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Re: Proposal for reform of the Debian membership process

Hi Matt,

IANADD but a contributor in the NM process, so changes might affect me.
Thats why I feel like commenting.

> 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):

Hmm. From what I see in your NM log, or the aggregate stats on
https://nm.debian.org I think the most visible problems are 1) the duration
it takes to wait in some of the many queues and 2) to wait for the
account creation. I don't see how your proposal addresses 1), except
that asking less questions might limit the time each AM needs for an
applicant, but I see that it adresses 2) in the way that it shares some
of the responsibility which is now totally up to James Troup among
different people acting for different parts of the project.
But I think in the end effect thats just a workaround for another problem:
The keyring maintainance is handled by only one person, who seems to be
quiet overloaded (and does not want to share his privileges?).
Personally I would prefer if the keyring maintainance would be switched
to a team maintainance as it is for the DM keyring. It should be done by
trustworth people, but that should not be a problem as there are quiet
plenty of people that dedicate their whole life for the project, right?
Why would they want to do anything faulty?

OTOH I would like a concept where privileges are handled to prospective
developers in a staged manner. E.g limited upload rights for this and
that, then mail address, then full upload rights, etc. The order might be
subject of polishing but thats not the point. But the goal should be
after all to become a DD with all privileges as I think to have
developers to be mostly equal is a good thing. Or to become a Debian
maintainer only, which is good for upstream authors who want to maintain
their software in Debian.

>   - it takes too long
>    - there is too much waiting in queues (AM assignment, DAM) when the

Well, your concept does not do much about this. Or do I miss that?
Its probably the real problem, because I think even if you shorten the
process of each applicant a bit (by reducing the contents to the topics
that are of the interest of the applicant as you suggest) it will remain
a problem.
That said: Working at the very end of the NM process (e.g. account
creation) would shorten the overall duration in the average a lot.

>   - some people don't need any upload privs at all, but should still
>     be recognised as project members.

Why? Wouldn't that cause a situation where noone could differ between
hopefully competent Debian developers and lets say very-spare-time-contributors?

>   - reviewing just a small set of questions and work doesn't really
>    give a good impression of the applicant

Wouldn't your proposal even cause to ask less questions? If not, how
would it address the time in the waiting queue problem?

>   - people apply when they aren't ready, and hold up people who are, and should
>     be fast-tracked through

I think this is a major problem. But tackling this with two advocates is
probably a show stopper for people who are constantly working with the
same sponsors, right? So whats the solution for this problem?
Besides that there is another problem: What with those applicants that
constantly hold up the process by not beeing very responsive?
Are they quickly put on hold so that other applicants can be processed?
It would be good to know, how this is handled _now_.

Hope that my comments are of a worth for you.

Best Regards,

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