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Re: What is an official sub-project of Debian?

Martin Michlmayr <tbm@cyrius.com>
> We contacted Branden/DPL about a month ago to seek permission for
> Debonaras (Debian On Nas And Routers And Stuff) to become an official
> sub-project of Debian.  Branden responded that he was at a conference
> and that he'll respond in more detail later; [...]

Was that contact was the message you forwarded? Maybe it should be
a bit more direct and use bullet points to make it easier to spot
the questions. I saw the big question and one other easily, though.

> There are a number of questions, such as:
>  - What kind of requirements does a project have to be an official
>    sub-project?

I expect official sub-projects:
1. to be listed on http://www.de.debian.org/devel/#projects
2. follow some published and fairly agreeable guidelines like
    (when it appears under GPL or other free software terms
     and so has more completed sections added... :-/ )
3. be ultimately accountable to the Debian project somehow and
    not just "back us or sack us".

After all, such a project is claiming a close tie to Debian,
so I think these are reasonable expectations.

>    In the past, the point was raised that they have to follow the
>    constitution of Debian, e.g. be accountable to the DPL or GRs.

I don't think following the constitution is important (mostly,
it's up to the project how it organises itself) but I think
accountability is. If something about a subproject motivates DDs
enough to pass a GR, that should be respected or the subproject
should fork off.

>    Another question is how many official Debian developers you
>    need to have involved to be an official sub-project.  Does the
>    project need to use debian.org infrastructure, or can they use
>    their own infrastructure?

I'd say no, but doing so makes it harder to fork off, so could
be considered an act of good faith in the future.

On the number of DDs, I think it doesn't matter, but more DDs
makes it easier to handle requirements 1 and 3 above.

>  - Can sub-projects handle their own finances, and e.g. ask for
>    donations (helpful for projects such as Debonaras, which needs
>    to buy hardware for their porting efforts).  What about
>    accountability?

I'd say yes, but it should be done through some natural or legal
person approved by the DPL and the appropriate government/taxman
and the accounts should be visible to Debian.

> * Rod Whitby <rod@whitby.id.au> [2006-01-28 10:05]:
> > [...]  Is it okay for a sub-project of Debian to accept
> > donations?  I assume it is since there are various organizations which
> > handle donations and operate fairly autonomously (although, of course,
> > with advice of the DPL), such as Debian UK. [...]

AIUI Debian UK is a commercial trader which has been licensed the
trademark by the current DPL. I see it as a separate business
venture of some DDs who used to sell stuff from Debian stands
at UK trade fairs, not a subproject. I am unhappy it seemed to
get a one-off licence so lightly, before RAND or GPL terms are
ready, and there is no suggestion that it will ever expire.

I hope that reminder doesn't detract from the main discussion.

Best wishes,
My Opinion Only: see http://people.debian.org/~mjr/
Please follow http://www.uk.debian.org/MailingLists/#codeofconduct

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