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Re: Your opinion on Debian Maintainer status

Wouter Verhelst <w@uter.be> writes:

> It is an unfortunate fact that there are occasionally people who apply
> to NM when they are not yet ready to do so. This may be because they
> underestimate what would be required, or because they overestimate their
> own abilities, or because their advocate overestimates their abilities,
> or because of any number of other reasons. When this happens, the result
> will be that the NM process of the person in question will take more
> time than is the case for the average NM process.

In this case, what we used to do is to put the applicant on hold. In
modern times, perhaps it would be wiser to talk to the applicant, and
instead of prolonging the NM process, see if he'd be interested in
becoming a DM first. With that, the applicant would temporarily leave
the queue, freeing up the AM, and would find himself in a situation
where he can have a much more pleasant pace to learn Debian's ways.

> (because if an NM process takes, let's say, two months rather than
> one, that means everyone else needs to wait a month longer than they
> would have if the process would've been fast).

Perhaps it is just me, but if an NM process looks like it is going to
take far longer than the average, then there is a problem. If there is a
problem, we should not push and proceed further at all costs (wasting AM
*and* applicant time and energy), but find a way out. If that way out
happens to be recommending the applicant to go for DM instead, and come
back later - so be it. Not everything needs to be sugar coated at all

I have failed applicants when I was an AM, and I've put others on hold
when they weren't ready. I don't see why we should not continue that
tradition, if the situation demands such measures.

> This policy therefore exists to ensure that people who apply for DD-ship
> have, in fact, some expertise in Debian work, which will make sure that
> the NM process is as quick, easy, and painless as we can make it.

I understand the intent, but I'm afraid I still find it the wrong
solution for that particular problem. I find that the practice of not
putting people who are not yet ready on hold, and not recommending them
to go for DM to learn is the reason why the DM-before-DD policy may have
happened. At least, that's the impression I get from your description.

I find that a bit backwards, personally.

> It doesn't completely fix the issue of people applying before they're
> ready; but it does make it somewhat less likely to happen. That's a
> good thing for everyone; and it also explains why occasionally the NM
> frontdesk will waive this policy for people who are 'obviously' ready
> to become a Debian Developer *now* rather than in six months: if the
> goal is to weed out the people who are not yet ready, then if someone
> *is* ready, it doesn't make sense anymore, so it's waived.

There's noone in better position than to judge an applicant's readiness
than his AM, therefore, I would emphasize that AMs do have the power to
put their applicants on hold, and recommend a different route for
them. This still wastes some AM time, but the time lost is small enough
to not cause bigger issues, I believe. On the other side of the coin,
the applicant will have a much better knowledge of what he has to learn,
where he has to improve, and what to practice, or pay attention to, as a


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