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Re: Surveying new package maintainers about their experience of contributing to Debian

On Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 9:41 AM, Simon Chopin <chopin.simon@gmail.com> wrote:
Quoting Joseph R. Justice (2013-07-19 02:09:59)
> Now, the survey as I've seen it (both the original draft and draft 2 following
> Gregor Herrmann's comments) appears to be focused primarily if not exclusively
> on people doing packaging work.  And, as I've already noted, it might be too
> big a goal to try to address non-packaging work, at least at this moment and/or
> in this survey.  (And also you probably need to figure out what sorts of
> non-packaging contributions typically occur; different types of contribution
> might call for different surveys and/or at least different questions.)  It
> might spread the focus of the survey too thinly such that it is less helpful
> than it could potentially be.

While I fully agree that it would be nice to acknowledge more the
non-packaging work done for Debian, there is a simple reason as to why
this survey is mainly about the packaging work: the data used to get the
names of the survey targets is the history of package uploads to Debian.

The fact is, I don't think we have much to track non-packaging
contributions and contributors in the first place. Before considering
adressing them the same kind of survey, we would probably need a way to
identify them.

Precisely.  I fully agree that there is (probably) not much to track non-packaging contributions and contributors in most cases (I acknowledge Andrei Popescu's comment about how to find translators).  I fully agree that finding a good way to identify non-packaging contributors (and even before that identifying and categorizing the various types of non-packaging contributions that are even possible to be made!) would be needed before trying to survey them could be done.

I'm just saying that, more, that IIRC in the past non-packaging contributors had a defacto if not de jure second-class status within the Debian Project.  (As evidence of this, I point to http://www.debian.org/vote/2010/vote_002 - "General Resolution: Debian project members".  Presumably this would not have been seen as needed if non-packaging contributors were already considered to have a first-class status within Debian.)  However, efforts have been made and are continuing to be made to remedy this situation (again, I point to vote/2010/vote_002).

Now, I would not want the survey proposed by Lucas Nussbaum, which again I fully think is a desirable thing to do and support, to adversely affect the efforts being made to remedy the status within Debian of non-packaging contributors.  And, I do think it is not feasible for several reasons (including not least the reason you mention above) to try to address non-packaging contributors or things impeding their efforts in this survey (other than, perhaps, to suggest that if the surveyed packaging contributors have also made non-packaging contributions and wish to comment on their non-packaging contributions and on things that have enhanced or impeded those contributions that they are welcome to do so).

However, I also think it's important for the survey to at least acknowledge in its prelude that there are other ways to contribute besides packaging work, and that Debian does desire to and intends in the future to improve the way that non-packaging contributors can provide their efforts to Debian, even though _this_ survey is focused on new packaging contributors and their packaging contributions.  Otherwise, I fear that the survey might, at least indirectly, adversely affect the efforts being made towards improving the status of non-packaging contributors, if only because of the lack of mention and acknowledgement of non-packaging contributors and their contributions to Debian.  It seems to me that things which are not spoken of or given at least lip service are deemed as being of less importance than things which _are_ spoken of or even given efforts to.

Thanks for giving me some of your time by reading this message.  I hope it's been of some use and/or interest to you.  Be well, do good things.


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