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My adventures with NM - part 4 (P&P)

Hi All,

So here I am on holiday and I'm thinking about Debian
stuff.  That is probably a real worry...

Anyway, I got to the internet cafe tonight to discover
that I'm done with the P&P part of the NM process.  So
that's good news for me :)

The way it worked was that about a month ago my
application manager sent me a long list of about 30
questions on Debian Philosophy and Practises (P&P)to
answer.  They were similar to the questions in the
templates [1] but not entirely the same.  I'd already
looked at the templates, so I had a good idea what to
expect, and that was fine.  

My P&P questions started with the necessary stuff
about understanding the Debian Social Contratct and
the DFSG (Debian Free Software Guidelines) [1].   Then
they moved on to some fairly difficult questions about
licensing issues.  Then there were a long string of
questions about details of the normal Debian practises
for things like handling bug reports, non-maintainer
uploads, internationalisation of packages and so on.  

It took me a few hours on 3 or 4 successive nights to
get all the answers to the questions done.  It was
quite hard and basically boring work, calling for much
tracking down of details from the Developers Reference
[3] and other reference information on the website.  I
was confused about a few details in some of the
questions, so I asked a couple of Debian Developers
that I know to give me a hint on where to find the
relevant information, or to explain to me more clearly
what the question was asking.  

When I was finished, I sent my answers back to my AM. 
I did not envy him one bit for having to read the
pages and pages that I had written in my answers.  But
he evidently found the time over the next couple of
weeks, and responded with some discussion of things I
got wrong, or where my answers were correct but missed
a detail.  So I had to go over some of the material
again.  Apparently this is fairly normal, so I wasn't
worried about it, though I can think of more amusing
ways to spend an evening :)  I think my AM is being
pretty thorough - I could say obsessive, but I won't
;) - in his attention to detail with some of these
things.  No doubt I will later appreciate that is it's
good for me to have had to reread the tricky license
statements to find yet more things that were wrong
with them, etc...

In the end it seems my second set of answers closed
all the holes in the first set, and I have now passed
the P&P part of the NM process.  It is still not scary
:)   (Actually it gets less scary the more familiar I
am becoming with all this Debian stuff.)  My
impression is that the P&P stage is basically more
boring than actually difficult.  I guess that is
probably unavoidable, and it's definitely a good way
to get people to read lots of the available reference
material.  The most interesting thing I have learned
about, that I didn't know much about before, is how
localisation and internationalisation of packages is
handled.  I am glad to know more about that stuff.  I
appreciate very much the effort my AM is putting into
being helpful and friendly - it really makes this
process easier and more enjoyable than it would
otherwise be.  

The next stages of my NM process are the Tasks and
Skills questions, and dealing with my AM's review of
my packages.  I already have a set of T&S questions to
answer, but I'm not going to look at them now,
because, as I mentioned, I'm on holiday :)  So I'm off
to enjoy the wonders of Ancient Greece and quit
thinking about Debian stuff...

Helen :)

PS.  Anyone interested in the NM process should take a
look in the New Maintainer's corner [4].  It's also
worth being aware that there are lots of ways to
become involved with Debian other than maintaining
packages.  Translators, document writers and other
contributors are also wanted.

2. http://www.debian.org/social_contract
3. http://www.debian.org/doc/developers-reference/
4. http://www.debian.org/devel/join/newmaint

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