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Re: On terminology

Ben Finney <ben+debian@benfinney.id.au> writes:
> Russ Allbery <rra@debian.org> writes:

>> And in the process, PLEASE rename Debian Maintainer to something that
>> isn't completely confusing given the existence of a Maintainer field
>> in all of our packages

> Isn't the very point of the Debian Maintainer role that it more
> precisely does meet the definition of the role identified by that field?

No, you can be a package maintainer without being a Debian Maintainer or a
Debian Developer.  Many people are.

Debian Uploader would be a lot closer to the actual capabilities provided
by that status, although that too has a (more minor) conflict with the
existing Uploaders field.  But one that doesn't bother me as much, so I'd
go for that unless someone has a better term.  (Debian Contributor isn't
sufficiently clear about what abilities can be granted, plus I think may
have already been used by something else.)

> So Russ, what do you think “maintainer” should mean in Debian,

The wording I proposed for #459868 sums that up:

    The maintainer is responsible for maintaining the Debian packaging
    files, evaluating and responding appropriately to reported bugs,
    uploading new versions of the package, ensuring that the package is
    placed in the appropriate archive area and included in Debian releases
    as appropriate for the stability and utility of the package, and
    requesting removal of the package from the Debian distribution if it
    is no longer useful or maintainable.

> and what current usages are not within that definition?

One need not be a Debian Maintainer to be a maintainer and not all Debian
Maintainers are maintainers, which makes it clear to me that there's
something wrong with the terminology used here.

A Debian Maintainer is someone who can be given upload rights for specific
packages.  They may not yet have been given any of those rights, or they
may use them only as co-maintainers rather than as the designated package
maintainer (possibly meaning that they intend to assume some of those
responsibilities but not all of them).  We should use some other term for

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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