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Re: Proposal for reform of the Debian membership process

On Thu Dec 06 15:29, Bernd Zeimetz wrote:
> > From my experience of NM (for which I kept a log[3]) and from looking at other
> > people's comments I have identified a number of problems which may need
> > addressing (in no particular order):
> > 
> >    - it takes too long
> total time spent: 4hrs 29mins - that's not long.

No, that's how long it _should_ have taken. Read down to the 'total
amount of time waiting for other people: 301 days"

One month is not a long time to wait, from assigning an AM to the report
took 38 days (tbm was out of the country for much of it), this is fine.
The other 269 days was what took too long.

> >    - there is too much waiting in queues (AM assignment, DAM) when the
> >      applicant is not the bottleneck
> That's the only place where the process takes too long. But being able
> to wait and still work on packages for Debian shows if somebody really
> wants to become DD. As I mentioned before - you're able to stay DD for
> the rest of your life - are a few months really a problem? Do you want
> to become DD to support Debian or to have a @debian.org address?

Yes I can and did do Debian work in the mean time, but I was hindered a
lot by not being able to upload (yes, sponsorship, but I had a lot of
problems getting anyone to sponsor my packages. Not because they were
bad, just either no response or noone who felt qualified to sponsor
those particular packages). Several bugs and new upstreams went months
and months without an upload when I had the packages waiting to go.

> So you want to have DDs which are not allowed to vote in GRs because
> they didn't have to read all parts of SC/....!? Nobody is forced to
> discuss things, but voting is something every full project Member should
> be allowed to do.

Full project member, sure. Not everyone wants that though. Some people
want to just upload one or two packages---the DM GR was on that basis as
have comments from a number of people directly.

More to the point, by separating it out, those people who don't want to
do complicated package management but contribute in other ways can still
be part of the governance of Debian without having to pass all the T&S,
which they do not need to know.

> >    - some people don't need any upload privs at all, but should still
> >      be recognised as project members.
> There should be a difference to DDs, though. If you have to talk to
> somebody with an @ubuntu.com address, you never know if you're talking
> to some random fool or a serious person, you get an email addy there way
> too easy. This should not happen in Debian.

If you read my proposal I do, in fact, say that.

> >    - reviewing just a small set of questions and work doesn't really
> >      give a good impression of the applicant
> The best impression gives the way an applicant maintains his packages
> and handles bugs, and how he communicates with other people. Imho the
> questions should make sure that the applicant has a high enough basic
> knowledge, and that is was the current set of questions does.

I think a better thing to do would be to give people privileges slowly
and use their work with minimal uploads as assessment for their
suitability to have further privileges. Rather than just asking
questions. It doesn't matter if it takes 300 days to get full upload rights
as long as you get some of them earlier. Particularly if you say 'this
is a probationary period' rather than just 'oh, you've passed
everything, we're just waiting for someone to get round to you' which is
the current situation.

> >    - people apply when they aren't ready, and hold up people who are, and should
> >      be fast-tracked through
> Probably adding the requirement to have two advocates could help to stop
> non-ready people from applying. I could imagine that some DDs advocate
> their friends, or people they don't know enough about, just to be nice.

Again, I agree, my proposal on the wiki mentions multiple advocates for
several of the access rights.

> > The two proposals at the moment try and solve some of these by creating
> > different 'classes' of member,
> The idea of putting people into 'classes' gives me a weird feeling. What
> I like on Debian is that all DDs are equal, they have the same rights,
> they can do the same things, and they're supposed to know at least the
> same basic parts. That's something which should not be changed without a
>  good reason.

That's why I prefer to be granting things based on what permissions you
need and what technical ability you need to do them. With project member
being orthogonal.


Matthew Johnson

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