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Bits from the RM: Help Wanted, Apply Within

Hello world,

With glibc working properly again, we're now looking at the rather
daunting prospect of catching up on about half a year's progress towards
the release of sarge. Some of the issues we'll soon be facing are:

	* Is debian-installer in an acceptable state, and if not, what's
	  necessary to get it (or something else) suitable for release,
	  and how long will that take?

	* What else needs to be done to get Perl, Python, Gnome 2, KDE 3,
	  postgresql 7.3, and various other major subsystems out of
	  unstable and into testing?

	* What other major release goals are still possible at this point?
	  How much of the translation project can be properly integrated?
	  Do we have other installation problems to address beyond just
	  debian-installer (eg, tasks, base-config, flavours, broken
	  package installs and upgrades, etc)? Are there any other
	  significant integration tasks (management of config files in
	  /etc, common menus and icons, access to documentation) that
	  can be done by sarge's release?

	* What's the deal with having 800 release critical bugs, anyway?

	* Given the answers to these questions, what is a plausible
	  release schedule for sarge?

Because that doesn't seem like enough to do, we're going to try something
else new, which is to try training, then delegating some of these sorts
of tasks, to "Release Assistants" [0]. This is the recruiting call.

So, here are the specs for the position:

	* You must be a Debian developer. Please include your name, and
	  Debian username on your application. The position will entail
	  work that requires login access to Debian machines which is
	  only available to developers.

	* You must have time to kill. You'll need to be able to dedicate
	  a chunk of time each week to this task, and be able to keep
	  up with what's going on on close to a daily basis. Please include
	  on your application what times of the week you expect to be able
	  to spend on this activity, how much Debian stuff you already do,
	  and when you're usually available on IRC.

	* You need to have done QA work before. Please include on your
	  application a list of sample bugs you've fixed or help fixed in
	  packages you don't maintain. If you haven't done this before,
	  feel free, nay, encouraged, to fix some bugs first, then submit
	  your application.

	* You need to be able to understand C, /bin/sh scripting, Perl,
	  Python, Debian packaging, policy, the developers reference, and
	  similar things. If you don't, don't waste another second reading
	  this mail, go learn about them instead.

	* You need to be aware that this is a gruntwork position. You
	  won't be deciding release policy, and this isn't an opportunity
	  to advance any existing opinions you may have about how we
	  should go about releasing or maintaining Debian. You'll be
	  given lots of chores, and no authority. The reward for a job
	  well done will generally just be another, probably harder,
	  job. If you don't think you can cope with this, don't apply.

The point of getting some release assistants is twofold. First, it's to
make stuff easier on Joey and me and to try expanding the number of people
that can do release management tasks. Second, it's to allow stable and
testing to be better supported, for example by allowing some additional
important but non-RC fixes into stable, or by making testing more usable
by regular users (providing security updates, installable CDs, etc).

Successful applicants won't necessarily get an enormous amount out of
this; the only real benefits are that you'll be helping Debian in a
fairly significant way, you'll get an opportunity to improve your skills
a fair bit, and you might be able to work it into something pretty for
your resume.

Applications should be emailed to ajt-recruit@debian.org by 00:00 UTC,
2003/03/16. No bonus points are available for mail sent at exactly that
time. Results will be available sometime after they've been decided
upon. The judge's decision will be final at the judge's discretion.


[0] The theory is that since we haven't set a date for sarge's release yet,
    it can't possibly be late, and that therefore adding more people will
    make it release sooner. Or was it that one about many cooks? No, no,
    many _hands_. Yes, that was it.

Anthony Towns <ajt@debian.org>
Debian Release Manager

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