Yoe seems to believe I see a cabal in Debian
. Let me assure you: I don't - and if there would be a cabal, I would be part of it. I've seen most of Debian, played around with NM, the release team, have seen how our buildd network works (or, in the specific case of today: mostly works) and have close contact to people in all other core teams of the project. I still haven't seen a sign of a Cabal.
I believe that there are "clusters" of people who work better with each other, simply because they have known each other for years and developed trust, but that's nothing I would actually mark as problem. I do the same. Many of our core people have too much work to do, mostly because getting a job well done is usually reason to give you more tasks until your performance becomes abysmal. That doesn't mean that they are bad people or do bad things intentionally, but often, they don't allow people to help them - the usual reasoning is "new people need training, training needs time, time is what I don't have => no new people". Obviously, that argumentation is flawed in the long run.
Anyway, on to the more technical details:
- The real reason for not adding new architectures is that not one of the people able to do so cares enough to do it. That doesn't sound as nice as "I don't really know why we don't do it", does it?
- I haven't asked the security team to support backports, and I won't. volatile isn't under the supervision of the security team and works just fine.
- Most porting machines aren't "down", they are "locked down". See the list of Debian machines (which is, BTW, seriously out of date). Hardware failure is something completely different (though we might want to think about using Debian funds to replace broken machines, if needed), but restricting access is a sign of an overloaded team of system administrators.
- Dictating how a team should be changed is usually not a good way to do things - but there isn't another. A few of our core teams have failed to solve their problems on their own. Debian's job now isn't to stand by, watching and saying "He, that's bad. Maybe they'll fix the team in the next decade". Also, there are people experienced with the tasks of these core teams who are not part of them - you might want to use their experiences.
- With my release team and unofficial buildd network hat on I will tell you that adding one buildd maintainer for those architectures that only have one at the moment would improve the situation a lot. Please don't assume that I only talk about stuff I have no idea of. Sometimes I actually know about things!
- I don't think that we need to change our position regarding the GFDL, but I do believe that we should work on our relation to the FSF. Debian is the biggest free-as-in-free-as-in-free-speech distribution on the market, so the FSF should actually be interested in working together with us. Still, that doesn't happen, so we should perhaps start by having a discussion what the problems of each of these organisations is in the eyes of the other.
And, FWIW: I do hate conspiracy theories too. They come to life because people usually want to see the "bigger picture" - even if there is none and all of the weirdness in their environment can be explained by chance, human error and unknown social problems. And as I said - I don't believe there is a group of people making decisions that seem bad for Debian. I just believe a lot of people try to do their best for Debian - but they fail on a regular basis.