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Re: Bits from the Release Team - Kicking off Wheezy

Stefano Zacchiroli wrote:

> On Fri, Apr 29, 2011 at 06:50:04PM -0400, Michael Gilbert wrote:
> > Look at the "welcoming new contributors" GR; what did that actually
> > accomplish?  There isn't anything new to show for it, there are no new
> > means to bring contributors in, and the number of new people hasn't
> > really changed.
> I doubt you'll find this surprising, but I beg to disagree. As little as
> that number can be, there are nowadays 3 people in the contributors
> keyring, 1 in the NM queue, and 1 which is about to apply (asked me to
> advocate him a few days ago). Considering that the infrastructure and
> procedures took a few months to stabilize after the GR outcome, I
> consider that to be a pretty good result for about 6 months since
> everything was up and running (and 5 it's a non negligible share of the
> amount of new DDs we get per year).

OK, I was unaware of these developments (better DPL communication on the
status in this area would be very welcome). Also, I was unable to find
any info on any changes to the process at e.g. [0], so it seemed like
nothing of relevance had happened.

So these results are a *very good* thing, but I still see the GR as
overkill. The same results could have been achieved by just deciding
to go ahead and implement the non-packaging contributor process.

As an aside, I feel like these changes didn't far enough to achieve the
goal of welcoming new contributors.  It's still a long, arduous, and
drawn-out process even to be considered for the non-packaging role.  I
would like to see something more immediate.  For example, a
contributors.debian.net that would give people an email address
relatively quickly with a very low barrier to entry (a few good bug
reports and/or patches).  This would go a long way in making people
feel welcomed in a system that takes years to become a part of.

> I have no idea whether those people would have diminished their
> involvement in or not considered contributing to Debian, if the GR
> weren't there. But as a matter of fact, chances are that those people
> wouldn't have been able to be Debian Developers today if it weren't for
> the GR.

It wasn't the GR itself. It was the fact that these changes to the NM
process were actually made. I suppose it is arguable that those changes
simply would not have happened without the GR, but that indicates more
of a lack of direct motivation within the new maintainer team.  

So, if it required the GR to motivate them, then I suppose it was a
necessity and ultimately a good thing, but my point is simply that its
better when motivation comes from within; rather than an applied
external force.

Best wishes,

[0] http://nm.debian.org

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