Re: Your opinion on Debian Maintainer status
On 2013-03-17 14:50, Moray Allan wrote:
On 2013-03-17 00:13, Raphael Hertzog wrote:
while reviewing the vote that introduced the Debian Maintainer
in 2007 (http://www.debian.org/vote/2007/vote_003_tally.txt) I
that Lucas voted in favor and that Moray voted against it.
Moray, why did you vote against?
I'll follow up to explain this soon, but I need to check a couple of
things, in case I'm misremembering details from 2007.
And here's the first part of the full-disclosure answer, on the
I already had a long-standing interest in how we integrate new
contributors into Debian. See for example this 2005 talk with Hanna
Wallach and Dafydd Harries:
Debian New Maintainer Process: History and Aims. DebConf5, Helsinki,
A couple of points from that talk:
- Appropriate outlook: free software
- Sufficient skills"
"NM as a citizenship process
- Clear route to becoming a full member
- NM could focus on bringing people into Debian, rather than keeping
- Building a feeling of responsibility and commitment to the Debian
project as a whole, and to the community"
I'm sure you (Raphaël) can remember some of the arguments on each side
of the GR, since you were rather a major participant in the discussion
but I'll give a summary below for others reading this.
I didn't participate in the GR discussion -- note that it happened
during DebConf7 while I was working on local arrangements for the
The point of adding this extra process wasn't clear to everyone
But arguments used in favour included:
The NM process sets too high a barrier for people who want to maintain
Getting sponsors is annoying
Not everyone wants full DD status
This was a good way to work around problems with the NM process or
though others in the "for" camp claimed this wasn't right
Arguments against included:
This was creating second-class DDs
Adding a new status was overcomplicating things
This was just an attempt to work around perceived problems with the NM
process or account creation
If we wanted to change things, we should just change the NM process
If people don't want full DD rights, they're free just not to use them
If people genuinely don't want to be associated with us, they shouldn't
be part of the project at all
If you want to go back further, there was a previous discussion
at that point things were still vague, without a detailed proposal, and
therefore the issues were a bit different though.
For my actual vote, if I recall correctly:
- I just wasn't persuaded that adding another status, rather than
modifying something about the NM process, made sense.
- I didn't see the sense in allowing people to upload freely (even for
single packages), but not making them eligible for membership
- The people proposing the GR saw it as widening access. Due to the
above two points, for me, it seemed like narrowing it. I could
understand reasons for initially putting *technical* restrictions on new
contributors, but if we reached the point of fully trusting someone with
a package (and therefore root privileges on every machine where it's
installed), and giving them a formal status in Debian, I felt that we
should already recognise them as members. Though the GR proposers said
that it was for people who would not have otherwise have had any status
at all, I was worried that the effect was to shut some formally
recognised contributors out of membership.
Therefore I was part of the about 38% of people who voted against the
curl -s http://www.debian.org/vote/2007/vote_003_tally.txt | grep -v