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Re: Your opinion on Debian Maintainer status

Gergely Nagy wrote:
> Wouter Verhelst <wouter@debian.org> writes:
>>> Arno Töll <arno@debian.org> writes:

>>>> In fact, even the wiki says "Becoming a Debian Developer: You should be
>>>> a Debian Maintainer for six months before applying to the Debian New
>>>> Member Process" [1]. That's somewhat different to the original idea of
>>>> the DM status and not really a direction we should endorse.
>> Note that, first, the NM frontdesk has always been willing to fast-track
>> someone who is "obviously" skilled (with "obviously" being vague on
>> purpose) and, second, that the DM step is not required for emeritus
>> developers returning to Debian.
> This is exactly why I think it is such a bad idea. Because it is too
> easy to make it sound like DM is a stepping stone to becoming a DD. It
> is not. It is *one* of its aspects, a useful one, but in my opinion, far
> from being the most important one.

I do not even agree that it is useful as a stepping stone.

DM privileges recognize that a contributor should not have to wait on
a DD to apply improvements within a specific domain where the DM has
shown she can be trusted.  This can be a good way for a new
contributor to become useful to the project and to make daily
maintenance less painful while waiting for recognition as a DD, sure.

With the specific goal of preparing to be a Debian Developer as
quickly as possible in mind, though, it mostly hurts:

 * Becoming a DD means gaining familiarity with how a variety of
   procedures affect the entire archive.  DM privileges create a
   temptation to work only on your own packages and not pay attention
   to others'.

 * Becoming a DD means gaining an understanding of how other
   developers work and think and how to interact with them.  DM
   privileges create a possibility of working (and contributing
   usefully!) without needing to interact with other people, and
   losing an exposure to mentors' styles and insights.

(In packaging teams like the perl team, DM status means something
different.  It is purely good there. :))

The DM process is an excellent answer to new contributors asking the
question "Why must I wait so long for my improvements to be
incorporated in Debian?"  On the other hand, I think it is a bad
answer to "I want to be a Debian Developer.  What is the first step?"


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