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Re: How to Increase Contributions from Volunteers

On Wed, Jan 04, 2006 at 12:20:07PM +0100, Thomas Hood wrote:
> Andreas Schuldei wrote:
> > we need to promote the easy entry points to contributing to debian
> > more prominently and should hide the "how to become a DD" in
> > comparison.
> Manoj Srivastava wrote:
> > What on earth for?
> Andreas Schuldei wrote:
> > [...] people who want to help/contribute seem to be
> > turned away by the burecratic nature of the NM process with its
> > long waiting periods. People who want to contribute without that
> > process need to find a way to do that easily and effectively,
> > without spending too much time to find where they can do that.
> > [...]
> > Manoj, i think you are trying to polarize the discussion.
> I think that the discussion is already polarized; there is obviously a sharp
> difference of view.  The disagreement is reflected in the inconsistency between
> the existence of "easy entry points", which you favor. and the whole philosophy
> behind the NM process, which was presumably favored by those who set up that
> process.
> You seem to be assuming that Debian should encourage people to contribute,
> whereas the NM process was deliberately set up to discourage applicants.
> You assume that applicants are scarce, but the assumption behind NM is that
> there are more than enough. You assume that newcomers can be given the benefit
> of the doubt, whereas the assumption behind NM is that newcomers should not be
> trusted until they have endured trials.  You assume that contributors are
> different, but the assumption behind NM is that developers all need to learn
> the same skills.  You assume that people can learn as they go, but NM insists
> that applicants learn everything up front.
> If there are "easy entry points" in Debian which allow non-DDs to do the same
> work as DDs then I can see why a defender of the current NM process would
> regard those points as weaknesses in Debian's defenses, which should be closed
> rather than advertized.
> -- 
> Thomas Hood
Hi Thomas,
almost all of the discussion about 'contributing' seems to focus on
doing development work on packages. So Debian wants it to be a
weeding-out process-thus the NM process. But are there any other types
of contribution that can be encouraged by making a clear list and howto?

translators, bandwith hosts, sponsors for debian events, supporting
debian-user and irc, LUGs that hold 'debian day' and pass out cd's,
creating forum for users to encourage/support local business/governemt to move to
debian. Selling lance armstrong-type red swirl bracelets? 

These are but a few ideas, of which I think some are already on the website.

To contribute to debian while primarlly involves MAKING it, there are
other less technical and/or social things that may bring
people/interest/money to our efforts like support and fandom. 
One area where less technical folks can surely help is
Documentations(Osamu Aoki yea!), proofreading debian documents in all of
our various languages, some of which require translations.(Christian
Perrier yea!) And for people who want to learn the step/skills to become
DD's, maybe a DD can create a work book/pdf that would list important
skills, websites to visit and exercises that should be attempted to be
better prepared for NM. Would it be better if NM's were given a study
guide before the NM process? Why not use some of the older DD NM test
material for this. And prehaps a seperate guide for folks intending to
be translators as Debian thinks they need NM skills of some degree.  
Again, these may all be in the debian-devel or -mentor site.

anyway, Debian should make SOME area easier, not ones involving code.
pax vobiscum,
counter.li.org #238656 -- goto counter.li.org and be counted!
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