New Maintainers: It's about the freedom to upload, not email@example.com
I've been the maintainer of distributed-net since September of 1999.
I'm also not an official Debian Developer, so I operate through sponsors.
Now, this is not a problem for the first few weeks and months of
maintainership: my sponsors initially helped me out in my packaging, and
fixed problems I'd had. However, having been a maintainer now over a year,
the whole "find a sponsor" routine gets old. Joey Hess has been excellent
to me in the past, never complaining about sponsoring me in, as has Joseph
Carter (when he's not too busy). But I tire of taking up my sponsors' time,
and I yearn to be able to release packages and have them uploaded right away,
Sponsors are a great thing for brand-new maintainers, but people like me
(and the others in my position) who want to take on new responsibilities,
and perhaps one day attain the "title" of "Senior Developer" just can't do it
through a sponsor. Imagine if Branden had to get all his X packages sponsored
in. Imagine if Wichert had to get critical fixes to dpkg sponsored in. While
in practice this doesn't happen -- critical packages are maintained by official
developers in general -- just the ability to upload packages is generally
the dividing line between a very productive developer and one who wishes
he could do more, but is held back by infrastructure.
Note that some sort of upload queue which new-maintainer applicants could
upload to (perhaps those who pass the skills test and just await other
approvals) would make me, and probably other nm applicants, happy.