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On old account names


it has recently been brought to our attention (as DAM) that a number of
old developers in the project have not been given a chance to choose
their account name, but have instead been automatically assigned the
local part of the email address they used at the time they joined. 

We understand that this has caused and is still causing inconvenience
for a few people. This is especially unfair for those who had no control
over the local part of their email address, such as for example when it
was automatically assigned due to some fixed university or corporate
naming policy.

Although we expect that many of the people affected have grown
accustomed to these account names, it seems fair to still give everyone
in the project a chance to chose their login name at least once. The
general account rename policy of course remains: "once selected, never

Please keep in mind that the Debian infrastructure is distributed and
loosely coupled, so this kind of change is not entirely trivial. Please
do not request an account rename for purely cosmetic issues, and be
aware that we may still deny some requests, for example when the current
account name is merely a function of the developer's real name.

A scenario that we would have no problem with, for example, is if Steve
McIntyre would like to have '93sam' renamed because people confuse him
with Sam Hocevar, considering also that both of them have been DPL in
the past. An scenario that we could still reject is, for example, if a
"John Doe <doe@debian.org>" wanted the account renamed to 'john'.

Our gut feeling is that not many people are actually in this situation,
and therefore we do not expect many requests. We really hope this is so,
because (and this can never be repeated enough) an account rename
requires considerable work from DSA, potentially including a trail of
follow-up requests over the years as forgotten setups resurface.

DSA would like to limit the support that they provide to an individual
user in case of account renames. The details are:

It is the responsibility of DSA to:
 - create the new account;
 - lock the old account;
 - move requested attributes from the old to the new account, *at
   creation time*.

It is the responsibility of the user to:
 - chown/chmod files (by copying files for instance);
 - include all moves of debian.net entries in the account change
 - include all moves of group memberships in the account change request.

Please remember that the DSA team is a high-workload group of
volunteers, and adding extra unnecessary tasks to their workload does
not help Debian.

So, developers who had their account created before January 1998[2] and
who have nontrivial reasons to choose a different account name, can now
write to DAM at da-manager@debian.org with the required details.

The Debian Account Managers
     Joerg Jaspert
     Christoph Berg
     Enrico Zini

[1] http://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2010/09/msg00032.html
[2] We understand that the practice of using email local parts as login
    names was in effect until Bruce Perens stepped down from DPL, which
    is dated by the Project History[3] at January 1998.
[3] http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/project-history/ch-detailed.en.html

GPG key: 4096R/E7AD5568 2009-05-08 Enrico Zini <enrico@enricozini.org>

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