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Re: On terminology

Ben Finney <ben+debian@benfinney.id.au> writes:

> So:

> * Package Maintainer can be anyone

> * Debian Maintainer can do anything the above can do, but is also a
>   member of the Debian project (i.e. “a Package Maintainer within the
>   Debian project”)

That would be a fine set of terminology if we had a role like that, but we
don't.  A Debian Maintainer isn't a package maintainer who's also a member
of Debian.

> It seems to me that the Debian Maintainer role is clearly focussed on
> granting the minimum needed to be a maintainer within the Debian
> project, as opposed to a maintainer not within the Debian project. So I
> don't see your case for wanting to change that term.

To me a Debian Maintainer is not really within the Debian project, or at
least no more within the Debian project than our many other non-DD
contributors are, such as people with guest accounts on Alioth.  They have
no voting rights, no access to debian-private, etc.  A necessary condition
to me for being part of a membership organization is to have some sort of
membership role.

A Debian Maintainer is someone who is not a Debian Developer who can be
given direct upload privileges for particular packages so long as that
upload doesn't introduce new packages.  It doesn't carry any of the
additional weight or concept to me that it seems to for you.  It is, in
some respects, less privilege than a guest account on Alioth can be given.

>> and not all Debian Maintainers are maintainers

> That last one is new to me. What's the point of becoming a Debian
> Maintainer if not to maintain one or more packages in Debian?

So that they can upload a Debian package.  They may have no intention to
become the maintainer.  I see a real layer of additional distinction from
people who upload packages to people who are maintainers.  The latter is a
role with a set of responsibilities that people pick up consciously and
that comes with a committment.  Many Debian Maintainers do take on that
role, but it's not a necessary component to becoming a Debian Maintainer
or exercising the one additional capability that a DM has.

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

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