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Re: [debian-newmaint] fresh blood gets congested: long way to become DD

Blu Corater wrote:

> I have considered many times to apply to become part of the proyect, but
> nowdays I more often regret not having done it back then, mainly because
> with the current states of things I find quite ridiculous to be evaluated
> for more than three years to be accepted. It is more than the time taken
> to get some university degrees and, not that I want to, but it would be
> easier for me to enter the secret service of my country than to enter
> Debian.

It doesn't have to take 3 years.  I believe that all, or nearly all of the cases
 where people spend such a long time in the NM queue occur because they
applicants don't have time to do the required tasks.  ie the delay is mostly not
on Debian's side.

It took me a little under a year from applying for NM to being made a DD.  I
think that's a pretty average time for someone who works fairly consistently on
the NM tasks.  Several months of that year were spent just waiting to advance
enough in the queue to hit the next stage of the process, but since I was able
to get on with my Debian work anyway, that didn't really matter.

> So what are you guys protecting so jealously?. Debian is passing through a
> growing crisis, as showed by the problems with the last release, which, by
> the way, involved me in more than a flame war with people throwing FUD at
> Debian as useful operating system. Debian needs qualified people more than
> ever and, instead of attracting the talent, Debian is discouraging the
> applicants making them go through a process more strict, burocratic and
> discouraging than some national security agencies. More so, I see Debian

I agree that there are problems with the NM process.  There seems to be a lack
of people willing to be application managers compared with the number of  people
applying for NM.  To me, the question of whether it is more important to get
more DDs into the system as fast as possible or whether it is more important for
application managers to do their other Debian-related tasks is a good one.  I am
not sure of the answer.

In any case, you can contribute in nearly every way to Debian, including
maintaining packages, without being a Developer.  Most people maintain a package
or several for months or years before applying for NM.  So, if you have a piece
of software you want to maintain for Debian, package it and ask for a sponsor to
upload it.  Or ask to join the maintainer team for a package or group of
packages that you are interested in.  If you want to translate stuff get in
touch with the translation team for that language and find out what work needs
doing.  If you want to do other things than that, ask around until you know how
to contribute in that direction and then just do it.

> discouraging people willing to colaborate in areas other than development,
> as document translation for instance, depriving them of the same rights
> than the DDs, or cutting support to less popular architectures in favor of
> more popular ones, like any comercial corporation would do.

Not sure about the architecture question, but I entirely agree with you about
the problem of depriving people like translators of rights such as the right to
vote in Debian elections.  However that is really a different discussion.

> I fight hard to not be pessimistic, but Debian looks to me more and more
> as a guild of a technical elite trying to protect its privileges... the
> question is what privileges? And this last question is completely honest,
> I would really like to know.

Nah.  I am personally not a technical elite :)  Far from it, in fact - I'm just
a physicist who happens to write the odd piece of code.  In my experience,
Debian is not trying to stop anyone from contributing.  But it is true that it
does take a long time to work your way through the NM process, and it is
frustrating that so much of that time is spent waiting in the queue for new AMs
to become available or for someone to process the next stage.  What kept me
patient was the idea that really, with sarge about to release and so on, getting
me closer to being a Developer had to be a lower priority than most of the work
others were doing, and certainly it didn't prevent me from doing my own Debian
work and trying to do it to a high technical standard.  I think that thought is
worth bearing in mind.

Good luck in achieving your aims of contributing to Debian.


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