Changes to the New Maintainer (NM) system
As of today, a few changes with regards to the New Maintainer (NM)
system have gone into effect. This e-mail contains crucial information
for prospective _and_ existing Debian developers so please read on.
When the New Maintainer system was re-opened, there was a big backlog
of applications. Many volunteers did great work and the waiting time
for an AM (Application Manager) assignment was reduced from many months
to 4 weeks. Recently, the waiting time has gone up again because
more applications are pouring in than are processed. While this big
interest in Debian shows that we are on the right way, an increasing
number of applicants are either not serious about joining Debian and
contributing to the project or not well prepared for the NM process yet.
Such applicants can be put 'on hold' (until they are better prepared)
but this takes away time of an AM which could better be spent on
someone who is actively contributing to Debian and who needs an account
so he can effectively get his work done.
A proposal was made to solve this problem: in order to be able to
enter the NM process, an existing Debian developer has to recommend
the prospective developer. For anyone seriously interested in
Debian, getting recommended won't be a problem at all -- if he has
a package in Debian already, his sponsor can recommend him; if he
has done work on a Debian port, the web pages or boot-floppies then
he will know Debian developers to recommend him.
Those not very serious in joining are thus not able to apply in
the first place. The effect is that the waiting time for AM
assignment for well prepared applicants will go down.
So, I said this e-mail was important for existing developers... since
prospective developers now need a Debian developer to verify their
application, you have to know when and how to do this. It's really
easy. http://www.debian.org/devel/join/nm-checklist has a checklist
of what a NM has to do. Basically, he needs a GPG key signed by
a developer, he has to answer some Philosophy and Procedures
questions and in the Tasks and Skills test he has to show that he
has the experience to be a good Debian developer.
You should advocate someone when you think that he is ready to be a
developer -- when he has the required skills and when he has been
involved with the project for some time. Just ask yourself if you
want to see him in Debian -- if you think he should be a Debian
developer then go ahead and recommend him.
The exact steps are like this: you agree with a prospective developer
to recommend him and he signs up at http://nm.debian.org. Then you
have to go to this site, click on his name, follow the "advocate
this application" link, put in your Debian login and press the 'submit'
button. You will then receive an e-mail with an auth key which you have
to return GPG/PGP signed. When this is done, the prospective developer
will get an AM assigned who goes through the NM steps with him.
I will put more information on Debian's NM web site at
http://www.debian.org/devel/join/nm-advocate Feedback and questions
Thanks to Craig Small for implementing most of the scripts needed to
make this possible, all AMs for their work and all NMs for their
interest in Debian.