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Frontdesk and a _criticism_ about DAM approval step

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Dear fellow debian developers and Christian,

  1. Why I did not contact front desk.
  2. What I did about my delay, and what happened.
  3. Severe criticism about Check-in step. I suggest everybody who's involved 
in new maintainer process to read this.

1. Why I did not contact front desk
- -------------------------------------------------

Nobody, including my application manager, advised me to contact the front 
desk. Since I have already been approved by my application manager many 
months ago, I did not think it was necessary as it had seemed to me a 
facility to solve problems related to AM rather than DAM.

That was my interpretation of front desk definition found in new maintainer's 

 : Front Desk: <new-maintainer@debian.org>
 : This person receives new application requests and passes them to    
 : appropriate Application Managers. This is "the contact of last resort"
 : when other committee contacts fail to respond. 
 : A person from the NM-Committee is assigned this task. Currently, this is
 : Dale Scheetz with the assistance of Jim Westveer and Martin Michlmayr. 

As you see here, it is said that front desk delegates applications to AMs. 
Which is why I have thought that was not the place to appeal to. I have 
already past the AM stage, and I must be thankful to my AM for he has 
responded swiftly and has made the entire process quite comfortable for me. 
The rest of the process, for which he did not have much responsibility in, 
was painful.

2. What I did about my delay, and what happened.
- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

When the delay began getting longer and longer, I inquired what happened on 
the mailing list, I believe debian-mentors. I kindly asked why there was a 
delay and why it seemed that people were being processed out-of-order. If you 
find and read that original message you will see that it was only a question. 
Without my intention the discussion quickly turned into a small flamewar; I 
did not say anything further.

Sometime in between, I asked on new maintainer "discussion" list and received 
no reply.

Thereafter, a long time passed[+], and I wrote to my application manager 
Guillaume. He told me that I was being delayed because DAM saw me participate 
in a flamewar and would not open an account. That's what he told me I 
believe. He advised me, IIRC, to contact tbm. I did, and he said there did 
not seem to be anything that would prevent my approval and suggested me to 
contribute meanwhile; other people who were involved in mailing list 
discussions were indeed approved. He did not have the power to do anything. 
The mail I sent to tbm basically said
  "I understand that giving an account is a matter of trust. I apologize if I 
have made strong statements in mailing lists. I have done these contributions 
and I plan to do these, and I have co-operated with fellow developers and 
will continue to do so."

As I have indicated elsewhere, I intend to make more contributions and work 
more closely with other developers. That is my sole wish on this matter. My 
aim is the same as other developers here: make debian a better distribution.  
And I believe I have shown that with the work I did. For example if you have 
noticed I have not talked on debian-devel except matters of importance for a 
long time.

At any rate, again a long time passed. And nothing happened. I sent a mail to 
Ben Collins explaining my situation and asked him if everything was all 
right. He assured me that the DAM approval was being done in a timely manner. 
I thought very good, this should mean that I will be approved real soon now 
and I will finally be able to upload my packages.

However, again the long wait began. I wrote similar things to James Troup and 
Guillaume again and did not receive a reply. [*] Mr. James Troup did not even 
answer my second mail, asking him whether he has received my first mail of 
inquiry. After my mail to debian-devel Guillaume responded to me saying that 
it is up to DAM, he has no say.

As a matter of fact, James Troup has not made any change in my nm.debian.org 
entry. He has not attempted to contact me for the past 6 months. I just 
waited. And I asked many people the reasons of the delay, and I believe he 
knows that I have been waiting for many months.

In the end, I wrote to debian-devel believing that my application was not 
being evaluated in a fair and objective manner.

Now Christian, I must ask you whether I have taken the appropriate course of 
action. If you believe that I must have contacted the front desk anyway 
(although I explain why front desk does not seem to be the right place in 
section 1), then please take this mail as an attempt to contact the front 
desk. Indeed I am cc'ing to front desk.

3. Severe criticism about Check-in step.
- ----------------------------------------------------------

I summarize my complaints for your assessment. These points pertain to the B. 
Check-in phase of the NM Step 5: Evaluation and Check-in:

  1) The process is not open: The applicant can wait for many months without 
any official statement.

  2) The process is not fair: People have been processed out-of-order while 
other people have waited for months.

  3) The process is unconstitutional: While the constitution states that 
power should not be concentrated, in this case it is in the hands of a single 
person. And this person does not change or even his change cannot be 
suggested, or the power is not delegated to a group of volunteers which would 
_change_ over time. Even the project leader, who happens to be the most 
distinguished person is voted and changed, but DAM is not.

  4) The process is not objective: I seem to be delayed only because I have 
criticized DAM indirectly before (In the discussion which happened on 
debian-mentors. It is documented in a previous issue of debian weekly news.) 
I have not been evaluated with my objective traits but rather in a completely 
subjective way.

I await your fair judgement, Christian and those who have any relation to new 
maintainer process. I also await an official and a complete reply to this 
criticism from James Troup. Please send your answers to both the list and me. 
Do not send me only-personal messages. I cannot accept secrecy in this case, 
in which I am the victim of secrecy.


[+] Meanwhile, many other applicants were approved by DAM. Most of them had 
been approved by their AMs after me. It seemed that my inquiry had its 
effects: getting everybody except me approved.

[*] I'm going to post on this list a copy of that mail.

- -- 
Eray Ozkural (exa) <erayo@cs.bilkent.edu.tr>
Comp. Sci. Dept., Bilkent University, Ankara
www: http://www.cs.bilkent.edu.tr/~erayo
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