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Re: Looking for an advocate

Steve Kemp wrote:

 If you have constructive comments on how the pages could be
improved for new maintainers they would be greatfully received
either here on on the mailing list for website development, debian-www.
Hmm, that's tough. To this point, I'm not sure I know everything that is there.

I think, for starters, that the http://www.nl.debian.org/devel/join/ could be made into bullets. That would make it easier for people to know what they have done already, and what not. Maybe just have a link to a different page, or bullets at the end of the page with link from the top, saying "If you want to become a Debian Developer (DD), this is what you should know".

There is a document on the site, though I couldn't find it the last five times I looked for it, explaining a step-by-step in creating a deb. This one should be the first one up there. And if you find it, do send me a link. I don't think I need it any more (my package is in sid's main queue), but you never know. If I remember it correctly, it even explains the sponsors and debian-mentors process.

If it does not, then a very short document should be written outlining the process one has to go through. It should be the first one of the list. It should explain what ITP, DD, Sponsor and Advocate are, but it can probably leave out the front desk, DPL, and the rest of them. These can wait until our victim^H^H^H^H^Hfresh meat^H^H^H^H^Hpoor chap^H^H^H^Happlicant gets over some of the culture shock. I can tell you that there is going to be one.

I am a Debian user since the mid potato era, a Wine hacker, and started quite a few of my own free software tools. I am a co-founder of "Hamakor", which is an Israeli NPO for promoting FOSS. In other words, I am by no means a free software newbie. It was a culture shock to me. I remember a night, several years ago, when a bunch of friends had dinner with a very excited Moshe Zadka, who couldn't stop talking-while-bouncing about him finally getting his DD status. At the time I just figured it was Moshez' special way of doing thing. Looking at the road still ahead of me reminds me a little of my military basic training. I will probably be just as excited (though no one can be as bouncy) as he was. Don't get me wrong - having talked about Stallman's four rights, (of which your doc only mentions three) and Bruce's Open Source definition for two years of activity on Hamakor, I'm pretty confident I can pass the requirement to show I know what FOSS is all about. I am literally doing it in my sleep for quite some time. All I'm trying to say is that a few words for starters saying "We're not trying to lock anyone out of some elite group, just to make sure no one taints this beautiful thing we've worked hard to build" would go a long way.

After those, the document saying how and what should be in a package should come second (it is not even linked to from this page at the moment). Things like "work-needing and prospective packages" should probably be a sub-bullet of one of the above.

In short, I don't really know what to say. I guess the inter-mixing of the explanation text and the links makes reading everything very difficult for me. I don't know whether that is an indication of a real problem, or merely a specific problem with my focus. Maybe speaking only the jargon does help people understand the jargon. After all, if you've passed all that it takes, you'll know your way around it. Then again, what does it do to those people for whom English is not as native as for most on this list? Why make their lives even harder?

Also, and I think this is the thing that most made my life more difficult, I think the process should allow people who just want to package to postpone worries about the other stuff. After all, I may just wish to package for my own use.

Hoping this proves useful,

Shachar Shemesh
Lingnu Open Source Consulting ltd.
Have you backed up today's work? http://www.lingnu.com/backup.html

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