Enrico Zini on DAM and “responsability”

The one single person within Debian who has worked for years to get me ostracized and thrown out of Debian is … Enrico Zini. Probably because I made a joke about him and his ridiculous statement “Debian is a relationship between multiple people” (how trivial can you be to be printed on a huge poster?), and me without knowing that his buddy Martina Ferrari is trans, criticizing them for spreading lies. Well … I should have known that doing this to a DAM (and back then also Anti-Harassment-Team member) could bring me into “devil’s kitchen”.

Funny to see what kind of head-banging creating concoction of talk Zini delivered to DebConf 2022. Obviously, no lesson learned, no reflection on their own failures to act properly. Always putting forth their private animosities over objective reasoning.

Another confirmation that Debian DAM (and CT) is as far from “data driven decision making” as …

Best greetings, one of your “troublesome people”

32 Responses

  1. Luc says:

    Installed processes should prevent personal feelings and opinions from being concluded upon. How is decision making in DAM arranged and where are the forces and counter-forces to balance decision making and bringing all factors into the decision making process.

    I did sent several mails on the issue, never got a reply. Open and transparent communication is a prime factor, even prior to decision making.

    If you ask me if DAM is doing its job: I’d say No.

  2. Peter says:

    an hour ago I read the Zini “Talk notes” with gathering interest.
    by the time I finished I decided that Zini is very passive aggressive, and lacks the courage to name names.
    it became clear that he is working on gathering soldiers to assist with his War Against Norbert and I assume others.

  3. Luc says:

    So who of his peers are asking questions on this? How are his opinions, etc. being balanced even challenged? If this is not the case the process is wrong or wrongly executed.

  4. Michael says:

    Whenever the woke and alphabet soup agenda takes over leadership positions, things drift downhill from there. That’s why I stopped using Firefox and that’s why I don’t care about Debian anymore (other than KDE being always outdated).

    • Rainer says:

      Good that there is choice in the Linux ecosystem. I appeared to me that in Debian politics is more important than users at least for some Debian developers otherwise a solution which serves the KDE and LaTeX users better would have been found. That was reason enough for me to install a Manjaro on a desktop machine and I think it will replace my all Debian desktop systems over time.

    • Michael says:

      I repent for writing this judgmental comment. I take away my judgement so that I will not be judged myself.

  5. Nick says:

    Well, reading the talk notes, they seem to point out that Enrico does not want the job of policing the community and thinks DAM is the wrong approach to this (something he stated several times before). So I understand the talk as a call for better tools and processes to avoid the escalation that happened in Nobert’s case. Something that seemed way out of proportions to me as well.

    Still, no matter how bad anyone was treated, I don’t think it is helpful to start bashing someone acknowledging a problem and calling for help. This precisely proves the message from the talk about “Governance by bullying”.

    • Yes, Zini acknowledges problems, but as usual he is evasive and takes no responsability. He says that the procedures need to be improved, but he never said a single word of excuse for what DAM has done. I acked my own bad behaviour in the public, tried to improve and fix many things, but DAM hasn’t said a single word like “sorry” and acknowledging their own failures.

      This is why I don’t stop criticizing – basically they push all the blame on the process so that they themselves come out clean.

      • Nick says:

        Thanks for the reply and the explanation. I am not going to judge who failed where, but I agree, given the message of Enrico’s talk, properly acknowledging that you could and should have been treated better would be reasonable to expect. And I completely understand if you expect a proper apology from Enrico.

        Still, my point is that your post to me sounds more like bullying Enrico then criticizing their work or even better suggesting places where to start improving processes. Because a better process should make it irrelevant who is who’s buddy. It should just allow involved people to acknowledge that they disagree on some issue (no matter if its on social justice or a technical subject) or even just do not like each other and then get on working without constantly getting triggered by what the other writes.

        Personally I think you would be a very valuable contributor to a discussion about such a process, because you can provide first hand insights on what would be necessary for you to feel your opinion and concerns are adequately acknowledged and let a potential trigger go by.

        I hope this makes sense. Anyway, Thanks a Lot for all your good work. As a KDE and LaTeX user I profit a lot!

        • HI Nick,
          thanks for your thoughtful comments. I agree that the post is not suggesting improvements. Unfortunately that is all there left to do. DAM has consistently ignored any reasonable communication requests, never answered emails besides those expelling and demoting me. I don’t see the *interest* from their side to communicate, otherwise the last three years there have been many occasions to get into contact, answer to my invitations.

          I don’t think that DAM/CT is interested in improvement. They are of the opinion that (1) they didn’t do anything wrong (2) it is all my fault. Other DAM members have told me so directly.

          Tell me, under these circumstances, how can a reasonable process even start? For three years now they assure complete innocence and put all the blame on me. That is a long time, without a single one reaching out.

          Personally, I don’t see a way out of that, and because I am still frustrated about the mistreatment, I will continue criticizing them, that is the only thing that I can do, right?

  6. Nick says:

    Ignoring reasonable communication requests really is a sad level of “discussion” and I can totally understand your frustration – I would feel very much the same.

    However I do not agree that criticizing them personally is the only thing you can do. For a proper apology direct communication will be necessary – but improvements can also happen by proxy. So I am convinced that any promising suggestions on how to improve the processes, how to make them independent of specific persons or how to ensure opposing opinions can coexist without constantly causing personal conflicts will find their way into the discussion inside Debian. After all your blog is still read and your concerns shared by many.

    So I feel that your cause would be better served if you avoided repeating the well known criticism and used opportunities like the DebConf talk to publish constructive suggestions. Of course there is no guarantee they will be implemented, but they will surely affect the discussion a lot more then any bashing of DAM members does.

    • Thanks again – but I don’t think improvements in the process are really the way forward – there is nothing one can do with process clausification when at the end there are three with absolute power who in addition are their own judge. Changing this would need a complete rewrite of the Debian constitution and many related things – not anything I am interested investing time and energy since I have been anyway expelled …

      Last but not least, my “constructive suggestion” is that DAM admits their failures in public – as was I made to do – and revert it. But I am more than 100% sure that they will not do this, so it is moot.

  7. Nick says:

    I feel there is not much more to say, so this will most likely be my last message on this thread.

    I just wanted to point out, that I think your message here contains several points that I feel are helpful contributions to the discussion (e.g. missing separation of power, missing review of decisions, large hurdles to improve processes). Of course these observations are not totally new, and of course no one can expect you to invest the time needed to change things.

    However, Enrico exactly complained about all the power and responsibility ending up with DAM. I would have considered a blog post pointing at these issues, as helpful and constructive.

    Anyway, thanks again for this constructive discussion and all your work.

  8. Irgendeiner says:

    How could you dare to lack respect to such a well known Guru?
    Such misbehavior should result in life long banning from all writings in the whole internet.

  9. Dan says:

    By using a male pronoun for Martina, you once again show your disrespect for trans people. Furthermore you state that Martina was DAM, which is untrue. Or maybe I misunderstood your sentence and you really tried to say that Enrico was in the AH team while being DAM. This is also untrue. What Enrico really says in the talk is that the point where things escalate comes too late, and surely, this was the case for you. You are certainly hurt, because this work was maybe important to you, but I don’t see why Debian should issue an apology, when your behavior has been – and still is, as this post of yours shows as I indicated in my first sentence above – problematic in first place.

    • Where did I use a male pronoun for Martina?

    • Irgendeiner says:

      Dan, you once again show what I expected …

      • Luc says:

        Written communication is “hard” by nature. Maybe in this case also things have gone in completely wrong direction due to this. Do all involved really want to stay in this situation? Looking at the needs from the project, having latest and greatest KDE available in Debian, it should make sense to try to bring people together. Could a face to face, video call, help to set a step.

  10. Luc says:

    E-mail communication is very “hard” by nature. Nuances get easily lost. At this moment parties appear to be in a corner, in which they maybe even do not like to be in. Looking at the needs from the project, having up to date KDE available in Debian, we better try to get true communication starting as this could help to direct the noses and focus on output instead of calling ones names. In any other domain I would propose a face to face meeting via video call. Is it considered brutal to propose this or simply to early?

    • Good idea indeed, but unfortunately unrealistic. I’m happy to talk to them (would be the first time!), but guess there is no interest from their side. They are just happy that they got rid of a noisy guy.

  11. naguam says:

    It’s very sad because I liked Debian as one of the last good LTS workstation distro for me, and I just tested your 5.25 release and Its perfect. The Debian version 5.20 has the battery indicator disappear bug making it almost unusable on netbook.
    Very sad of this situation and their bad behaviour.

    Now I miss a good LTS distro…
    Kubuntu is a big no for me (snaps and canonical stuff I don’t like)
    openSuse leap was great until they announced they will discontinue it for ALP and I don’t like this on my workstation
    Centos-like and codecs…… is a bad deal

    So what do we have…

    And I don’t want rolling because I don’t want to have problems with thousands of possibly broken updates after a 3 weeks break, and I don’t need last version of every package except manual built toolchains….

  12. John says:

    Thank you for your hard work all this years and making debian a great distro. It’s a shame that these people infiltrated Debian and attacked good developers because of language when they are completely incapable of providing anything useful.

    If you allow me, I would suggest discontinuing all your patches and work for debian and letting them figure it out.

  1. 2022/07/21

    […] Norbert Preining ☛ Enrico Zini on DAM and “responsability” | There and back again […]

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