits are at best poor excuses.
If this is purely a technical issue, then there is no doubt that my svn commit
access should be re-activated ASAP, or at least the other side of this dispute
should clearly and publicly state what they reproach to me, in order to give
me a chance to fix it.
Since they failed to do so over the now over 6 months that this has been a
problem, it strongly lessens their position on this, and furthermore argue for
the restoration of the svn commit right.
Furthermore, i am still the defacto lead powerpc porter, as the d-i team was
not able to find someone else to do the work in all this time. Many persons
where considered, and if there would have been an actual replacement, i would
be happy to leave it to him, and work through him, but this is not the case.
People under consideration :
- Colin : has the technical knowledge and interest, but sadly lacks
the time to follow the d-i powerpc port as neatly as he should. When he
replaced me in april, i warmly welcomed him, and hinted him to all the
issues that where left open and needed attention, but he was not able to
find the time to play the role as he should, leading to a full d-i
breakage less than a month after the fact. I also doubt he has access to
the huge array of powerpc subarches i have.
- Wouter : he has taken over the d-i daily builds from Colin, and is mostly
doing a good job of it. He is also active in m68k and other areas, and as
far as i know, didn't show any interest in becoming more than the d-i
daily build operator.
- Holger : he claims he didn't work on powerpc/d-i because of me, but
reality shows that he was little active even before these problems
started, and he contributed nothing during the time after my initial
kicking out of the project, where i was busy attending to the burial of my
mother, and later concentrated on non-d-i areas. He was our oldworld
expert, and the poor state of the oldworld port speaks poorly of his
contributions, and furthermore his highly aggressive reaction against me
make him a very poor choice on this.
So, until today, i am the defacto powerpc d-i lead porter, and given the
failure of frans and co to find a suitable replacement to me, i reject their
right to not give me my rightful place.
Furthermore, the original "resignation" mail, was something which frans
provoked me in writing, at a moment where i was under personal distress, and
despite me begging him to be comprehensive because of this. This is i believe
one of the most abject of social behaviour i have ever encountered in debian,
even comparing to similar behaviour by Andrew Suffield and Jonathan/Ted
== Personal issues reproached to me ==
So, given that there is ample proof that from the technical side the current
situation has no justification, and on the contrary causes more hurt to
everyone concerned (the d-i team, me, inoccent bystanders, our powerpc users,
...), we can only conclude that there is a personal reason for my svn commit
access to not be immediately restored.
Again, here, there is very little firm indication of what exactly is
reproached to me, and there is no clear way for me to try to fix it.
Furthermore, i believe that use of debian technical ressources for private
social warfare is anathema, and it would be perfectly in the right of the
technical comitte to rule that it be restablished on the analysis above.
That said, both frans and joeyh have probably threatened to lessen their
contribution to d-i if my svn commit right is restored. Well, i don't know
about frans, but joeyh clearly stated so publicly on the wiki pages.
So, what is it i am reproached, at least what i managed to find out over the
months of this dispute, none of which was evident and clearly stated.
1) I am not respectful enough of Frans.
Well, i am not sure how to take this. I don't think that being respectful of
someone should be any pre-requisite to being able to work on technical
Furthermore in order for someone to get respect, he has to very well earn
it. This is not the case of people refusing to even discuss technical issues
in public, or of people who respond to approaches to solve the issue by
"FUCK YOU" and "the biggest load of self-satisfied and self-centered crap
I've ever seen".
I am respectful to Frans for the work he does on d-i, he does a great job
coordinating the release, but he leaves his personal feud with me hinder his
job, and has shown the most abject social behaviour in this issue, and for
this, he cannot earn my respect.
2) I have to be extra nice to the d-i team.
Well, he asks this from me, and on the same time ressort to continuous and
unprovoked bashing of me, even in bug report and so. Well. I can understand
that he can get angry, the same way i get angry by some of his replies or
random posts he does in reply to other folk, but he can hardly expect me to
follow some standards he is unable to follow himself.
3) I have a social problem interacting with the d-i team.
Well, given how i tried hard to play nice on many occasions, and the kind of
reply i am getting from the d-i team, as you can see yourself on the wiki
pages about this issue, and on the little irc snipplets i added to that
page, i feel more than at this time a few of the d-i team members have a
social problem interacting with me (and a few others).
In particular, the original wiki page was an attempt to solve this in a
constructive and positive way, but was only replied with abuse, from Geert
first, then Holger, then Joeyh, and Frans said about it : "the biggest load
of self-satisfied and self-centered crap I've ever seen".
4) I should admit that this whole issue is mostly (or even fully for
certain) my fault.
Well. This position is sadly shared by Anthony Towns, and to a degree by
Steve Langasek, and is probably the reason why there was no or little
progress in this issue.
I have from the start recognized that i was back in spring under a personal
pressure and distress. I have apologized for the fact, asked for mediation
in this lamentable dispute, tried to fixe the issues i saw in me. I believe
i have succeded in this to a point, even though there is still place for
On the other hand, neither frans nor joeyh, nor others, have ever shown the
least bit of regret for their actions, have fully rejected my attempts at
conciliation as well as the positive and constructive attempt i made with
the wiki page, describing it as the "the biggest load of self-satisfied
and self-centered crap I've ever seen", and you can also search up the
comments full of hatefullness from Geert and Holger, which they later
removed from the wiki page, but which are still visible in the history.
It seems to me that since the begining the faults are shared, that i
recognized my part of them, and tried to work to remove them, and in general
better my behaviour in these aspect. I may have succeeded to a point, or
not, but at least i made the effort. On the other side, they did never
recognize their part of the problem, and as thus could never apologize for
it, nor make any effort to work around the problem.
As thus, any ruling that insist that this is all and fully my fault, is
doomed to fail.
5) I constantly bring up the problem.
Well, if you go down to it and look at it, i lately almost never bring up
the problem, it is always in reaction to provocation by frans or other
actions by him that cause me to face the problem again.
I had thought that working on the BTS, and submitting patches would be
enough for me to ignore the issue, but given how frans started doing
agressive bashing in bug reports, and how those patches i sent are not
applied in a timely fashion, and how i then later get reproached by frans
the most minor of typo or problem, which are in part due to the situation he
himself setup, this is increasingly difficult.
6) i post too much on mailing lists.
Well, i agree about this. In spring i tried to abide toa
one-mail-per-thread-per-day policy, but i was told by both the d-i team and
the DPL that this had nothing whatsoever to do with the issue, and so i
abandoned this approach. On suggestion from people on irc, i started to
write the wiki page, in order for the information to go from a push to a
pull distribution media, but was in response hit by heavy abuse, and this
has brought absolutely nothing to solve the situation.
So, if we go over these points, it is clear that at the very least, the wrongs
are shared. It is my own belief that i have tried harder to solve the issue,
and that i was also wronger worse in these personal issues than the other
party in this dispute.
It also seem to me that as long as frans and co are not able to find it within
themselves to recognize their part of wrongs, let past issues be past, and
work positively together for the greater good, there is no way for this to be
solved, without exterior intervention.
Given the full support the DPL is giving frans and co, while he should be an
objective mediator, and that in general folk are rather in favour of not
intervening, and are counseling me to wait (for how long ? forever ?) i think
that there is no chance for this ever being solved.
== Conclusion ==
There is neither a technical reason for frans and co to refuse me the d-i svn
commit access, nor a social/personal reason.
There is no evidence that any action or waiting from my part will ever help in
this matter, as it is never the right time, nor is there any firm commitment
on a deadline, nor any recognition from the other party of their part of the
wrongs, which would help bring this forward in a positive way.
The issue has caused lost time for many persons, and is hurting both our
debian powerpc port as well as our powerpc users.
As thus, i strongly ask the technical comitte to intervene, so that there is
no more a technical hurdle which is in the way of me being able to fully and
most efficiently work on the d-i powerpc port.
And if it is really true, that some of the d-i team cannot work on d-i if i am
not humiliated and controlled like i am, i think we have a more serious
problem, and not one i am the cause of. In this case, i would question any
decision which would favour the other side of this dispute, without a well
justified technical reasoning. And i would question the honestity and fairness
of any tech comittee member who judge that it is right to favour frans and co
in a decision just because their work is judged more important to debian right
now and as thus it is judged that it is right that i should be made to suffer
just because they are not able let paste issues be paste, and have a mature
and professional behaviour in the d-i development matter.
And yes, i am suffering from this. While writing the wiki thing, i cried half
an hour before my computer, and was trully deseperate, just ask those who
where on irc at that time, not even counting the considerable extra stress
this caused me when i was at my mothers death-bed, and didn't really need
== Links ==
The wiki page detailing most of these issues is at :
It lacks recent developments, but should contain enough information to clearly
judge in these matters, i would be happy to add more stuff, but would rather
work on fixing bugs instead.