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Re: Debian needs more buildds. It has offers. They aren't being accepted.

Martin Michlmayr <tbm@cyrius.com> writes:

> * Henning Makholm <henning@makholm.net> [2004-02-20 03:13]:
> > The final possibility for abuse that remains is if the DAM simply
> > stalls an applicant without rejecting him outright. However, unless
> > we see concrete evidence to the contrary, I prefer to believe that
> > stalling at the DAM stage is caused by hat overload rather than
> > malice.
> Another important factor is something very human and what we all do:
> if you have 2 tasks, one is very hard and one is easy, you often opt
> to do the easy task first and the hard one later.  In the meantime,
> another easy task pops up, so you do that, and you never carry out the
> hard task because there's always something more urgent or easy coming
> up.
> I'm totally guilty of this behaviour myself.  For example, there was
> one applicant who had some misunderstanding about our philosophy.  I
> replied to him to clarify as did his AM, he replied but I was still
> not satisfied.  This was at the end of November.  However, I was not
> sure what to do, or how to clarify.  So I processed other people in
> the meantime, not knowing what to do about the other applicant; I felt
> guilty for letting him wait, but I just did not know how to further
> clarify this issue, and neither did his AM.  In the meantime, I asked
> a person from -legal to talk to this applicant and let me know once
> he's satisfied with the philosophy, and just today I got a mail saying
> it's okay, plus a mail log.  So now I can finally process him.  I
> should have referred him to the -legal person back in November, but for
> some reason I didn't; and while I feel guilty about it, I think this
> is a very human thing.  (It's the same with me as DPL: normally I
> respond to mails within a few days, but there were 2-3 mails where it
> took me a few months (one specifically was delayed because I did not
> know how to say "no" in a nice way.  In the end, I finally found a way
> and we came to an agreement).)

What you certainly _don't_ do, or I haven't observed it yet, is
letting people wait when they inquire as to why they are waiting at
all. You allways react very fast. You tell the person whats causing
the wait or that you will look into it and follow that up with the
results. I personally never had to wait long or ask a second time as a
reminder. Having some delays might cause some momentary
dissatisfaction, but only not getting told what the cause is when one
asks makes one angry.

> So, for full disclosure, currently there are 2 "hard cases" (but not
> necessarily rejections) in NM waiting longer than they should have.  I
> don't think having more DAMs or a committee would help in this case,
> though.
> Anyway, back to rejections: one reason a rejection often takes a long
> time (e.g. Eray's, who certainly had to wait too long for it (but in
> this case you also have to consider that it was the first rejection
> ever done)) is simply because it takes a huge amount of effort to
> prepare a rejection.  Believe it or not, people are not rejected just
> on a whim or based on personal bias.  There is a long process of
> observing the applicant, talking to other people to get an impression
> what they think of the applicant, see how he fits in with the
> community, etc.

>From my personal experience, and just from that, I have to say that
there is no talking _with_ the applicant. His side of the story is
never heart until the DAM has presented his rejection. I think that if
concerns about the philosophy (e.g. GPL compliance questions) or
procedure (e.g. mass bug fileing) are seen by the DAM they should be
handled by a followup on the relevant NM steps. That can be done by
the AM so the DAM is not burdened with it.

> (This mail got longer than might have been necessary, and I originally
> wasn't sure whether I should reply at all to this paragraph; but I
> think people might benefit from seeing things from "the other side"
> (i.e. in this case from the perspective of someone heavily involved
> in NM and doing this work for 3+ years).  In overall, while NM is
> often quite a challenge, I think it has been running quite well in the
> last few months.  DAM approval time has gone down considerably,
> virtually all applicants precisely know their status, and the number
> of applicants with incomplete applications (i.e. we're waiting for
> them, rather than they for us) is quite low as well.)
> -- 
> Martin Michlmayr
> tbm@cyrius.com


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