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Re: All candidates: Membership procedures

On Sat, Mar 21, 2009 at 11:34:57AM +0200, Lars Wirzenius wrote:
>la, 2009-03-21 kello 01:42 +0000, Steve McIntyre kirjoitti:
>> P.S. Damn, just read Zack's answer and we don't seem to differ very
>> much. Oh well... :-)
>Dear Zack McIntyre, Steve Claes, and Luk Zacchiroli,

Hi Lars Garbee!

>What's your opinion on membership procedures?
>Last year there were some rough proposals for how to change the
>membership procedures. It started with Joerg's proposal, but other
>people suggested their own kinds of changes, including me. I feel that
>my approach and Joerg's are pretty much diametrically opposed. What's
>your opinion? Do you feel the current NM process works well and almost
>always selects for the kind of people that are really great for Debian? 
>Would some other kind of process work better? What kind of membership
>process would you like to see in Debian in, say, a year from now? Please
>feel free to dream, there's no point in being too constricted by reality
>and practical considerations.

My own feelings about Debian membership are a little varied, I

At the moment, I believe that there *is* quite some benefit to the
long(-ish) current NM process in that it does help us select for
people who are likely to have the persistence to stay in Debian once
they are accepted. As a project we've been around for a long time, and
I expect that we'll also hang around for quite a long time to
come. It's good for us and our users if we have some continuity in
personnel, and people who are not going to give up, get bored and
wander off only a short time. However, I don't think we always check
enough to see how NMs interact with others and I'd be much happier to
see more of our NMs join teams and work in groups to start
with. Technical excellence is great, but if you're impossible to work
with then I don't think Debian is the right place for you.

However, to offset that, I also think that we should give clear
recognition to more of our contributors. The large groups of dedicated
documenters, translators, testers and users who help to support each
other all deserve some kudos for their efforts. How should that be
shown? I believe that giving out debian.org addresses for people who
have done a reasonable amount of work would be a good start. How much
work? Good question. :-)

In terms of the right to vote in Debian, I'm thinking that does need
to be earned by an obvious long-term commitment to the project. Maybe
a minimum count of packages uploaded, or strings translated, or web
pages written over a 1-year period would work for that.

For the rights to upload packages directly or to have logins on the
various project machines, they should also be earned. After a number
of sponsors are happy with sensible uploads, you get upload
rights. If you need access to a project machine, it's given to you
after a certain probation period.

That may sound a little incoherent, but you did ask for dreams... :-)
Overall, I'd like to see more of a continuum of privileges and duties
in the Debian project. I'm happy to see that we're ready to have some
open discussions about moving in that direction.

Steve McIntyre, Cambridge, UK.                                steve@einval.com
Welcome my son, welcome to the machine.

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