iTWire: There are often snide references made to a Debian cabal. What is this cabal and does it exist?
Hence, it should not be surprising to anyone that the people who put more energy into doing real things and, as a result end up communicating with people a lot, might somehow from the outside be perceived as having a slightly different level of involvement with the project or a different relationship to some decision-making processes. I don't see anything negative about that. I certainly don't see anything sinister about it which is the implication that you see sometimes.
I know that there are people who get bothered sometimes, when they think someone else whom they perceive as having some position of authority in the project disagrees with their opinion or isn't as quick to respond to a request that they make or something like that. There's always a tendency to kind of fall back, sometimes jokingly, sometimes not, on the "oh, you've offended the cabal" line.
It's interesting, though, that as long as I've been involved in the project and as close as I have felt in my ability to have conversations with key people at various times, I've certainly never sensed anything that was kind of secretive or sinister about what's going on in the project. Over the years, going back all the way to when Ian Murdock was head, I think every Debian project leader over the years has felt free to come and have conversations with me or other people who have been around the project a long time, to ask our opinions, to get input to help them make decisions.
And so I wouldn't be surprised if there are people who think that I and other people like me, who have been around a long time and have questions like that asked of us, maybe have more opportunity to influence the thinking of the project leader and other people than others might. I wouldn't be surprised if there's the perception that we have some kind of a different relationship.
The whole cabal idea just kind of bothers me because everyone involved in the project is on some level volunteering their time and energy. Everyone that I know is trying to do what they think is the best thing for the project. We often passionately disagree about the details of how to implement what we all individually and collectively think is the best thing for the project but... I don't know.