[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: New-maintainer - STOP THAT SHIT

On Tue, Jan 16, 2001 at 01:02:09PM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> > > And I mean, it'd be nice to not need to prioritise people, but we still
> > > don't seem to be able to handle the volume of new maintainer applicants
> > > we have effectively, so we need to do *something*.
> > Uh, as far as I can see, the new maintainer team as a whole is doing fine,
> > it's just the DAM bottleneck at issue here.
> I'm not really sure I agree with that. Take Neal's example: he waited a
> little over a month for an AM to be assigned to him, and then took ten
> days to get an account. In his case, the bottleneck was AM-assignment.

I am sure you will be able to pick out an arbitrary number of positives.
One indication that there is a bottleneck is the number of complaints we
get. There are by far too many reasonable complaints to ignore them.
Another indication is that those complaints are distributed over a long
time (one year and a half? two years? I lost track). I think it is too early
to be able to say something about the AM team, but as far as I can see they
are doing a good job. We can't guarantee that everybody is processed
quickly, or even that everyone is processed within the same time frame. But
we can try our best to remove single point of failures. We don't do it for
the new maintainers, we do it for our project.

> > There has never been made an acceptable public offer for this job,
> > so don't make any assumptions about the amount of people that might
> > be willing to do it and meet the requirements.
> There wasn't a public offer for anyone to take over release management
> either; I got interested in it (due to testing), and offered to help
> Richard out.

It's great if it works this way. It obviously didn't work for the DAM
"group". They told us that they are looking for new people to help out
themselves. They did not want people asking on their own initiative.
They did not accept one of the numerous offers on this mailing list back
when they closed the queue last year. It seems they never found somebody.
I wonder who they may have asked, and what their selection criteria were.

> The problem with making public offers is if you get a bunch of applicants,
> none of whom you'd trust, and none of whom you'd feel comfortable
> working with.

If this is the case, they should then say so, so that everybody is fully
aware of the problem. We can then find out if there is a problem with their
criteria, or if there is really nobody willing to do the job who fits.

Wichert has a tough job. He has to find a solution even if there doesn't
seem to be one. Even if he thinks there is not a problem to solve at all.
Eventually it will turn out that there was a solution anyway, but a
different one. But not trying to fix it at all is probably the worst.

> > You lack a clue: James and Joey are volunteers, they volunteered for the
> > job. They picked up the responsibility. If they fail to perform what is
> > necessary to get the job done properly, they should step aside and make room
> > for other people. 
> You assume there are other people.

Yes, I do, although it doesn't do anything to my argument. You, on the other
hand, assume that there are no other people, and this I find rather
unlikely. It's more likely that there is nobody who is wanted by James.
If there isn't, maybe there is nobody who is wanted by Wichert. That's
already a bit less likely. But only if there is nobody who is wanted by the
project as a whole we have a real problem.
> And doing AM work, knowing that everything you've done will be double
> checked by someone with over three years of experience doing this, is a
> different matter to doing DAM work, knowing that you and you alone are
> responsible for this person getting into Debian.

I don't think that James is not responsible for the people he is adding to
the project. He is acting on behalf of the project, and he implements the
consensus of the community by adding those recommended by the AMs.

However, if he feels this way, then this is indeed a problem. And there
shouldn't be a single person handling this anyway, which is what we are
saying all along.

Laying the (even perceived) responsibility of a whole part of Debian into
the hands of a single person has lead to resignation before (Christian
Schwartz wrt Policy). It was one of Manojs excellent intuitions to not let
this happen again in this area, by developing the infrastructure that would
allow a group doing the work, and the editor would just release what is
decided by consensus. I think in a similar way the AMs are the group who do
the work, and the DAMs only implement this (they actually have the
possibility to override this, but they should only do so for special
reasons. Eventually they might have to defend their decision or have it
overridden by the developers). This removes a lot of the burden from the
DAMs, don't you think so?


`Rhubarb is no Egyptian god.' Debian http://www.debian.org brinkmd@debian.org
Marcus Brinkmann              GNU    http://www.gnu.org    marcus@gnu.org

Reply to: