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Alternate nm_assigned.txt template

I've updated my local version of the nm_assigned.txt template (which has
been a little different from Joerg's for a while now), and I've decided
to share in case anyone else is interested.

The overall content is not much different.  Mostly, I've just rephrased
some stuff to sound like something I would write, and reformatted it a
bit to my liking.  In particular, I changed the section:

  Finally, please tell me about yourself and what you intend to do for
  Debian (and how this fits in with The Social Contract).  Also, how
  you came to Linux and free software, and why you want to volunteer
  your time.


  Finally, please tell me about yourself, how you came to GNU/Linux and
  free software, and why you want to volunteer your time.  Please
  describe the contributions you have made to Debian, your primary areas
  of interest within Debian, and any goals you plan to accomplish.

My intention is to try to get applicants to talk more about what they
plan to do for Debian.  With the previous working, I found that most
applicants would write plenty of biographical stuff, but would provide
very little about their Debian work.

Also, I removed the "If you have packaged an application for Debian
already..." section since I prefer to just leave that until the T&S

Finally, I moved the big sections of links from the end of P&P to the
end of this document.  The reasons for this are that I prefer to always
keep a copy of the original questions I sent in the mail log (since I
tend to tinker with the questions) and this section bloats the log.
Also, some applicants tend to not trim it out of their response, which
further bloats the log...

Joerg, if you think that any of these changes are appropriate for your
templates, feel free to integrate as you see fit.

For every sprinkle I find, I shall kill you!
I'm glad to inform you that I have been appointed as your Application
Manager.  As such, I will go through the New Maintainer process with you
and then send full report to the Developer Account Managers (DAM) and a
brief summary to the debian-newmaint mailing list.

Please read the emails I send very carefully and fully answer each
question I ask.  Failure to do so will prolong the application process.

The list of steps in NM you must pass through is documented at:


If you have any questions along the way, feel free to ask.  I'm here to
help you join the Debian project project, and I'm glad to assist you in
any way.

The first step was to apply for the New Maintainer process and have an
Application Manager (AM) assigned to you.  You have completed the first
step.  Now it's time to check your identity.

Since many people trust Debian, we have to make sure that new volunteers
are who they claim to be.  The most dependable method of verification to
meet a Debian developer in person and have him or her confirm your
identify and sign your GPG key.

If you are not very familiar with GnuPG, please read


to learn more about the web of trust and key signing.

Please send me the key ID of your GPG public key so I can fetch it from
a key server. If your GPG key has been signed by a Debian developer, the
ID check is complete; otherwise, we will have to discuss alternative
ways to verify your identity.

Although it is sufficient that you have just one signature from an
existing Debian developer, it is strongly advised to get multiple
signatures on your key so that your key becomes "strongly connected."
You may check the status of your key at:


by entering your key ID in the statistic box. If it complains it can't
find your key, and you are sure you have entered the correct key ID, it
means that you are not in the strong set of keys.

Please tell me your preferred account name for the Debian machines
and the email address to which mail should be forwarded.  Please make
sure that the account name is still free at:


Finally, please tell me about yourself, how you came to GNU/Linux and
free software, and why you want to volunteer your time.  Please describe
the contributions you have made to Debian, your primary areas of
interest within Debian, and any goals you plan to accomplish.

After I have verified your identity and motives, we will move on to the
"Philosophy and Procedures (P&P)" check in which I will email more
questions for you to answer.

If you need more than 2 weeks for an answer of a mail, please inform me
of the delay.  It is important to remain responsive throughout the NM
process; otherwise, your application could be delayed significantly.

IMPORTANT: Please sign every mail you send to me with your GPG key.  You
must sign the mail in which you agree to the Social Contract or I cannot
accept it, and I prefer that you sign every mail for the application

Brian Nelson

Here is some additional information that you will find helpful for the
NM application process:

A word on mailing lists: there are quite a lot of Debian mailing lists
now and packaging-related packages, and I'd just like to check with
you whether you know about the key ones.

debian-announce: Major public announcements
debian-devel-announce: Major announcements to the developer community

These two lists are must-subscribes.  Everything else is optional.  I
abbreviate 'debian-' to '-' from now on!

          security updates to stable
-private: you'll be subscribed automatically when your new-maintainer
          application is accepted; sensitive discussions, flame wars
          etc.  You can unsubscribe if you wish.
-devel:   general mailing list for developer issues
-policy:  where possible changes to debian-policy are discussed
-mentors: helping newbie Developers.

There are many others; check the mailing list page on the web site
for details.

Now lets take a look at some important packages for a (upcoming) Debian
Developer. There are many of them, I will try to list the more important

             A package that depends on all the packages in the build
             essential list.  It's useful to make sure everything in the list
             is installed on the system when building and testing your own
  dpkg-dev   All of the primary tools needed to put a Debian package
             together: dpkg-buildpackage, dpkg-source, etc.
  debhelper  A very useful set of scripts designed to make
             debian/rules files more readable and uniform.
             But you should be able to build a package without it.
             Describes the policy relating to packages and details of
             the packaging mechanism.  Covers everything from
             required gcc options to the way the maintainer scripts
             (postinst etc.) work, package sections and priorities,
             etc.  An absolute must-read.  Also useful is the file
             which lists changes between versions of policy.
                         You must read and understand it.
  doc-debian Lots of useful Debian-specific documentation: the
             constitution and DFSG, explanation of the Bug Tracking
             System (BTS), etc.
             The New Maintainer's Guide to making Debian packages.
  devscripts Lots of useful (and not-so-useful) scripts to help build
             Lots of information on procedures and suchlike.
  dupload or dput
             Automatically upload packages to the archive once they
             are built.
  fakeroot   Build packages without having to be root.
  reportbug  Tool to report bugs.
             Allows you to "install" Debian's base on a given directory
             anywhere on the filesystem.  Combined with a chroot and
             build-essential, this makes for a nice way to have a clean
             environment where you can build your packages.
  pbuilder   Gives you an easy way to use debootstrap to test your
             packages in a sane environment
  sbuild     Tool to build your packages in a chroot (useful for
             verifying build-deps)
  linda      Two packages to check your package for commonly made
             errors. You should never upload a package which is not
             checked by one of these tools.

Finally talk about some important websites:
            The Developer's Corner.  Contains links and on-line versions
            of the stuff I mentioned before.

            Queries about developers and machines

            The Work Needing and Prospective Packages list.  Sort of a
            big TODO list for Debian packaging stuff: what's orphaned,
            what needs new maintainers, what's being adopted, what's
            being packaged and what would be nice to have packaged.

            The Debian Quality Assurance headquarters.  Help is appreciated!

            Bug related info

            Security related info. Please, read the FAQ, as it will save
            you (and others) a lot of headaches

            Package related info

            Build status of Debian packages

            Mailing list subscription and archives

            An interesting place to keep track of your packages.

            Automated lintian tests on all packages in the Debian Archive.

            Debian Library Packaging guide

            The Package Tracking System

                A small Guide "Writing Debian package descriptions"

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