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Re: Work-needing packages report for Jul 11, 2003

On Fri, Jul 18, 2003 at 11:55:00AM +0200, Tollef Fog Heen wrote:
> * "Jamin W. Collins" 
> | I am and have been.  I currently maintain two packages already in the
> | archive (one adopted, one added) via a sponsor.  However, I have several
> | others (Jabber transports and services) that I would like to add
> | (they've been requested repeatedly), but do not wish to burden my
> | current sponsor with them.
> why?

Because it's inconvenient for everyone involved. Sometimes that
inconvenience is worth it (especially if one has confidence that it will be
in the short term, and it's being done in part to demonstrate that one can,
in fact, do the technical part of being a DD properly).

Inconvenience is not a roadblock, but it sure makes an effective speedbump.
There are times when it is completely appropriate to have such - but we
shouldn't then expect people to go full-speed, at the same time.

> | Additionally, I feel that the current NM process is very broken WRT to
> | the DAM approval stage and that the only way it will be fixed is through
> | someone being very vocal about it. 
> I think you are wrong.

I think he's right. I notice that the strongest proponents of change tend
to be people who spent a lot of time in DAM-Limbo land. Personally, I think
it is a grave disservice to people volunteering to help Debian, and to
Debian itself (as some noticeable number of applicants who appear, from all
evidence, to be as qualified as most current DDs end up telling us to go
take a hike after about six months).

I also think it comes across as making the entire project look
unprofessional. Yes, I know, people are now screaming "we aren't
professional, we don't get paid". It makes us look like we can't get our
s**t together enough to even *respond* to people who have invested at
least a few *weeks* of time, often more, in going through the application
process, and who have been told, at that point, "Everything looks good, we
don't see any problems". I realize that the DAM is busy.

I *also* realize that the last job I worked at which had a lot of waiting
time for customers had people whose main task was simply to *interact with
those customers* periodically (once a week, normally), even if they had
nothing more to say than "Nothing much has changed; the telephone company
still has a date set for $long_time_from_now, and we we have everything
ready on our end, but can't do more until then".

This function could, potentially, even be done by the AMs (though I don't
want to volunteer them without further discussion). But it would require
the DAM to at leats be communicating with *them*, which doesn't appear to
be in evidence (given AM comments to -mentors, -newmaint, and -devel, and
the comments of my own mentor when I hit six months or so in limbo).

> | Do current Debian Developers feel that the process does not need
> | changing? 
> it should probably be a bit more open than it is today, but I really
> don't see the point of getting a bunch more maintainer who will go MIA
> in a few months.

"A bit more open"? Right now it's a freaking black box - you put your
application in, and maybe, someday, you get a phone call or email from the
DAM. Sure, it's fairly likely to happen, someday - and it's also *not*
likely to happen anytime in the near future, for the vast majority of

Pointing to folks who have been "fast-tracked" will not help here - all it
will do is make it evident that it's *very* non-FIFO, which only pisses off
the people in limbo further.

> And having people whine about NM right now is kinda silly: samosa, aka
> db.d.o is down and until it's up, the DAM can't create any accounts.

If the DAM comes out and says "I have 20 accounts queued up for creation,
but I can't do it until the infrastructure is back", I'll buy it. Given
that many of the folks in Limbo-land have been there for 10 times as long
as samosa has been down, however, and that this problem has existed for at
least *two years* that I *personally* can attest to, I seriously doubt that
the admin working on samosa's replacement suddenly having a fairy godmother
descend and bop the box with a Wand of Working will actually change the DAM
process one whit.

To those who *are* DDs, and who don't like it, I can only say: hold the
current DPL accountable for his decisions, or lack thereof, when it comes
time for the next election. He appears, from all public statements, to not
consider the current situation problematic (or at least, he has failed
entirely to respond to pointed questions about it with anything other than
saying "Yes, the current DAM appointments stand, see the webpages which
imply they have the power to make these decisions").

If you agree, commend him. If you disagree, vote for someone else next
time. Unlike the US Government, it doesn't appear that buying votes works
very well with Debian, so we do, in fact, get more or less what we asked

(Yes, the DAM situation was a significant factor in my vote in the last
election - the first one in which I could vote, rather than merely
Joel Baker <fenton@debian.org>

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