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From: Karl Fogel
Subject: Re: MAINTAINERS file
Date: Sat, 01 Mar 2008 10:52:59 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.1.50 (gnu/linux)

Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden> writes:
>> This is not true.  For example, in the Subversion project there is no
>> arbitrator.  We try for consensus, and if there is unresolveable
>> disagreement, the global committers vote.
> So in your case, the vote by the global committers is that ``someone''
> whom Nick calls ``arbitrator''.  Thus, ``this is not true'' above is,
> well, not true.

If by "arbitrator" he merely meant "some means of resolving disputes
when consensus cannot be reached", then sure.  But that's not the
definition of "arbitrator" that most of the world uses, I think.

An arbitrator is a person or standing committee that makes decisions
when agreement cannot be reached among a larger group.  An arbitrator
is not necessarily a member of the group for which the decision is
being made (though may be, and in this case would be).

When the entire larger group votes, the word for that is "democracy",
and it is distinguishable from arbitration by these properties:
everyone is involved equally, and the decision-making processes is
transparent.  Neither of those need be true for arbitration.

>> A power structure is not needed, when you have revision control (so
>> changes can be undone) and forkability (so dissenters are never
>> trapped).
> So you think that commit/revert wars and forks are a better
> alternative than clear, agreed-upon rules?

At this point I have to roll my eyes.  Sorry, I hadn't realized we
were operating at the level of rhetoric used in U.S. presidental
campaigns rather than that used on free software development lists.



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