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Re: How to Increase Contributions from Volunteers

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I had similar thoughts recently, so I enjoyed your mail.
Just some short comments:

Some of the things you mentioned are already
available, even if you are not an official developer.
For example,
- - your packages are listed at http://qa.debian.org/developer.php

- - of course you can make entries in the debian wiki at

- - Probably some of the statistics you propose (number of mails
  on mailing lists etc) can be calculated from a google search ;-)

- - You can of course have a public key, but in order to become
  a developer it must be signed by other developers.

But, what reflects my recent thoughts is the idea of having
more stages than only "Debian Developer".

You are already a Maintainer as soon as you have a package
in the archive. Speaking of an "official title" as you suggested,
maybe something like the following stages could be reasonable:

- - Having at least one package in the archive: "Debian Maintainer"

- - Having more packages in the archive, having contributed
  patches (probably also to the base Debian system),
  etc.: "Debian Contributor"

- - Being "Debian Contributor" for some time, having bug-free
  packages, having shown continous activity, and fulfilling
  all other requirements which are already necessary today:
  "Debian Developer"

My impression is that the process of becoming a developer
is very hard, both for the applicant but also for the
Application Managers. If someone contributed to the project
continously for a long time, then decides to apply for New
Maintainer which then takes another year (I dont know if this
is the usual case), this could be frustrating.

On the other hand, providing those stages above is also
time consuming and the transition from one stage to another
needs a well defined process, but the benefit would be
that there are several small transitions than only a
large one which could reduce the psychological barrier you
mentioned, as people might be even more motivated to continue
their work once they reached the first stage.

And, finally, I think that "... maybe because things are working
fine just the way they are ..." is reasonable, but I usually
prefer "... there is always room for improvement" :-)

Just my two cents,

best regards


Joseph Michael Smidt wrote:

> I believe the greatest barrier the Debian Project has in preventing
> widespread contributions from greater numbers of volunteers is a
> psychological barrier.  I have personally introduced Debian to

- --
Andreas Fester
WWW: http://www.littletux.net
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