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From Nicola Ken Barozzi <>
Subject Re: do no harm
Date Thu, 07 Nov 2002 16:24:41 GMT

Rodent of Unusual Size wrote:
> Sam Ruby wrote:
>>Do the bold words in the second paragraph of the proposed text for
>>"Implications of Voting" at
>> meet your
>>criteria for "do no harm"?
> it would be nice if you would cite the actual words as well as a
> pointer to them, since they're not showing up as bold in my browser
> for some reason.  here is that paragraph, with the bold words
> upcased:
>>The tacit implications of voting should be spelt out in
>>the community's guidelines. However, IN NO CASE may someone's
>>vote be considered invalid if the implied commitment doesn't
>>appear to be met; a vote is a formal expression of opinion,
>>_not_ of commitment.
>>It appears that HTTPD has an unwritten rule that the person
>>who puts forward a veto has an obligation to at least convince
>>one other committer that the veto has some basis (even if that
>>person does not necessary agree with the veto).
> that has not been my experience.  on a number of occasions a single
> person's veto has stood against the entire rest of the community.
> it's not an obligation on the vetoer, but on the community: an
> obligation to examine the justification objectively and rationally,
> and know when to say 

It happened to me, that I almost stood alone on a veto, and then others 
started agreeing.
Another time I remained alone and understood it was good to revoke it, 
since I understood their argument.


>'well, it doesn't look like it to me, but i
> *respect* [the vetoer]'s judgement and it knows more about this
> than i do.'

This is exactly what should happen with healthy communities.

But sometimes it just doesn't work, because the community is having 
problems. It's not nice, but it happens.
If things went always well, we would not need rules at all.

How do we deal with it?

Rules help us
  1 prevent friction by stating guidelines (like road crossings)
  2 prevent things from going really bad

Our guidelines are *excellent* in the first case. I love them.

But I'm confused about what to suggest to projects that are in state 2.

* Rules for revolutionaries (internal forks) are a decent
   escape gate for tensions.
* PMC responsibility and involvement is another.

Is this the answer to the problem?

> it's about judgement, not opinion.

Nicola Ken Barozzi         
             - verba volant, scripta manent -
    (discussions get forgotten, just code remains)

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