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Re: Debian Membership

On Sun, Mar 15, 2009 at 03:10:38PM +0000, Martin Meredith wrote:
> For example, if a DD who had been in the Debian Project for a long time
> decided that they wanted to become part of the Ubuntu Project, then they
> could probably apply directly to the tech boar, who would review their
> application, see that they have the neccesary skills (as proven by their
> debian participation) and "hand wave" them through the process.

Whether or not we decide to grant voting rights to people whose
contributions to Debian don't come in the form of package maintenance, there
should not be a "rubber stamping" process that gets people voting rights.
An important part of the NM process is establishing that the applicant is
committed to Debian, that we have a trust relationship with them (i.e., both
that we've confirmed they are who they say they are and that someone in the
community advocates them for NM), and that they're not batshit insane.  All
of these criteria also apply to non-uploading developers; we shouldn't waive
any of these requirements on the grounds that they'll "just" be voting.

Enfranchisement is a big deal - it gives you a say in who represents Debian
to the public for the coming year, in how power within the project is
structured, in what we consider our core principles to be, and in whether we
forcibly override another developer.  We may have knock-down, drag-out
fights on debian-vote, but at least in principle, everyone who votes has
that privilege because they contribute to Debian.  We don't need a
membership process that opens loopholes that would let in people who haven't
actually made a committment to Debian.

(I'm not saying that this is actually a problem with the Ubuntu membership
process, and your further comments suggest that you agree that involvement
in Debian is a necessary precondition.  I just think it's important that we
explicitly steer clear of any processes that would result in someone having
voting rights in Debian as a result of "hand waving".)

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

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