Proposed membership category - Debian Bureaucrat
With Debian Maintainers, Members and Developers available for new memberships,
we seem to have one important missing category: the Debian Bureaucrat. This
proposal should, of course, be discussed and committeed to death in light
of its contents.
1) to ensure that agreed procedure is not wavered in any way
2) to ensure that standards of paperwork do not slip
3) to record in minute detail all discussion and decision for the benefit of
future Bureaucrats and other Members
4) to carry out other tasks from the Chief Bureaucrat following approval from
the Bureaucrat Committee as may from time to time be desirable
Debian Bureaucrats are full members of Debian but do not have upload rights.
They can, however, petition the appropriate persons to ensure that any upload
is denied if the requisite paperwork is not in place, for example if an Intent
to Package has not been filed with a suitable notice period, package
description, copyright information and so on.
A key role of the Debian Bureaucrat is to ensure that all views are taken
into consideration during discussion on mailing lists. It should be stressed
that this is not a discretionary role (the Bureaucrat does not try to reach
a consensus or put forward his own proposals to resolve the dispute) but
instead refers such matters to the Bureaucrat Committee. The Committee will
in this case set up a sub-committee to examine the issue, taking all views
into consideration, in a manner which is consistent with the British Royal
Commission. It is envisaged that the sub-committee will not be in a position
to report its findings to the Developers until the discussion has become
boring, irrelevant and abandoned anyway.
Debian Bureaucrats must pass through the New Members process as for any other
Member, but they should not be accepted until every 'i' is dotted and 't'
crossed on their application, in preparation for the diligent work ahead.
Similarly it may seem beneficial for them to undertake NM more than once,
but as this is a judgement call and not fixed procedure it should be decided
by the Front Desk and not another Bureaucrat.
Real-life Bureaucrats are known to relish any opportunity to impose rigid
procedure to some aim by an individual. With this in mind, some fun starter
tasks might be to:
1) determine, document and enforce a complete procedure for NEW packages,
beginning with an Intent to Package and ending with acceptance from the
NEW queue - for bonus marks, several rounds of consultation with Developers
should be undertaken at various stages of the process
2) regulate mailing list discussion by establishing a system of proposal before
discussion begins, with perhaps a sub-committee considering what the agreed
aims of any discussion should be and how to measure their success
3) regularly produce statistics and analysis on all areas of Debian life, and
ensure that appropriate interpretation and guidance notes accompany them.
Finally it should be stressed that on no account may a Debian Bureaucrat
undertake work to simplify any procedure, paperwork or system. Such action
would be wholly against the spirit of the job. Instead, Debian Bureaucrats
should ensure that no stone is left unturned in the search for a perfect
eco-system; one in which every Member has a voice and all views are taken into
consideration at the appropriate stage, and no decision is rushed or taken
lightly. To paraphrase Sir Humphrey:
"to that end, I recommend that we set up an interdepartmental committee with
fairly broad terms of reference so that at the end of the day we'll be in
the position to think through the various implications and arrive at a
decision based on long-term considerations rather than rush prematurely into
precipitate and possibly ill-conceived action which might well have
Jonathan Wiltshire email@example.com
Debian Developer http://people.debian.org/~jmw
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<directhex> i have six years of solaris sysadmin experience, from
8->10. i am well qualified to say it is made from bonghits
layered on top of bonghits