Following up to Myon’s post, I also wanted to blog my honest opinion about the GR. Given my current understanding of the GR, I hope to see it fail (and will send my vote shortly after this blog entry I think). The reason is not that I think it shouldn’t be made easier to contribute to Debian (on the contrary). But the GR micro-manages too much and on the other hand doesn’t make the current NM process any easier for DM’s than for any non-DM applicant to the NM process. Also, like some others said before, I seriously doubt that a big part of the current DD-applicants (i.e. those in the NM queue at some level) would prefer DM status over DD status. And the same is true (IMHO) for other people wanting to contribute to Debian. This is a simple thing: If I contribute to something regularly in my spare time (like most contributors in the FL/OSS world do), I also would like to have some influence over its directions. And a DM is missing this influence even more than a DD is.
So what should be done instead in my opinion?
I think that a DM like status is fine as part of a (possibly re-designed) NM process. Given the current NM process, I would like people been given a DM like status after they finished the T&S (tasksIIRC and skills) part if their AM found their skills and knowledge of the policy rules sufficient to give them that status. If that is all they wanted, they can drop from the NM process at that point and stay DMs. If they want to become DDs later on, they can resume the NM process at that very step (or continue right ahead).
This would do several things:
- introduce the DM status as an alternative to full DD status
- integrate the DM status closer with the existing NM process
- take some load of the friendly sponsors who upload non-DD packages now, giving them more time to help more new contributors
- give people waiting for DD status some intermediate level at which they already can do more than before their joining of the NM queue
So I really think “more discussion” is the only valid option for me in this GR. If you want to change my mind: Please leave some feedback in my blog. Or give a precise (but brief) description why the current proposal is better than integration with the current NM process in one way or the other.
- DD = Debian Developer (a full Debian project member, includes voting rights)
- DM = Debian Maintainer (planned to be a somewhat restricted DD, among others without voting rights)
- NM = New Maintainer (should actually be: New Developer)
- GR = General Resolution (a way in Debian to create new rules or to ask the project leader or others in the project to do or refrain from doing something)
The GR even seems to contradict itself a bit. If the upload rules are applied in an AND fashion, one of these rules is superfluous (the first one), at least if I’m not mistaken:
- the Maintainer: field of the uploaded .changes file corresponds with the owner of the key used (ie, non-developer maintainers may not sponsor uploads)
- the most recent version of the package uploaded to unstable or experimental includes the field “DM-Upload-Allowed: yes” in the source section of its control file
- the most recent version of the package uploaded to unstable or experimental lists the uploader in the Maintainer: or Uploaders: fields (ie, non-developer maintainers cannot NMU or hijack packages)
The first rules also means that no DM could ever do an upload for packages team-maintained in the fashion cyrus-imapd-2.2 is maintained (Maintainer address is the teams mailinglist address, all uploading team members are in the Uploaders field). This is IMHO a serious flaw in the proposal. If the first rule was dumped, all would be well for team maintainers.