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Re: long term goals of debian membership

I'm not a "Debian developer", at least not yet. I'm in the queue to become
one, and learning  how to package as I go along. I'm doing fbmuck (see
sourceforge) and making an attempt at creating an auto-buildable
cross-compiler. I've been subscribed to debian-devel for at least two
years now, even before applying to be a developer.

However, packaging software wasn't my primary reason for applying. I've
found myself drawn into the policy and political aspects of "the Linux
thing", and seem to have a knack for seeing issues from an angle that many
others would not even consider or just dismiss out of hand. I provide what
input I can here as an interested user, but feel I would serve better by
Invoking that Aspect of maintainership.

And if I recall correctly, there have been a few times on -devel (and 
even on -policy) where I have excercised my fingers without excercising my
brain first. That's just one of the reasons why the official developers
are held to an higher standard.

Besides, there ARE places where one can actively assist in development
without being a developer. The zip/LS120 support in the Potato installer
(such that it is) is there basically because I asked for the feature and
was willing to actively test on my machine and suggest fixes. I don't know
for certain, but I may have been one of only two or three who could
actually test booting and/or installing from zip/LS120. The only way I was
at all hindered by not having a developer account was not being able to
rsync from Debian's servers and having to sometimes wait 12 hours for a
mirror to get updated.

On Sun, 3 Dec 2000, Ben Collins wrote:

> > Debian is NOT making the most out the open source/free software
> > developers fan base by a long way.
> I get so sick of hearing this argument/troll. Making it easier for joe
> blow to become a developer, when he might only submit one package, with
> his "leet" script he developed in highschool for organizing mp3's, is not
> going to make Debian better.
> What will make Debian better is to have full-fledged developers who are
> better than average.
> Those people who just want to do a few things in passing ("I started using
> Debian and I want to help"), do not need an @debian.org email, nor an
> account on our systems just to file bugs, provide patches, test and write
> docs. Neither do really good coders who can only put in an few hours of
> work every few months (e.g. Linus would not make a good Debian developer
> because he cannot put in a decent amount of time just for Debian). Don't
> get me wrong, I'm not trying to say developers need to work Debian as a
> full-time job, but doing something atleast once a week is a must to stay
> on top of policy and distribution specific things. Being a developer means
> you need to stay "in the mix".
> Those people who say "I can't do that. I shouldn't have to read
> debian-devel just to be a developer", well I'm sorry, but I feel that our
> developers do need to keep in touch to do their volunteer work properly,
> else you are cheating Debian, it's users and your fellow developers.
> Developers that just "get by" are probably taking a position that could be
> better served by people who can put in the effort and time (you folks that
> can't aren't bad, just that Debian is getting too big not to have
> developers that can, and keep too many developers who can't).
> Ben
> PS: bring on the flames, I know this is going to get nasty. If you get
> real shitty, please make it private email so the list doesn't have to hear
> the clashing of our swords :)

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