Frans Pop suicide and Ubuntu grievances


Looking through the Debian email archives, we quickly find a long list of messages from Frans Pop expressing grievances with Ubuntu, Canonical and Mark Shuttleworth.

Original link
To: debian-project@lists.debian.org
Subject: Re: Debian decides to adopt time-based release freezes
From: Frans Pop <elendil@planet.nl>
Date: Wed, 29 Jul 2009 04:12:58 +0200

On Wednesday 29 July 2009, Meike Reichle wrote:
> The Debian project has decided to adopt a new policy of time-based
> development freezes for future releases, on a two-year cycle.

Disappointing to see such an announcement without any prior discussion on 
d-project, d-devel or d-vote. Some explanation of how and by who this 
decision was reached would be appreciated.

So from now on we release "when it's time" instead of "when it's ready"?
RC bugs are no longer relevant?

Cheers,
FJP
Original link
To: debian-project@lists.debian.org
Subject: Re: Debian decides to adopt time-based release freezes
From: Frans Pop <elendil@planet.nl>
Date: Thu, 30 Jul 2009 09:28:43 +0200

On Thursday 30 July 2009, Marc Haber wrote:
> I don't think that we shouldn't time our releases according to what
> Mark Shuttleworth says. We are not Ubuntu's slave even if they try
> hard to make it look like that.
>
> Our 18-to-24-month release cycle was a nice vehicle to stay
> asynchronous with Ubuntu, which _I_ consider a desireable feature to
> prevent Debian from perishing. We are not only major supplier to
> Ubuntu, we have our end customers ourselves. I'd prefer that it stayed
> that way.

+1
Original link
To: debian-project@lists.debian.org
Subject: Re: Debian decides to adopt time-based release freezes
From: Frans Pop <elendil@planet.nl>
Date: Thu, 30 Jul 2009 15:10:45 +0200

On Thursday 30 July 2009, Teemu Likonen wrote:
> Debian
> ======

- The completely voluntary nature of the project does not really lend
  itself to hard timelines. If it turns out on the planned date of the
  freeze that there are still major issues open, we need to be flexible
  enough to delay the freeze.

Both the Etch and Lenny releases did clearly show this, and the success of 
both releases (Etch more than Lenny IMO) is largely thanks to flexible 
starts of the incremental freeze stages.

Given Debian's release history it is IMO wishful thinking to expect to be 
able to freeze on a set date. There is simply no way you can direct 
anybody to work on specific issues *now* because the freeze is coming.
Original link
To: debian-project@lists.debian.org
Subject: Re: Debian decides to adopt time-based release freezes
From: Frans Pop <elendil@planet.nl>
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 2009 08:42:54 +0200

On Friday 31 July 2009, Steve Langasek wrote:
> I don't believe the kind of coarse synchronization that's been proposed
> for the releases would make Debian<->Ubuntu crossgrades significantly
> easier. Most of the local changes that Ubuntu has today would still
> apply, and there are rebuilt binaries that share version numbers,
> introducing all kinds of fun possibilities.

<paranoid>
Right. So Ubuntu can put its paid developers to work to create a tested 
upgrade path from Debian to Ubuntu and Ubuntu can go off with its 
publicity budget and promote itself with that "feature".

How "fun". I see zero benefit for Debian there.
</paranoid>
Original link
To: debian-project@lists.debian.org
Subject: Re: Debian redesign
From: Frans Pop <elendil@planet.nl>
Date: Thu, 30 Jul 2009 19:03:07 +0200

On Thursday 30 July 2009, Margarita Manterola wrote:
> On Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 11:21 AM, Cyril Brulebois 
wrote:
> > We discussed that quite extensively with Guido during last dinner,
> > and I totally share his opinion. Sounds like a very well performed
> > marketing campaign. Again: thanks, Agnieszka.
>
> One that will make a statement that women in Debian should always wear
> deep cleavages, and men in Debian have sex with their laptops.
> Nice...

IMHO you're seriously overreacting here. The posters as I see them do 
not "make the statements" that you read into them, that is entirely your 
interpretation of them. Not everything that is sensual is discriminatory.

Cheers,
FJP
From debian-private (leaked) gossip network
Subject: Re: bag of retirements
Date: Mon, 21 Dec 2009 17:23:46 +0000
From: Mark Shuttleworth <mark@ubuntu.com>
To: Debian Private <debian-private@lists.debian.org>

Gunnar Wolf wrote:
> I recognize that seeing so many people part ways with Debian might be
> somewhat demotivating to us all. However, for all practical purposes,
> those who have retired have in fact stopped all their engagement to
> Debian a long time ago - Years, usually.
>   
We have a policy that most memberships in Ubuntu expire unless the user
chooses to renew them. It means the list of participants isn't as
impressive, but it's more real. Generally, we also have a fast-track
re-enablement mechanism.

Mark

Original link
To: debian-project@lists.debian.org
Subject: Re: Closed lists as maintainers
From: Frans Pop <elendil@planet.nl>
Date: Tue, 29 Dec 2009 14:05:35 +0100

On Tuesday 29 December 2009, Ben Hutchings wrote:
> I believe this configuration is unacceptable, but would like to check
> that there is a consensus on this before pressing the matter with the
> GRUB maintainers.

I agree, but it's hardly a new issue. For grub it's been this way for years 
and there've been complaints and discussions about it many, many times.

Cheers,
FJP
Original link
To: debian-project@lists.debian.org
Subject: Re: debian-private declassification team (looking for one)
From: Frans Pop <elendil@planet.nl>
Date: Sat, 22 May 2010 18:35:49 +0200

On Saturday 22 May 2010, martin f krafft wrote:
> How about making archive chunks available e.g. at monthly periods
> and telling people they have 2 months to voice objections before the
> stuff is simply disclosed. Those people who don't want their stuff
> disclosed are the ones that should be doing the work, no?

That won't work.

Various people have already indicated (either in individual posts, or with 
a blanket statement) that some or all of their posts should not be 
declassified.

It also does not allow for people who are no longer DDs: they would not be 
able to object to declassification.
Original link
To: debian-project@lists.debian.org
Subject: Re: debian-private declassification team (looking for one)
From: Frans Pop <elendil@planet.nl>
Date: Fri, 25 Jun 2010 14:46:02 +0200

On Friday 25 June 2010, Stefano Zacchiroli wrote:
> I'm not sure I understand against *what* exactly you're arguing; nor it
> is clear to me whether you are proposing a different course of action
> than the status quo.
>
> The vote is there and we cannot change the past [...]

I would welcome a new GR to rescind the previous one and revert d-private 
to what it's always been: private. That way we can stop worrying about the 
whole issue and we will no longer run the risk of making things public 
that their authors do not want to be made public.

Cheers,
FJP
Original link
To: debian-project@lists.debian.org
Subject: Re: Problems with NM Front Desk
From: Frans Pop <elendil@planet.nl>
Date: Tue, 6 Jul 2010 21:56:59 +0200

On Tuesday 06 July 2010, Raphael Hertzog wrote:
> I can't speak for the NM team, but if he was asked to go through DM
> first (and that's what I understood), I could understand that his NM
> application got removed for now.

This is the thing I'm having some problem with in the discussion so far.

Is it actually OK for FD to "demand" that candidates go through DM before 
applying for DD, or as part of the NM process?

As I remember it, DM was primarily intended as an alternative *end point* 
for those contributors who are not interested in going through the full NM 
procedure and are happy with both the facilities and limitations that DM 
offers. From his mails Manuel clearly intended to go for DD.

Sure, in a lot of cases getting DM first can help to be more productive 
sooner. But shouldn't that remain the choice of the candidate him/herself?

I can see loads of cases where going straight for DD is much more logical:
- contributors who's primairy interest is not packaging
- contributors who already have a very solid history of contributions
- contributors who work mainly on team-maintained packages and thus only
  need commit access to the team source repos while leaving the uploads
  to other team members
- contributors who have a good relationship with the current maintainer
  of a package or sponsors and thus see no need for upload rights

In Manuel's case I personally would say that getting DM status on the route 
to DD *does* seem to make sense, but still IMO that should be *his* 
option. In past discussions we have explicitly stressed that it should be 
possible to tailor the NM process to the ambitions and background of 
individual candidates, in discussion between the candidate and FD and/or 
assigned AM.

Have the FD and NM-team (silently?) inflated DM beyond what was originally 
intended? I would personally be against listing DM on the website as a 
required or even desired stage to go through for NM, as some have 
suggested; it should of course be listed as an option.

I agree with others that the main problem in this particular case seems to 
have been a communications failure. But IMO refusing or declining to go 
through DM should by itself never be a reason to reject a candidate. I 
don't think it was in this case; the escalated communication has probably 
contributed.
However, the FD and DAM have a very strong responsibility when it comes to 
trying to avoid such failures given that new candidates probably will not 
be familiar with all options and terminology.

Cheers,
FJP
From debian-private (leaked) gossip network
Subject: Resignation
Date: Sun, 15 Aug 2010 21:41:18 +0200
From: Frans Pop <elendil@planet.nl>
To: debian-private@lists.debian.org

It's time to say goodbye. I don't want to say too much about it, except that I've been planning this for a long time.

Participating in Debian has been great.

For personal reasons I will be revoking my GPG key. However, it is not compromised and the validity of this mail can still be verified using my public key from current keyring packages.

My resignation means that the following three packages will need a new maintainer:
- debtree
- debmirror
- qcontrol (tbm?)

It also means the following tasks will need a successor:
- editor and release manager for the Installation Guide
- daily D-I builds for s390
- Dutch translator for website and various debconf/program translations

All mails I ever sent to d-private (and mails quoting them) shall remain private.

So long,
FJP
From debian-private (leaked) gossip network
Subject: Death of Frans Pop
Date: Sat, 21 Aug 2010 11:47:34 +0100
From: Steve McIntyre <steve@einval.com>
To: debian-private@lists.debian.org

Hi all,

I have bad news to share with people, I'm afraid. This morning, I've
just received an email from the parents of Frans Pop telling me that
he died yesterday.

"Yesterday morning our son Frans Pop has died. He took his own life,
in a well-considered, courageous, and considerate manner. During the
last years his main concern was his work for Debian. I would like to
ask you to inform those members of the Debian community who knew him
well."

I promised them that I would pass on the news, so here it is. Frans
worked hard in Debian for a number of years, and I know that all of
those people who worked with him will feel a great loss today. We've
lost a good colleague and good friend. I, for one, will miss him
greatly.

-- 
Steve McIntyre, Cambridge, UK.                                steve@einval.com
You raise the blade, you make the change... You re-arrange me 'til I'm sane...
From debian-private (leaked) gossip network
Subject: Re: Death of Frans Pop
Date: Sat, 21 Aug 2010 13:39:21 +0100
From: Colin Watson <cjwatson@debian.org>
To: debian-private@lists.debian.org

On Sat, Aug 21, 2010 at 01:52:33PM +0200, Ludovic Brenta wrote:
> Steve McIntyre  writes:
> > "Yesterday morning our son Frans Pop has died. He took his own life,
> > in a well-considered, courageous, and considerate manner. During the
> > last years his main concern was his work for Debian. I would like to
> > ask you to inform those members of the Debian community who knew him
> > well."
> 
> Does that imply he took his own life *because* of Debian, which was "his
> main concern"?

This is probably the wrong thread for linguistics, but that phrase would
normally just indicate that Debian was his main interest.  In
http://oxforddictionaries.com/view/entry/m_en_gb0169810 under "noun",
this would be sense 2 rather than sense 1.

-- 
Colin Watson                                       [cjwatson@debian.org]