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Re: new maintainers

On 30 Dec 1999, Thomas Bushnell, BSG wrote:

> I'm interested in this question for several reasons.  Basically, I'd
> like to be a new maintainer, but the process is 1) not clear and 2)
> officially closed.  So I'm sitting here, waiting, wondering what
> possible motivations there could be for ever having it officially
> closed, and bemusedly wondering what will happen to Debian if the
> current situation persists for too long.

It will go the way of the dodo if the situation persists.  Well at
least this incarnation of Debian.

> If there are lots of maintainers not properly handling their bug
> reports, then clearly Debian needs some new maintainers.  There is a
> very substantial list of packages that are either orphaned or whose
> maintainers have requested that someone else take up the slack.  There
> is a very large list of release-critical bugs for potato, and more
> competent people would be useful for bugsquash weekends.  
> The process of adding a new maintainer takes a certain amount of
> effort, and I certainly understand the possibility of a backlog--the
> new maintainer registrar certainly doesn't need to be expected to add
> people instantaneously.  But my understanding is that the addition of
> new maintainers is not merely slow, but has been officially stopped.

True. Actually it has ben `unofficially' stopped for at least 6 months
prior to the `official' closure date.

> Why?  What IS the motivation?  Here I am, a highly competent person, a
> happy and satisfied Debian user, and someone who thinks it's my duty
> to contribute back to Debian with some of my labor and talent.

>From what I understand, it goes something like this:

1) There are lots of bugs in Debian
2) We've just added a lot of new maintainers (aproximately 11 months
3) All these bugs must be caused by the new maintainers
4) Let's slow down accepting people until they learn what to do and
the bug count decreases
5) Plus it is getting boring handling so many applications anyway

So, why is new-maintainer only a small (1 officially, 2
unofficially) group?

1) They need to have some `trustworthy' people
2) These people perform a kind of "credential" check against
prospective applicants
3) Maintainers can upload torjans and/or viruses thus the credential

What exactly does new-maintainer have to do?

1) Confirm your ability to generate a GnuPG/PGP key and your ability
to sign it.
2) Confirm any information you've provided them (specifically a
contact telephone number)
3) Confirm you know/understand the `Social Contract' and othe things
(e.g. DFSG)
4) Ensure the package you selected isn't already done

Only number 3 needs to actually be done by the new-maintainer team,
and even that is debatable.  The rest of its operations can be done in
some distributed manner.

All that has to happen is for a large number of Debian developers to
get on their leaders case and convince him that this isn't something
that should be put on the backburner but should be his first priority

I doubt you'll have any luck doing that before the 3rd of Janurary


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