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Re: Reforming the NM process

Hey Marc,

Thanks for this initiative; I'd just decided to not get involved in the
threads on -newmaint anymore because even though I feel strongly about
the issue, the threads were just a repeat of themselves. However, your
mail seems to be different, in that it comes from someone actually
involved and that it has some concrete plans.

> 1.2.1 Add more people
> 1.2.2 Fewer checks
> 1.2.3 Drop Front Desk/merge with DAM

I think these are still worthwhile to pursue, in the context of the
other changes you propose below. Reforming the process could require
some more fundamental changes, but is even more effective with
streamlining in these areas.

About the More People part, this is something that won't change when
doing nothing, but could change when the demands on AMs are different
(less boring, less unfit candidates).

Merging the FD with DAM is also an item I still support, since I think
it saves effort, and I don't see any drawbacks in doing so: worst case
it will cost just as much time as now, but with a simpler structure. In
the best case it will eliminate quite some duplicate checking of

> 1.2.4 Task-based checks
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> Some people, including me, have discussed the possibility to use a
> task-based approach to the NM process. As far as I know, I'm the only AM
> who has actually finished this with an applicant.

I've actually done this with my AM, Luk, and I'm quite satisfied with

> After doing this once, I'd not recommend it as a regular replacement for
> the checks based NM templates we use at the moment, mostly because of
> its time needs.

I still would; it costs a bit more time, but that time actually yields
results for Debian. This was more motivating for me, and it could be
more rewarding for the AM.

> 2.1 Multiple advocates

Yes, good idea. It seems that some DD's are advocating people to early.
I would also advise to contact people who make "too fast" advocations
about this matter, to tell them why this isn't right. If they keep on
advocating people who aren't ready, you could of couse consider banning
the respective DD from advocating, but I think some feedback would
already make enough impression on most.

> 2.2 Requiring (more) work before applying

Yes, agreed. If you don't do that amount of work already you could
easily continue on the sponsored-basis we have.

> 2.3 Separate upload permissions, system accounts and voting rights

> This part is *very* experimental, I'd love to hear other people's
> opinions, suggestions and changes. I'm really not convinced that this is
> the perfect solution, but it has some very nice aspects.

It is a bit of a generalization of the idea Anthony posted on his blog
today. I like it. It formalizes the current sponsoring idea: it makes it
a bit harder to actually have your first package sponsored, but not in a
bad way. The little more effort wouldn't scare away those who are
actually interested in maintaining a specific package, it's not at all
like the NM process but more of a quick lintian check of an uploader.

There should of course be provisions for people for whom it isn't that
easy to get signatures from two DD's.

> Anyway, actual system accounts could either be given out at this stage
> or after another set of checks, though I don't see a reason to allow
> people to upload everything, but not log in on Debian boxes...

I would keep it to the two stages you propose. Adding more stages
doesn't add any real value while it unnecessarily complicates the

Thanks for your mail, I look forward to some actual changes being made!


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