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

On Thursday 29 July 1999, at 1 h 58, the keyboard of Domenico Andreoli 
<dom@solleone.dynip.com> wrote:

> What about a "network" of unsupported developers?

First, an executive summary: I think it will happen, wether Debian old-timers 
like it or not. I suggest here some ways to diminish the risks.

Second, this is a frequent issue on this list. The typical repellent in this 
discussion is the RedHat's contrib scheme (nothing to do with Debian's 
contrib) and its network of contrib developers (RHCN). It is the archdevil (I 
agree but have no space to explain it in detail). But the driving forces 
behind the idea of a network of unsupported :-) developers are:

- the ability of apt to use several sources,
- the fact that new maintainers applications are no longer processed, except 
in some specific cases.
> No warranty for anything. Debian has not even to care about this 
> "undeground movement". Who wants, at is own risk, takes unsupported
> packages and (potentially) compromises her own system.

Actually, anyone can already do it. It's free software, after all. The real 
issue is what Debian should do to organize this network before being shaked by 
There are two ways:

- first, we should not give in the processing of new applicants. It is unrealistic to hope that people will wait for months, without even an ack, when they apply. I support Raphael Hertzog's scheme of "sponsors" in order to organize this processing and to avoid discouraging candidates (or letting them do anything, anywhere, a la RedHat).

- second, Debian should organize this network a bit. Many official developers publish apt-compatible addresses where anyone can fetch unsupported packages. There is no reason that non-developers could not do it. All what is missing is a list of such addresses (it is often requested on support lists "I've heard that someone is making unofficial packages of foobar, where can I find them?"). I suggest the following:

A Web page on www.debian.org listing all these addresses. At the top, a BIG WARNING (yours, Domenico, is perfect). Then, the list. At the bottom, a small form to submit new entries (so it can be reasonably managed) and delete old ones. I volunteer for the script.

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