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Re: The Debian Maintainers GR

  As a matter of a fact, I agree with your mail quite fully, and people
that read me about this already won't be surprised. There is though some
bits that you address that wasn't discussed recently yet, so I'd like to
comment on them.

On Sat, Jul 28, 2007 at 01:38:02AM +0200, Joerg Jaspert wrote:
> Anyway, for this DM thing my backlog isn't the main reason that people
> feel NM is slow. It seems to be the general "I have to wait for an
> applicant and then answer to a lot of questions and between that wait
> and wait and wait".
> True. People have to wait at some points, and those waiting periods can
> be frustrating. We should do our best to eliminate those waiting places.

  Well if we look at the process, here is how it's experienced by the

  - step 1: finding an advocate.
  - step 2: waiting for an AM.
  - step 3: questions.
  - step 4: waiting for an account.

  People that wait a long time at step 1 are people that try to enter NM
before having ever tried to contribute. If they find waiting is too long
at that step, it's definitely that they are doing things in the wrong
order. I know finding a sponsor, and a DD to work with isn't always
self-evident, but still, the easy entry point here are Teams. And it's
usually _very_ easy to enter teams, unlike finding a sponsor for a pet
package, which is IMHO a Good Thing ™.

  Step 2: is not long nowadays, maybe 1 month. Well, if people can't
wait a month, then they should not help Debian-we-release-every-10-years
in the first place ;)

  Step 3: Well, it's the part where people are actually doing things so
well, I suppose it doesn't count as waiting ;p (I know there is issues
with some unresponsive AMs, but those won't have new NM assigned to them
again right ?).

  Step 4: here is IMHO the most frustrating part. For many the delay
since the AM report is over 6 months. And that's the delay we have to
work on. Here, I have a suggestion: We could in advance tell when the NM
queue will be processed. E.g. every month or 2 months. It would mean
that a deadline would exist. And as an applicant, when you _know_ that
you have at _most_ 2 months to wait, then waiting isn't _that_
frustrating, because there is light at the end of the corridor. I know
this put pressure on FD/DAM, but if the current FD/DAM staff cannot deal
with that load, then it's under-crowded.

> The other point is that of the lot of questions.  [...]
> *But* - there is also the fact that an AM is NOT forced to use the
> templates for their process.

  Here, I feel like I need to answer. I've had 3 NMs (which is few I
know), but still. 1 is now DD (hi pabs), 1 is waiting for you, the other
is gone MIA, and I should put him on hold (but he doesn't block a slot
as I don't have time for new NMs currently anyway).

  Here is what I can say: using anything else than the templates with
someone you don't know _at all_ and that does not has the same area of
interest than you is _very_ difficult.  I mean, I don't think there is a
lot of people being AM because they love it. We do it because it's vital
to have fresh blood, and we all happily help towards that goal. But the
job sucks. What I regret, is that I'm totally unable to pick some
Applicants I know a bit either because we work in a team together, or
because they are on French irc channels, or anything that makes him not
being a random Joe to me.

  With a guy I don't know, well, I go through the templates because
I don't know him. With someone I've worked with, or I know how he
behaves usually, well, I know what to ask, because I've clues about what
he already knows well, what he thinks he knows, and what he doesn't. And
my job will not be to teach him what he doesn't know, but to make sure
that he is aware of what he doesn't know, and that he knows who to ask.
_That_ is what is the most important thing for a DD. Knowing your
limits, and having clues where or who to ask for answers.

·O·  Pierre Habouzit
··O                                                madcoder@debian.org
OOO                                                http://www.madism.org

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