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Re: orphaning my packages

On Tue, Nov 19, 2002 at 08:30:13AM +1100, Glenn McGrath wrote:
> ><snip>  Perhaps I've missed something,
> > but the only reasons I can see for an NM to not get an advocate after
> > six weeks are that 1) he hasn't actually tried, or 2) he isn't ready for
> > the NM process and therefore no one will advocate him.

> 3) the NM is competant, can work things out without assistance from others
> and therefore hasnt had much contact with other developers. (not a
> lobbyist)

Then he is not involved in the community, and this is a serious
impediment.  As large as Debian is today, I don't think there's room in
our organization for "lone wolf" developers who don't interact at all
with their peers -- and can't bring themselves to do so even when the NM
process clearly indicates that they must.  See #2.

As noted, anyone with a sponsor already passes this meager requirement of
having contact with other developers.

> 4) debian developers arent willing to advocate people because they would
> rather concentrate on their current responsabilities.

You realize that the only duty of an advocate is to send a PGP-signed
email saying a few words about how they know the applicant and why they
think the applicant should be accepted into the NM queue?  If this is
really such an obstacle, I think either we have serious problems with the
state of developership as a whole, and therefore this is the least of our
concerns; or developers the NM has worked with and asked to advocate him
are unanimously of the opinion that he has so little to offer the
community that they would rather spend five more minutes working on
their packages or flaming on mailing lists than write a brief
recommendation.  For the latter, see #2.

> 5) some debian developer they dont really know is willing to advocate NM,
> but the _smart_ NM on seeing that that advocate step is really a
> duplication on AM stage sees through debian thin technical viel and
> decides not to get involved with such pointless politics and bureaucracy.
> (is scared away)

So they're this easily frightened away by politics?  Well, better to
frighten them early; if we give them the mistaken impression that there's
no politics or bureacracy in Debian, they'll consume a lot of AM time
before giving up once they reach DAMnation. ;)  Again, see #2.

Being considered "not ready" for the NM queue is nothing to be ashamed
of or offended by, anyway.  Every developer was "not ready" at some point
before he or she became a developer.  The system simply tries to ensure
that by the time they get an AM assigned, they really are ready.

> I think the most valuable skill a prospective NM can have is patients and
> social skill, it should be about technical ability (although that does
> come into it a _little_ bit).

Perseverance (working with upstream) and communication (fielding bug
reports) are every bit as important as technical ability when it comes to
the duties of a Debian Developer.

> If you look at the people that have given up on the NM process can you
> honestly say they that debian is better off without them... i dont think
> so.

I agree that the NM process is currently frustrating for applicants, and
that we run the risk of losing valuable talent because of how difficult
it is to gain DAM approval.  (I don't presume to know whether this has
happened in practice.)  However, I don't think the advocate requirement
has ever been cited before as a cause of frustration, and I don't think
removing it is a good idea.  I fail to see how the advocate requirement
could reasonably be seen as blocking the application of anyone who would
otherwise be accepted as a DD.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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