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Re: [New maintainer] Working for Debian and becoming a registered Debian developer

This is in reply to two messages, see the quotes below for context

> One of the phases in the new maintainership is a phone call from the
> new-maintainer team to verify their views on Free software and that
> they agree to follow the social contract.  That's what debian is really 
> all about, folks.

So put a statement in the application, and when the new maintainter
signs his application, he is affirming that he agrees to it.

How can the phone call test any better whether the person is sincere?  Do
you have a caller for every language that a debain developer might speak?
A vocal lie-detector?  The phone call is a social convention that had
grown out of the early days of debian.  But is it the msot effective way
to read someone's mind? 

>> I don't understand why an application, if sent in proper format, could not
>> be automatically processed
>Because automata cannot check that there is a real person behind that
>email address.

Isn't that why a current developer has to sign the new deveoper's

>> You want to make it hard for new maintainers to join debian.
>Maybe we don't want people like you who have no patience?
>I waited five months, although that was unusually long a time.

I am impressed with your virtue.  Is patience one of the things that
debian stands for, along with free software?  How about loyalty, or any
other virtue popular to the main leadership?  This is a software
distribution, not a church.  It stands for _Free Software_, not
abstract personal morality.

There's no need to ensure that your developers have the 'virtue' to remain
If their code is good, or their packages aren't full of bugs and policy
violations, that should be enough.  

Or so I would think... my point was that there is all this social baggage
holding the distribution back. 

>> Moreover, you want them to do what YOU want them to do (WNPP)

I can verify if you require that, at least twice in the past week, someone
asking how to be a new maintainer wsa told, on this list, that 'they will
be more likely to accept you if you work on a wnpp'.  In the discussion of
how new_maintainer@ is overloaded, all the proposals so far have included
language to encourage new developers to work on a WNPP.  No documents have
said 'Just pick a program, package it,and upload it.'  

>> 'Application' is a very strange word for something that is essence of the
>> open-source movement:

>Debian is not something whose membership can be taken.  It is granted.
>Most of the time the applications are approved.  I am yet to see *any*
>organisation that did not keep any control over who gets to be a member:
>one that didn't would be trivial to take over by anyone with the will

There is control over who joins: You have to verify your identity with a
current member before you can join, and you have to swear that
you uphold the idea of free software, etc. 

There is control over who stays:  you have to upload packages, keep them
current, fix the bugs.  If you don't, I assume there is a way to remove
idle developers from the list. 

>and a little support from others outside the organisation.  Say, by MS.

Please don't bring MS into this.  That is pure hyperbole, and intended
only to throw the discussion off track.  Unless you have some (reliable)
info about MS taking over ANY linux distribution, there is little
reason to discuss it in this thread, although if you start a new thread
I will be happy to join.


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