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Re: [Fwd: [RFC] Making NM 'by recommendation']

On Sun, 28 Jan 2001, Glenn McGrath wrote:
> I think a few people on debian-devel might have comments on this.

I think you just started another flamewar from hell. But I will dare to hope
I am mistaken.

<Sigh> and I refused to become an AM for the time being because I did not
want to get in this kind of discussion before I had a better grasp of this
project's politics...

> I think elitism is the only threat to debians viability. If the elitists
> gain power their will no doubt be a manpower shortage as there will be a
> lack of "worthy" new maintainers to do the work that the elitists want
> to hand to other people.

There *IS* such a thing as not being good [read: skilled] enough **YET** for
Debian, you know. People must be reminded that it doesn't mean a "Go Away",
just "Come Back Later".

If you're applying to be a packager, you are NOT supposed to learn how to do
it during the NM process. Learn it *first*. If you are applying to help in
documentation, you are supposed to learn about SGML and DocBook *first*. And
so on.

Also, if you're not going to be able to deal with some amount of waiting and
red tape, you're better off not joining Debian, this project is very big and
administrative overhead is a pain you *MUST* be able to deal with if you're
to be an useful addition to the project for an extended amount of time. This
is sad, but it is true nonetheless :(

The NM process has to somehow select people who are above a minumum skill
level, and are able to deal with hotheads, flamewars, some redtape, and all
other of the small thorns in a Debian's registered developer's 'botton

Which should not be taken to mean I agree with Martin's idea. I dislike it a
lot... On the other hand, it's funny that your post (indirectly) calls
Martin an elitist, he's one of the top AMs (in number of applicants
processed per unit of time, and I'm told in report quality as well), you

>From Martin:
> I have recently seen an increase in applicants who are unprepared or
> don't even respond to my initial or follow-up messages.  I have the
> strong suspicion that this is related to the fact that it's really
> easy to sign up for NM -- simply enter your name and e-mail address,
> and there you go!  You no longer have to think how serious you are
> about it and what you want to do for Debian.

THAT is the problem we have to deal with. Make it so that if one is put on
HOLD due to being MIA in the NM process, one has to wait for 6 months to
reaply... and WARN people of it. This should help people understand they are
supposed to learn first, apply later, and be serious about it (but obviously
don't go calling people MIA because they did not reply in less than one
month -- and a "please put me on hold for the time being" request should NOT
cause the applicant to receive the punitive 6 months delay).

I'd suggest also making it trivially dificult to apply. E.g.: applicants
MUST send a properly formatted email (for automatic processing), gpg
clear-signed by a key correctly uploaded to public key-servers, to the
proper address... [which are skills one WILL have to learn to be a
registered debian developer anyway]

Anyone who wants to join Debian for real is perfectly capable of going
through such a simple "entry test". And if we're lucky, that will screen out
the applicants who don't really mean it just enough that we won't need to do
anything else.

> My proposal is this: You can no longer apply to become a Debian
> developer yourself, but instead you need an existing Debian developer
> to recommend you.  Nothing in the NM system changes except of the

While it could work, I'd rather we do not resort to such a powerful barrier
unless things get really unworkable and all other possibilities fail.

  "One disk to rule them all, One disk to find them. One disk to bring
  them all and in the darkness grind them. In the Land of Redmond
  where the shadows lie." -- The Silicon Valley Tarot
  Henrique Holschuh

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