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Re: Question for all candidates: Care of Core infrastructure

On Mon, Mar 15, 2010 at 11:30:39AM +0100, Marc Haber wrote:
> Do you see the diminishing care for our Core infrastructure as a
> problem? Do you have any idea how do sensibilize our new blood for the
> fact that "new packages" doesn't help Debian if our Core stuff is
> diminishing? I know that this is not exactly within the power of the
> DPL, but do you think that you, as DPL, can help speeding up Core
> development again?

I'm a bit more "pessimistic" than you when looking at the past: this is
a problem which has more or less always plagued Debian, at least while
I've been around. A lot of QA activities are for instance concerned with
getting rid of "yet another package with a popcon of 5".  If the lack of
manpower in the core infrastructure looks more acute these days, it is
probably because the overall amount of Debian manpower is lowering
(which is worrisome per se).

I agree that there is no silver bullet in DPL hands to fix that, and I
surely agree that in most cases the problem do not lay in teams not
accepting members [1].

Something I'd like to try if elected DPL is to keep a list of teams "in
need of help" [2]. Then, periodically and at worst in my monthly "bits
from ..." posts, I intend to have a section which kind of makes a "focus
on" the specific team which is looking for new people. It is probably
nothing and won't change much, but it is a worthwhile attempt.

I also consider a responsibility of the DPL to prod specific people to
join core teams which are understaffed, as I believe has pretty much
always happened with past DPLs, but that can be no more than
invitations, in agreement with the involved team. (And no, that's no
excuse to lack transparent join rules for the team, it is just a way to
have "team staffing" going in both directions: passive and active.)


[1] ... and when I see young, motivated, and very active DDs entering
    core teams as it happened in the past years in teams like release
    and ftp masters, I'm *very* delighted.

[2] yes, that list probably equates the overall list of Debian teams,
    but managing priorities is something a DPL is expected to do, right?

Stefano Zacchiroli -o- PhD in Computer Science \ PostDoc @ Univ. Paris 7
zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} -<>- http://upsilon.cc/zack/
Dietro un grande uomo c'è ..|  .  |. Et ne m'en veux pas si je te tutoie
sempre uno zaino ...........| ..: |.... Je dis tu à tous ceux que j'aime

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