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Re: Problems with NM Front Desk


On Wednesday 07 July 2010 05:42:06 Steve Langasek wrote:
> > The FD can say that someone isn't ready to enter the NM process,
> > though, and then provide specific suggestions as to how they can
> > demonstrate to the FD that they are ready to enter the NM process.
> That doesn't seem to be what's happened here, though.  Admittedly we've
> only seen Manuel's paraphrasing of the conversation he had with FD
> (Manuel, please post actual mails, not paraphrasing!), but from there it
> appears that this was not being proposed as an example of how Manuel
> could demonstrate his involvement and committment to Debian, but rather
> as an enforced precondition for the NM process.  I also find that
> troubling.

That involves 2 threads of ~6 mails to not take things out of context (or a 
significant part of them), not one single message.

I think that all of them are in mailboxes/aliases (not mailing lists, or 
not public at least), e.g. new-maintainer@debian.org, so I can't link 
them.  I don't know if Debian developers have access to such 
mailboxes/private mailing lists.

I'll try to quote (not paraphrase) and just the important parts.  I don't 
know whether it will be helpful to anwer to your questions.

For those who don't want to read partial (as in uncomplete) quotations, you 
can stop reading here.

I can send the full threads to anybody interested, I don't consider them 
private since they are part of Debian things and not personal things, and 
nobody from FD has said anything since I started to complain in public about 

However in the end I complain comparing my case to that of other applicants 
(not because of accepting them as applicants or concluding that they 
shouldn't become Debian Developers), and that's one of the trickiest parts 
and one that FD didn't like -- which I obscured in my previous mails here 
explaining the issues.  So I'd like anybody who would like to read the whole 
threads to agree to not make those parts public.

First thread starts with (and all messages with CC to new-maintainer@):
Subject: Signing gpg key for my application to D.Devel by D.Maintainer?
   From: "Manuel A. Fernandez Montecelo" <manuel.montezelo@gmail.com>
     To: new-maintainer@debian.org
   Date: 2010-06-13 01:25

In this one, besides replying to the main questions, FD member Christoph 
Berg suggests that I should start by applying to DM instead of DD and 
adopting some package assuming that I was totally new to Debian packaging 
world and that I was confusing NM process with the process to become DM, not 
DD.  After explaining the same that I explained N times about co-maintaining 
OpenSceneGraph etc, he said:

	"You might want to get yourself into the Uploaders field of your 
	packages. I was looking that up and concluded you weren't maintaining 
	any packages";

so I took it as "it doesn't apply to you, then"; since it wasn't followed by 
anything, e.g., that anyway I was co-maintaining packages for 6 months only, 
or whatever.

Then, after a few days/weeks getting keys signed, getting advocate to write 
the message, etc, etc and having uploaded already the first packages to 
update the 3-year-old packages of Aqsis/K3D, the second thread, which is the 
subsequent communication after replying to que NM questionnaire:
Subject: About your Debian NM application (manuel.montezelo)
   From: Christoph Berg <myon@debian.org>
     To: "Manuel A. Fernandez Montecelo" <manuel.montezelo@gmail.com>
     CC: NM Frontdesk <new-maintainer@debian.org>
   Date: 2010-06-27 12:41

To which Christoph Berg replies:
> > Are you a 'Debian Maintainer' as described on
> > http://wiki.debian.org/Maintainers or do you plan to become a DM?
> a) No
> b) Not specially, my main intention is to become Debian Developer.  DM 
> doesn't allow to do what I'm doing with Aqsis and K3D when the official 
> maintainer doesn't cooperate, that's one of the main reasons why I want to 
> become DD instead of just DM (so I don't have to bother any sponsor, etc).

Hi Manuel,

we welcome you very much to NMU unattended packages. However, your
involvement there is still very recent, so we would prefer very much
if you applied for DM first and then gained more experience there
before you apply for NM. ("DM before NM" is a rule we have been
inofficially enforcing for some time now and which will be
officialised soon.)


and then me explaining (for the 3rd time, after explaining it in the first 
thread when he though that I had no experience in Debian package management; 
and then again in the application questionnaire) that my work for months 
with OSG which is a complex package, even if I was not officially a "Debian 
Maintainer" as defined in that wiki page, etc etc, that they could check it 
in the changelogs and the application message.

Whether Christoph Berg said that they enforce it so I don't feel hurt or 
something but they don't do it in general, or he said that they really do 
that, I don't know.

Whether he overlooked the rest of the email and shoot straight to "Are you a 
DM?" answer and concluded again that I had no experience at all etc, 
forgetting all past communications, or was another thing altogether; I don't 

In the case that they think that I'm not ready, they should take advice from 
the advocates, which at least in my case, is by far the person that knows 
more about my packaging practices -- since it was him the only one who 
uploaded all of them, for OSG and the NMUs for K3D and Aqsis.

I think that they didn't understand/overlooked my work with OSG for months 
throughout all the communication, (because they were not NMUs, and 
OpenSceneGraph is not unattended at all, which is all what Christoph 
mentions...).  This work involves complete cooperation with the maintainer 
and another "unofficial co-maintainer", and proper co-maintenance by all of 
us discussing issues and proposing stuff, and that I created several 
versions updating upstream versions and fixing important issues by myself, 
proper packaging practice and not just NMUs.

By that point, I got a bit irritated by the repeated lack of acknowledgment 
of what I always cited as the main accomplishment to be judged (co-
maintainance of OpenSceneGraph, always in a prominent place, the NMUs being 
considered completely secondary but as a way of saying "I'm even picking on 
'orphaned' packages as prospective DMs are usually asked to do"), explained 
for the fourth time thay they were not having that into account [1], and 
things started to go down the slope... just for a couple of mails before 
wiping my record.

In particular, I commented regarding that policy:
4) I'm a bit fed up with your unofficial policies.  Why is not documented 
properly if it's a policy that you're enforcing (the same thing that 
happened with the "photo ID" thing instead of GPG signature in the front 
page of NM when I asked about that)?

[and then citing the web page where it said recommended/mandatory, 
discussing that I had already met in practice the acquaintance with 
packaging issues if that was the purpose of DM-before-DD by co-maintaining 
OpenSceneGraph, etc].

There were no other comments by them about the DM-before-DD policy.

And yes, I already said that I was irritated because of having to repeat the 
same thing all of the time and they repeatedly ignoring it for not reading 
the emails/questionnaires properly, or I don't know what.


[1] The high point of ununderstanding is the point when Joerg Jaspert thinks 
that I'm attributing myself as the upstream author of OpenSceneGraph, and 
that I had coded half a million lines of code in 6 months, instead of just 
the package co-maintainer; I understood it as a mockery and Raphael Hertzog 
doesn't think so... but either way, I explained that part in previous mails 
of this thread if somebody wants to read more.

Manuel A. Fernandez Montecelo <manuel.montezelo@gmail.com>

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