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Re: another reason why requiring NMs to be sponsored is a bad idea

On Thu, 2002-01-17 at 09:12, Joerg Wendland wrote:
> I think this is the problem we have with sponsorship. We limit judgement
> over prospective developers to their package they want to have sponsored.

I think a person which wrote: "I used to Webmaster for cnn.com, but I am
bored and would like to webmaster all your webservers 24/7" would most
likely find a sponsor. (That is just an example, the webservers work
fine to my knowledge.)

> If such a developer has a package that nobody wants, he is not considered.
> The prospective developer himself reads about the NM process, finds a
> sentence like 'you should have some package being sponsored' and so builds
> some package that nobody wants.

I quote from  http://www.debian.org/devel/join/ :

If you are interested in maintaining packages, then you should look at
our Work-Needing and Prospective Packages list to see what packages need
maintainers. Taking over someone else's package is the best way to start
out as a developer as you can learn from what the previous maintainer
has already done.

There are several things, other than package maintenance, you can
contribute to in Debian. Testing and reporting/fixing bugs is great help
to us, along with helping in writing good documentation, or doing web
maintenance, translation (i18n & l10n), publicity, legal support... our
quality assurance web page lists several possible ways to help.

> The Right Way[tm] IMHO to deal with such 
> situations would be to tell the developer that noone wants his packages 
> and that he should have a look at some orphaned package to take over.

I am a new maintainer and had very good help from my sponsor. So I have
looked over the list over people wanting sponsorship several, to look
for packages that I think are simple enough for me to help with
packageing or interesting enough for me to work with the aspirant in spe
with to get to work. 

I find and the rest of the community can't find packages or prospects
they want to sponsor that is a fine way to have natural selection. We
can't be charged with the task of explaining why that is so! You _might_
want to write a sponsor seeking individual that "you prolly won't get
very far with that programme or package", but that would be a courteous
nicety on behalf of the maintainer, not a service Debian should provide.

>   I would change 'he is looking for a sponsor' into 'he is looking
> for an advocate'. An advocate could check his skills by means of checking
> his packages and then tell him that noone actually wants that package in
> Debian and he has bring something else like an orphaned package.

Then we don't have to change anything.
Lars Bahner,

Nihil est sine ratione cur potius sit, quam non sit.

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