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what are developers ? (was Third call for votes...)

On 2006/04/05, at 15:27, MJ Ray wrote:
"The Debian New Maintainer process is a series of required
proceedings to become a Debian Developer."
 -- http://www.debian.org/devel/join/newmaint

Or is the above statement false? It seems to disagree with the
constitution section 3.2.1 "Developers are volunteers who agree
to further the aims of the Project insofar as they participate in
it, and who maintain package(s) for the Project or do other work
which the Project Leader's Delegate(s) consider worthwhile"?
 -- http://www.nl.debian.org/devel/constitution

It does not disagree with it.

It just does not say it all.

Many people wish to contribute to Debian, though not all know that you don't need to be an official developer to do so. Sponsors can integrate work of non-developers and do so on a frequent basis. Some ways of contributing (translating, writing documentation and reporting bugs) can be done by everyone and don't require developer status.
This means that there are 3 kinds of contributors:

1-would be developers (involved in coding)
2-official developers (with upload rights)
3-other people who don't need to be developers to contribute (the rest)

I understand 3- as _technically_ don't need to be developers, since developers are defined as:

Every official Debian developer is associated with Debian, [...] can log in on most systems that keep Debian running and has upload permissions for all packages. Giving this kind of access is accompanied by a great deal of trust, as we heavily depend on our secure infrastructure.
There is an obvious need for a strict application process to get such rights.

But besides for the technical necessity to have such people in the project hierarchy, there is no necessity to restrict access to the political process to uploaders.

There should be a different contribution structure that includes similar distinctions between "supporting contributions" and "managing contributions" in other fields:

Generally speaking:
1) people who work under a sponsorship
2) people who sponsor

Each activity could adopt such a structure (and if not could not be entitled to participate to the polical process):

translation participant/translation QA resp-sponsor
documentation participant/documentation QA resp-sponsor
test-debugging participant/test-debugging QA resp-sponsor
maintenance participant/maintenance QA resp-sponsor


Obviously, not all managing contributors would need full access rights to _all_ (or any of) the servers. So in the end we'd still have a "super-class" of contributors who are entitled to upload access but the uploaders would share the political burden with people who contribute in different ways.

It's about time one could show the full Vietnamese translation files as an answer to the "show me the code" request...

Jean-Christophe Helary

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