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Re: RFC - Changing current policy of debian.net entries

On Mon, Jun 25, 2012 at 06:58:35PM +0200, Stefano Zacchiroli wrote:
> On Fri, Jun 22, 2012 at 11:01:56PM +0200, Martin Zobel-Helas wrote:
> > The current practice for debian.net entries is that they are directly
> > entered in the debian.net zone as 3rd-level records. I am seeking
> > comments on a proposal to alter this practice.
> Thanks for working on the idea!
> Here are a few comments of mine:
> - I like very much the idea of thinking at *.debian.net entries as
>   services in "incubation". It is way clearer than our current notion of
>   "official" vs "non-official" (hosting), which is something that people
>   who have no idea what "DSA" is simply cannot understand. Additionally,
>   it bring purpose to debian.net entries as something temporary that
>   should at least ideally strive to move to debian.org.  Not because our
>   DSAs are control freak (they're not), but rather because debian.org
>   hosting gives more guarantees to the Debian Project of long term
>   maintenance, usually because it reduces the bus factor risk.
>   Making this even clearer with a *.incubator.debian.org namespace might
>   be a good idea. (Modulo some transition time, doing so will eventually
>   replace *.debian.net, if I got that right.)

I don't think that's the best way forward.

I see three common uses of the debian.net namespace:
- As a testing playground for services which intend to eventually be
  integrated into debian.org.
- People who use it as some sort of personal playground or personal mail
  domain or similar things. I'm not sure this should be allowed at all
  (and most people would seem to agree), but it is happening.
- As a name for a default setting in a webbrowser (default home page),
  collaboration tool (e.g., gobby could default to gobby.debian.net),
  default server for a Debian-packaged game (tetrinet.debian.net),
  download URL for installer packages in non-free (I believe
  flashplugin-nonfree uses a debian.net URL to download the flash
  plugin, but could be mistaken), or similar things.

Calling stuff in the first category in "incubation" stage would seem to
be reasonable, as would banning the second category. But I don't think
running a game server as a service to Debian users is something DSA
should do (so it's not strictly in "incubation"), nor that it should be
considered "bad" usage of the debian.net domain; and changing those to
include a DD name in the URL would require an update of a package in
stable if the person who used to maintain it is now no longer interested
in running that service, the avoidance of which probably being the main
reason why you'd want to be using a debian.net URL.

So while I do agree that there are problems with the current usage of
the debian.net domain, I'm not sure it's solved by changing the domain.

The volume of a pizza of thickness a and radius z can be described by
the following formula:

pi zz a

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