[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Re-thinking Debian membership

On Fri Oct 24 11:44, Lars Wirzenius wrote:
> I do not like the way Joerg wants to change the way people become and
> are members of the Debian project. It's not all bad, but on the whole it
> makes some of the worst parts of Debian become worse. It concentrates
> power into fewer hands, removes some of the benefits of the Debian
> Maintainer process, adds more hoops to jump through, and makes the whole
> question of what it means to be a member of Debian massively
> complicated.
> I think we should go in the opposite direction: massively simplify
> the whole membership thing.

While I think this suggestion is a good one, I think you go far too far.
I would certainly vote against the suggestion you gave. I would much rather
see simplification of the number of 'statuses' by decoupling permissions
from 'status'. I am very firmly of the opinion that some basic
competency checks are required before full upload rights are granted to
the whole archive.

I'd like, therefore, to make a proposal which is a compromise between
the options and based at least in part on my previous proposal[0].


There is just one status, Debian Developer. Being a DD gets you voting
rights and an @debian.org address. It signifies that we (the other DDs)
think that you are a peer in the community and should be able to
influence its governance, stand for DPL etc.

In order to become a DD you must have passed an ID/key check and have
been advocated by some number of other DDs (I'm not really bothered what
this number is, what the actual procedure is for checking these is or
who is in charge of it). You must also agree to uphold the SC (GPG
signed etc). I'd also like something like the P&P checks in NM, but
probably just a less formal outline in the mail they send when applying
is fine.

DDs may have some, all or none of the following rights. Regardless of
whether you have these you are still a DD, you are just a DD who can NMU
without supervision.

- Access to Debian machines
- Upload certain packages
- Upload other people's packages
- Add new packages

I think each of these should have a specific check associated with them
to ensure a basic level on competency. You might argue whether or not
the current NM checks are too stringent (I didn't think they were, for
me getting through the checks was the _easy_ part), but I think there
definitely should be something. I've seen enough things in the short
time I've been involved with Debian to make me certain that not everyone
who applies should be given full upload rights straight away.

What I would like to see, however, is a move away from "you must do this
written test" and towards "look, I've done all these NMUs via sponsors,
I've got the hang of it now."

So, I have some suggested prerequisites for some of these rights:

Access to Debian machines - you just have to agree to the DMUP. We
   can probably just lump this in with the SC above and grant it to all
   DDs, but I include it here for completeness.

Upload certain packages - a small demonstration that you understand how
   that package works and are vaguely competent in that language.
   Perhaps just convincing one of the maintainers / a sponsor to add you
   as uploader is sufficient, but I'd like you to either be able to
   point to other similar packages you look after, or a basic check on
   packaging. Knowing how SONAMEs work and about ABI should definitely
   be a prerequisite before taking on a C library package, for example.
   There are many people who get this wrong, upstreams included.

Upload for other people's packages - I definitely think that something
   akin to the current full T&S is needed here, but again, a history of
   producing good NMUs and maintaining several different types of
   package would be sufficient for this.

Several people have in the past said "it's a good thing that it takes
you a long time to become a DD". The feeling behind this is that it
takes a long time to really become proficient in what we do, it's quite
complex. Giving people some access early and then more later is a good
way to ease into this complexity and was one of the motivations behind
the current DMs. I definitely think that an apprenticeship-type approach
and people proving their competence through actual work is the way to

One think in the proposal given in the parent post which I do agree with
in the new MIA procedure. If you have not uploaded or voted in anything
in two years, removal would seem sensible.

0. http://wiki.debian.org/Projects/AltReformedMembershipProcess

Matthew Johnson

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: Digital signature

Reply to: