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Re: Recruiting volunteers - or, why should I become a DD?

umm, to put it basically, you dont have to be a DD to maintain a package, but if you do maintain a package, being a DD makes it easier. being a DD also entails that you're trusted with the security of every machine that runs debian, so it has to be a relativey complete process, as the trustworthyness of debian is dependent on the trustworthyness of DDs. 

I think i need to reiterate, if you want to contribute to debian, you dont need to be a DD. I maintain (not amzingly well ;-) ) libgnomeprint and libgnomeprintui, and started before i even had a signed GPG key. I have applied to be a DD as i have to ask other people to upload my packages (and build them, and check my changes) and I'd prefer to be able to gain the trust to do this myself. Thats about it. I guess it'd also be nice to know if my knowledge is up to scratch and i look forward to learning what i need to learn, if i need to learn anything =) 

I hope that makes things a little clearer. I think some of the confusion around the NM process comes from people thinking that it taking a long time means that its lots of work. In reality if you know your stuff it should be very little work, and really you should learn your stuff by doing some packaging *before* entering NM. I *do* think that theres a lot of scope for providing spaces where pre-NM (/during-NM) work can be done - alioth has helped a lot with this, and gnome-team is a great example (for example I started off the packaging of gtk-2.4  completely unknown on the basis of a couple of emails to gtk-gnome-devel). I'd hope that the debian-women aloth project can be used to help women learn the ropes, so to speak. (no i dont think that would be discriminatory - after all the gnome-team repository is only used for gnome packages ...)

Rob Taylor

On Thu, 5 Aug 2004 00:42:42 +0200
Almut Behrens <almut-behrens@gmx.net> wrote:

> Hi everyone,
> I guess I'm probably going to get beaten from all sides, get accused
> of being a troll, or simply be ignored, for this attitude of mine.
> So, if it helps, let me mention up front that I do not intend to offend
> anyone, even if my wording may sound a little provocative at times.
> It's just that all this talk here about the hassles of becoming a DD
> has made me wonder about some fundamental principles of recruiting
> people to do voluntary work.
> Personally, I'm still in the phase of not even knowing myself whether
> I in fact would want to become a DD -- independently of whether my
> skills, knowledge and general aptitude would be considered sufficient. 
> The essential questions for me are:  What will I be able to do then,
> that I can't do now?  Why is it made difficult to contribute at all?
> Is it really all about trustworthyness?
> To me, the process has some resemblance to becoming a member of some
> freemasonry lodge or other secret society, where you can only get in
> if you are being recommended/advocated/initiated by someone who already
> is a member of the club.  The main difference being, that there I can
> see a number of reasons why people would want to become a member in the
> first place.
> So, what is it that's so attractive for people to want to become a DD? 
> Sure, there are some psychological aspects (ego boost, or some such),
> but it can't be just that. Of course, it feels good to show off to your
> geek friends with a shiny @debian.org addy, unquestionably implying
> that you managed to be accepted and got the accolade by the Grand Club.
> But what else is it?
> Frankly speaking, I personally don't care much about status symbols.
> So why should I take the trouble (= time, work and other efforts) to
> apply for a DD account and go through the NM process?  What would that
> give me in return?   In other words, if I consider something too much
> inconvenience, and there's nothing of sufficient personal value to be
> expected in return, I just won't do it. Period.  That's basic
> motivational psychology.  Maybe I'm not representative of geeks in
> general, but I'll have to confess my little mind occasionally works by
> such simple principles.
> Don't get me wrong. I'm generally very fond of the Debian Project as a
> whole, and I've undoubtedly taken advantage of the hard work that other
> people have put into it.  So, just out of a sense of fairness, I
> wouldn't mind giving something back to the community -- after all,
> that's my understanding of how the F/OSS community works.
> OTOH, there are limits to my motivation to share and do voluntary work.
> Call me egoistic, but I don't really see the point in "going through"
> some long-winded process of becoming known, accepted and trusted, and
> whatever other prerequisites are required...  To finally be allowed to
> do work for free??  Hmm thanks, I've got plenty of other interests and
> hobbies to pursue, and I already do not have enough time for those.
> No doubt, Debian will certainly survive without me, but so will I
> without being a DD.  Just in case there are more people like me, aren't
> we unnecessarily losing potential contributors by making some steps
> harder than absolutely required?
> (Mind you, I'm not saying I'd have immensely valuable stuff to offer,
> at least not at the moment -- but maybe others have...)
> Okay, I have to admit seeing quite a number of people actually going to
> the trouble of applying... So, there's obvious empirical evidence that
> not everyone is thinking like me.  But maybe there would be a few more
> people (both women and men) willing to donate some of their spare time,
> work and abilities, if they weren't discouraged in one way or another.
> So, why selectively cater for only those geeks with the appropriate
> mindset and motivational disposition to join the please-let-me-in game?
> Just tell me that I'm way off beat and my perception of things is
> entirely skewed... and I'll shut up.
> Almut
> (getting out her old-n-dusty asbestos suit, just as a precaution :)
> -- 
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