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Naming of non-uploading DDs (Was: GR: welcome non-packaging contributors as Debian project members)

On 15/09/10 at 12:08 +0900, Stefano Zacchiroli wrote:
> Naming                          (raised by at least Luca and Lars [8,9])
> ======
> Ah, what a mess!
> Until a few minutes before posting the GR proposal, the text contained a
> s/Debian Members/non-uploading Debian Developers/ and before that
> several more s/// have been applied on drafts. So, believe me, I fully
> understand the puzzling about the name.
> Let's make it clear that the "new role" we are introducing is not
> something different than DDs from the POV of constitution. We are just
> saying that we accept as DDs (called in the constitution both
> "developers" and "project members") people who contribute stuff other
> than packaging work. Those people will be "Debian Developer", no
> question. The problem is that in practice we will *need* a name to
> distinguish on the basis of upload rights (e.g. imagine an IRC
> conversation on the topic of "can you sponsor this upload of
> mine?"). Either we propose a name while introducing the concept, or it
> will be chosen by folklore and I don't believe that would be wise.
> In principle, nothing stops us from leaving the name out of the GR and
> leave up to DAM to select one, as suggested by Luca [8]. The advantage
> of that is we will not tie our hands with a specific name. The drawback
> is that, will start to talk about the new role anyhow, without waiting
> for a proper name blessing. Considering all of the above, I thought that
> going for "Debian Contributor" was the better solution.
> If there is consensus in leaving the name out of the GR, I can apply
> back the above substitution. I consider that as something that "do not
> alter the meaning" of the GR and is hence something I can do without
> much disruption.

If we go for DDs without upload rights, I think that we should be
extremely careful about not transforming this new kind of DDs into second-class
members of the project. A way to do that is to avoid giving them a name,
and emphasize the fact that they are DDs, not another sub-kind of
project members. The "no upload rights" part would just be a minor
technical distinction.

Another way to put it is, imagine you are a DC, and are writing your CV.
What should you write about your status in Debian? "Debian Contributor"?
"Debian Developer"? If we create the "Debian Contributor" term, then I'm
sure that for many DCs, it will be difficult to write "Debian Developer"
there (Imposter Syndrome, etc), even if that's what should really be
written, since their contributions to Debian are not less important than
those of other DDs.

Just leaving it up to DAM to choose a term would not be enough to avoid
that. IMHO, DDs without upload rights should not have any sexy name, and
the distinction between them and DDs with upload rights should only be
made where it's necessary.

I don't think that the IRC conversation example you gave is a convincing
one. It wouldn't hurt much to write "I'm a DD without upload rights"
instead of "I'm a Debian Contributor" (it's only 6 characters more!).

 - Lucas

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