Re: [nm-admin] Identification step in the current scheme (Re: Fear the new maintainer process)
this whole discussion touches some deep points that I'd like to
Basically I can make out two attitudes, or views of the project,
resulting in arguments over more minor points. I'll call these groups
the "open" and "closed" positions. I know this is a _large_
oversimplification but let me continue.
The "open" view says something like - let's take on volunteers and let
them demonstrate what they can do for the project, after all they are
helping us and not the other way round. If the person in question is
not able to show that she furthers the project we have to find some
means of how to get rid of her.
The "closed" view says something like - the project is something to be
protected from bad meaning outsiders - and probably it is big enough
already - so we have to erect fences in form of an application process
that puts the determinedness of volunteers to a _wanted_ test (note
that this determinedness is very likely _independent_ of her
abilities). If the applicant is not capable of passing this stage
than she's "not worth it" anyway.
As far as I can see there is not much in the social contract forcing
or denying the one or the other, the most I can find is in the FAQ:
The development of Debian is open to all, and new users with the
right skills and/or the willingness to learn are needed to
maintain existing packages which have been "orphaned" by their
previous maintainers, to develop new packages, and to provide
And this can be interpreted either way.
IMHO it would be a good idea to come to a consensus on this level
before discussing details.
I do not want to comment on the assumption that it is a good test to
be able to get access to a scanner to show that one can maintain
packages - I'd just like to remind that this might put volunteers in
countries not as rich as the US in some difficulties.
The scanned ID step is a prominent example of such a "test" of
determinedness (and nothing more) because I think everybody agrees
that the scanned ID does _not_ improve the trace-ability of applicants
in the case where a Debian member has done the identification.
On the other hand it has been proven that such tests takes away a lot
of time of current members for what the project is really about.
Probably the project has reached a size where people have to spend
time for such "indirect" work, I don't know, but I don't think so.
I also fear that the current scheme will frighten away capable people
because it looks like a bureaucracy rather than "hackers aiming at the
same target". Again this can be interpreted either way - it is a
question of what the project thinks of itself.
Probably I am too idealistic but in my opinion it should be possible
to make contributions to the project as easy as possible and work out
some procedures on how to cope with individuals undermining the spirit
of the project.
I know this will provoke emotional reactions but I can remember
Richard Stallmann explaining why there were no passwords on the early
systems at MIT. He said something like (cited from memory) - it was
easier to "fix the person" than to change the whole system.
Dale Scheetz <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> We wish to restrict membership to those people who are open and
> capable of cooperating in a joint project like Debian.
The problem with this approach is that you want to be able to judge
this _before_ the person had a real chance to demonstrate this
ability. This seems a bit confusing to me.
> Try looking at this from Debian's point of view instead of the poor
> abused applicant.
That is the point. If there is such a large commotion over this then
why not invoke the democratic process and let the project decide? Off
the head I can remember only one voice in favour of scanned IDs in all
cases. This is not enough in a democracy.
Just my (admittedly long) two euro
 This came up some times before but I think no conclusion was
reached - unfortunately.
If we knew what it was we were doing, we wouldn't call it research.