Dale <rdalek1967@...> posted 4A47F8E3.8070703@..., excerpted
below, on Sun, 28 Jun 2009 18:12:35 -0500:
> As a long time Gentoo user, I have to ask. Why is that EVERYONE on the
> council must be there or have someone there to represent them? Would
> Gentoo come to a end if one person or even two people were not present?
I believe the fear is in ultimately having a very small group of people
(say 1-3) vote in something agreed among themselves, that the rest of the
community doesn't agree with. Gentoo devs tend to be a rather
independent lot, and they don't want that risk. That's the reason the
council is seven members instead of say, five or three, as well. With a
three person council it's really easy to get just two acting in cahoots,
and with five, getting a third person isn't that much harder. A seven
member council means in ordered for something to pass, at least four
members must agree, and there's a lot of developers for whom that's
simply the minimum number they can trust to make a reasonable decision.
From that viewpoint, if anyone's absent without proxy, it lowers the
"safe" level dramatically, because it's just too easy to persuade one or
two other folks to vote with you, even if they don't share your ulterior
motive. So the idea is to keep the number of votes to seven, so the
number necessary for a majority is always a reasonably safe four.
> I do agree that if a proxy is going to be used, they should be a
> developer. If it is not that way now, it should be changed. I been
> using Gentoo for years and wouldn't even consider serving as a proxy. I
> would certainly not want to be a tie breaker on a vote.
I agree. If I read GLEP 39 correctly, however, the reason it wasn't
required that all council members be devs is because they'd be council
members by virtue of being voted in by devs (being a dev is a requirement
to vote). Thus, if a majority of voting devs voted in a Gentoo-non-dev,
presumably they'd be expressing explicit trust in that non-dev to do the
Of course, the same doesn't apply to proxies, who are single-person
designated by the to-be-absent council member. Thus, the safety margin
doesn't exist there, they were NOT approved by the voting devs as a
whole, or even the council as a whole, and it's certainly a reasonable
argument that because of that, they should at least be devs.
However, see my recent post proposing designated proxies, taking the job
for the full council term of a year. They could either be voted in as
running mates along with the (voting) council, or designated and approved
as the first order of business of the new council. (Since voting is
already underway for the new council, it'd have to be designated and
approved, this year, with the running mate idea perhaps next year if
That'd eliminate both the unprepared proxy still trying to get up to
speed on what he's supposed to be voting on, as they'd presumably be as
prepared as would the regular voting council member, AND the problem of
non-dev as proxy, since they'd at minimum have been approved by the
council as a whole, if not voted in, in the same council vote as the
(voting) council itself.
Duncan - List replies preferred. No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master." Richard Stallman