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- To: cl-technical@SU-AI.ARPA
- Subject: Voting
- From: Alan Bawden <ALAN@AI.AI.MIT.EDU>
- Date: Sun, 20 Jul 86 02:35:31 EDT
I suspect that what Moon is objecting to is the thought that he will read
his Common Lisp mail after a week of hacking on something else and discover
that last week something like one of KMP's error system proposals has been
moved to the cl-technical stage and now he has one day left to decide on
Given that I have been batching my consumption of Common-Lisp mail by
reading through my archive about once every -two- weeks, I think I agree
that the proposed rate is too quick. In addition, I think it is perhaps a
bad idea to start the voting pressure too close to the introduction of the
topic to the cl-technical mailing list. I would much rather there was a
period where we could exchange views on this mailing list before there was
very much pressure to vote.
I suggest that Scott's proposal for voting procedure be adopted, but with
the original period lengthened to a month, and the automatic extension
(granted to anyone who demands it) lengthened to an additional two weeks.
For hard issues it should not be considered unusual for us to decide (by
consensus, majority opinion, or chairman's decision) to extend the debate
even beyond a month and two weeks, or to send the issue back to the general
list for reconsideration.
This should give is plenty of time to clarify the issues among ourselves
where necessary before having to vote. And it should give enough breathing
room to people whose schedules and work habits make it impossible to deal
with these issues every single day.
If there really is going to be a problem with the throughput of this
committee, then we can deal with more issues per batch. I see no need to
increase the frequency of the batches to the point where they fly by so
quickly that you can miss one by taking a few days off. If I have just
proposed that we take 4 times as long with each batch, then I'm happy to
deal with batches that are 4 times as big.
Recall that in 1981 we considered 233 issues in one large batch (none of
them really requiring more than a few paragraphs discussion, I admit). It
took me a couple of days of concentrated labor to work through that entire
list, but I'm certain I prefer that to dealing with 4.5 issues a week for
52 weeks. Even if I could have theoretically gotten my week's work done in
a couple minutes every Sunday afternoon.
[ All this talk of mailing list parliamentary procedure reminds me of the
time I agreed to play a game of Nomic (introduced in one of Hofstadter's
Scientific American columns) by network mail. Technically the game is
still in progress, although progress has been pretty slow given that one
player has stymied the game by refusing to vote for the last three