Re: On the "Debian Maintainers" GR
On Sat, Jul 28, 2007 at 07:55:18PM +0100, Matthew Garrett wrote:
> Josselin Mouette <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> > If someone doesn't want to be a DD because the NM process is broken, we
> > should fix the NM process. If someone doesn't want to be a DD because of
> > laziness or whatever other excuse, I think the current rules are
> > perfect.
> I don't want to be a DD because I have no interest in being involved in
> the political side of Debian. I want to be able to upload packages
> because I think that (in a small number of cases) I'm more qualified to
> maintain them than anyone else.
> Sure, "Don't quit Debian then" is a valid response (though I'm perhaps
> old-fashioned in terms of thinking that as a full member of an
> organisation I have a duty to participate in its democratic process,
> which I'm not enthusiastic about) as is "Just get someone to sponsor
> stuff" (which is a hassle and means I tend to upload less often). So DM
> status would make life easier for me and arguably improve the quality of
> Debian to a certain extent.
> On the other hand, I can understand a reluctance to add yet another
> catagory of contributors to Debian just to make me happy.
The question at the forefront of my mind when voting for this GR was not
"will this change make Matthew Garrett happy?", though. The question was,
"will this allow us to integrate the contributions of non-DDs more
effectively, with less overhead and without a reduction in quality, for the
betterment of Debian?"
I believe the answer to this question is "yes", and I don't feel any
particular need to belabour the reasons why I think this is the case as it's
my impression that they've already been adequately covered in the list
discussion. I would only like to point out that it seems to me that many of
those speaking out against the DM proposal are doing so on the basis of
Is there room for improvement in NM? Almost certainly. But even with a
perfect NM process, not everyone who is capable of maintaining one or two
niche packages is going to be at a level (yet?) where they should be made a
DD; so why should a proposal that lets the project make better use of the
time of these non-DDs and their current sponsors be rejected on the basis
that it doesn't address the problems with NM?
Another complaint seems to be that the proposal is micromanaging (while
still other people complain that it's under-specified, heh). Sorry, but how
is a call of "micromanagement" anything but FUD? If there are details that
someone thinks are *wrong* with the proposal, by all means let's hear those
objections; but what sense does it make to argue that it's wrong to be
explicit about expectations?
On the whole, it seems to me that far too much attention has been spent on
doubts about the abilities or intents of hypothetical individuals (both DDs
and non-DDs), at the expense of designing good practices that encourage
folks to rise to the challenge. We should certainly set appropriate
standards for DDship and for upload rights, but it doesn't follow that these
are necessarily the same. Every DD I know suffers from the trait of human
fallibility; Debian succeeds not because DDs are somehow less fallible than
others, but because as a community we're willing to look for ways to better
limit the damage from our mistakes and to correct the mistakes when they do
cause damage. I think DM, which would make it easier to both give
maintainers fine-grained upload privileges and to take them away, is a
correct step along this path.
Steve Langasek Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer to set it on, and I can move the world.