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Rewording of NM-corner (WAS: Re: Third call for votes for the debian project leader election 2006)

On Wednesday 05 April 2006 14:14, JC Helary wrote:
> On 2006/04/05, at 20:37, Antti-Juhani Kaijanaho wrote:
> > JC Helary wrote:
> >> It is not a mistaken belief, it directly comes from:
> >> http://www.debian.org/devel/join/newmaint
> >
> > It is a mistaken belief. That page is just poorly worded in this
> > regard, if it makes you believe otherwise.
> Poorly worded or not it is a status page. If the status does not mean
> what it reads then it must be reworded.

Below is my attempt at rewording the Introductionary page of the NM corner 
to make it clearer that non-mainter contributors can apply to NM.


>>>> begin rewording proposal
The Debian New Maintainer process, is the process of becoming an official
Debian Developer (DD). These webpages are the place were prospective Debian
Developers can find all the details on applying to become a DD, the
different steps of the process, and how to track the process of their 
ongoing application.

  (note that the 'developer' in DD basically means 'someone involved with
   improving Debian in some way'. This might mean package maintainer,
   translator, documentation writer, website maintainer, or ...)

The first important point to make is that you do NOT need to be a DD in 
order to help improving Debian, in fact you should already have a track 
record of earlier contributions to Debian before you start the New 
Maintainer process.

Debian is an open community and welcomes everyone who wants to use or help
improve our distribution. As a non-maintainer you can:
- maintain packages through a sponsor (A sponsor is a DD who agrees to check
  and upload your packages. This is a kind of mentoring program that helps
  you understand Debian's procedures and allows for common problems to be
  noticed before they end up in the real archive).
- provide/check translations
- create or improve documentation
- help maintain the website
- help with handling bugs (by providing patches, filing new bugs,
  confirming the existence of the bug, finding ways to reproduce the
  problem, ...)
- be an active member of a packaging team (e.g. debian-qt-kde or
- be an active member of a subproject (e.g. debian-installer, or
- ...

It's important to understand that the New Maintainer process is part of
Debian's Quality Assurance efforts. Finding developers with enough free time
for their Debian tasks is complicated so checking that applicants are able 
to sustain their work, and do it well, is important. Hence the requirement 
that prospective developers have been actively involved in Debian for some 
time already.

Every Debian Developer:
- is associated with Debian
- is allowed to vote about issues regarding the whole project
- can log in on most systems that keep Debian running
- has upload permissions for all packages.
- has access to the debian-private mailing list

In other words becoming a Debian Developer grants you several important
privileges regarding infrastructure the project heavily depends on. 
Obviously this requires a great deal of trust for and commitment by the 

Consequently the whole NM process is very strict and thorough. This is not
meant to discourage people interested in becoming a registered developer,
but it does explain why the New Maintainer process takes so much time.

<leave glossary pointer, process steps, and links to further documentation
 as is>
<<<< end rewording proposal

Cheers, cobaco (aka Bart Cornelis)
1. Encrypted mail preferred (GPG KeyID: 0x86624ABB)
2. Plain-text mail recommended since I move html and double
    format mails to a low priority folder (they're mainly spam)

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