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Old 05-20-2011, 02:23 AM
Paul Wise
 
Default Sponsorship in Debian ( Ubuntu-originated packages in Debian ( ubuntu keyring?))

The situation with sponsoring in Debian is not specific to packages
from derivatives. Lets move the discussion about how it could be
improved to debian-devel, please reply there. For those not subscribed
to the debian-derivatives list, here is the mail that started the
thread:

http://lists.debian.org/20110519114617.GH7617@alcor.net
http://lists.debian.org/debian-derivatives/2011/05/threads.html#00027

Here are some things that people interested in helping improve the
situation could do:

Participate on -mentors with reviewing packages. Anyone and everyone
can do this.

Encourage people to use the "Debian Maintainer" status more. Encourage
people who are clearly clueful to join Debian via the "New Maintainer"
process.

Chose a specific person to mentor, review their packages, educate them
about Debian, upload their packages when ready and encourage them join
DM/NM. Rinse, repeat.

Promote sponsorship amongst Debian uploading members. Blog about
positive sponsorship experiences you've had. This is probably a very
important thing to do.

Join the Debian new maintainer process as an application manager.
Promote being an application manager amongst Debian members. Blog
about your experience. The sooner someone is an uploading member of
Debian, the sooner they can sponsor someone else.

Write a sponsor-alert/mentors-alert script for devscripts that could
be used by people interested in sponsoring:

http://bugs.debian.org/552277

Help out with the debexpo project which aims to refresh the
mentors.d.n code and implement some of the ideas generated a while ago
that could be used to streamline the flow of packages into Debian.
Mainly this is about matching the interests of sponsors with packages
produced by people who are not (yet) able to upload and also
automating as much of the review process as possible. Kinda like the
RFP tag idea from the thread on -derivatives but much larger in scope:

http://wiki.debian.org/Debexpo
http://wiki.debian.org/DebianMentorsNet

If you are part of a team, get a PET instance installed and regularly
look at and work on the "Ready for upload" section:

http://pet.alioth.debian.org/

Contribute to the documentation about sponsorship that we have available:

http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/developers-reference/beyond-pkging.html#newmaint
http://wiki.debian.org/DebianMentorsFaq
http://wiki.debian.org/SponsorChecklist

Attend Asheesh Laroia's talk and David Bremner's BoF at DebConf11 on
these topics.

--
bye,
pabs

http://wiki.debian.org/PaulWise


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Old 05-20-2011, 05:28 AM
Lucas Nussbaum
 
Default Sponsorship in Debian ( Ubuntu-originated packages in Debian ( ubuntu keyring?))

On 20/05/11 at 10:23 +0800, Paul Wise wrote:
> Chose a specific person to mentor, review their packages, educate them
> about Debian, upload their packages when ready and encourage them join
> DM/NM. Rinse, repeat.

I think that one clear message to send to new contributors is that they
should look for teams that could be interested in the software they are
packaging. Maybe it would also make sense to redirect new contributors
from -mentors@ to the appropriate team, because there's not many good
reasons for a new contributors to package something on his own when
there's an active team.

Btw, UDD has a page with a ranking of sponsors:
http://udd.debian.org/cgi-bin/sponsorstats.cgi

Lucas


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Old 05-20-2011, 08:40 AM
Arno Töll
 
Default Sponsorship in Debian ( Ubuntu-originated packages in Debian ( ubuntu keyring?))

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

Hi Paul,

while I largely agree with the all other things you mentioned, I have
one thing to add here:

On 20.05.2011 04:23, Paul Wise wrote:
> Chose a specific person to mentor, review their packages, educate them
> about Debian, upload their packages when ready and encourage them join
> DM/NM. Rinse, repeat.

This is currently more like an ideal rather than the current practice. I
admit, I can't judge from others perspective, i.e. I can't know what
other DDs do I didn't meet (so far), but from my experience the sponsor
process is tenacious and frustrating for the sponsoree.

While the idea you mentioned is really good in theory, it lacks DDs
having time and interest to mentor a given person over time. From my
experience it is really complicated to get your packages, bug fixes and
updates into the archive and this is not because lack of quality (I'd
hope) but because of people actually having upload capabilities are
short of time, otherwise busy or not particularly interested to sponsor
packages they don't care for (which is fair enough, I wouldn't neither).

So from my experience, in reality you need to seek a new sponsor for
every upload you want to get into the archive and this takes a lot of
time and patience. For example I'm currently waiting and seeking since
over a month to get a RC bug fix and upstream update into unstable until
Asheesh signaled interest to help me recently.

This is also a challenge for the DM/DD application process for a
candidate, as certainly no one has a comprehensive overview about the
prospective maintainer and would advocate him some day since most DDs
know the candidate from a single upload only or so.

Again, I admit I don't have a comprehensive overview to cover this topic
in depth and from every perspective (but mine), but as far as I follow
debian-mentors in both IRC and mailing list, many people share a similar
experience. There definitively is room for improvements.

- --
with kind regards,
Arno Töll
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Old 05-20-2011, 09:22 AM
Neil Williams
 
Default Sponsorship in Debian ( Ubuntu-originated packages in Debian ( ubuntu keyring?))

On Fri, 20 May 2011 10:40:09 +0200
Arno Töll <debian@toell.net> wrote:

> while I largely agree with the all other things you mentioned, I have
> one thing to add here:
>
> On 20.05.2011 04:23, Paul Wise wrote:
> > Chose a specific person to mentor, review their packages, educate them
> > about Debian, upload their packages when ready and encourage them join
> > DM/NM. Rinse, repeat.
>
> This is currently more like an ideal rather than the current practice. I
> admit, I can't judge from others perspective, i.e. I can't know what
> other DDs do I didn't meet (so far), but from my experience the sponsor
> process is tenacious and frustrating for the sponsoree.

It's also very frustrating for the sponsor and the hassle involved in
filtering out some truly abysmal packaging efforts from the list of
sponsorship requests is one reason why I have not returned to
sponsoring after an enforced break some time ago.

There really is no point asking for a sponsor until the package is
ready for upload and that means lintian clean, fixes obvious bugs
listed in the BTS, pbuilder compliant and something which is useful to
the rest of Debian (i.e. not your pet upstream one-user project).

Honestly, I feel that Debian can do without the majority of NEW packages
awaiting sponsoring - I'd only really be interested in sponsoring
ITA bugs, not ITP and for packages with a maintainer, the sponsoring /
upload needs to happen with that maintainer or that team.

If the ITP started out as an RFP (which largely get ignored otherwise)
filed by someone unconnected with the maintainer then at least there
may be some merit in the NEW package but otherwise....

> While the idea you mentioned is really good in theory, it lacks DDs
> having time and interest to mentor a given person over time.

which goes two ways - it is just as demotivating for the DD.

> So from my experience, in reality you need to seek a new sponsor for
> every upload you want to get into the archive and this takes a lot of
> time and patience.

That is counter-productive. Sponsorship can be package-specific in that
one DD sponsors a group of packages but the same maintainer works with
multiple sponsors for a wider range of packages. However, there does
need to be a relationship between the DD and the maintainer otherwise
the whole thing breaks down.

Fly-by sponsoring is *not* helpful to Debian.

> This is also a challenge for the DM/DD application process for a
> candidate, as certainly no one has a comprehensive overview about the
> prospective maintainer and would advocate him some day since most DDs
> know the candidate from a single upload only or so.

In which case, sponsoring in Debian is simply broken IMHO.

I won't return to sponsoring until I am reasonably confident that I can
allocate enough time to a particular set of packages and their
maintainer(s) to get each of those maintainers through NM (or DM but
I'm less keen on DM personally).

If the maintainer isn't interested in becoming a DD or DM, then Debian
shouldn't be interested in sponsoring packages for that "maintainer".

IMHO sponsoring is a long term responsibility for DD's - a means to
get more people through NM, not a means to get more rubbish packages
into the archive which the QA team will eventually need to remove.

The emphasis of sponsoring seems wrong to me currently - it is *not
about the packages*, it should be about the people.

--


Neil Williams
=============
http://www.linux.codehelp.co.uk/
 
Old 05-20-2011, 10:01 AM
Jonas Smedegaard
 
Default Sponsorship in Debian ( Ubuntu-originated packages in Debian ( ubuntu keyring?))

On 11-05-20 at 10:22am, Neil Williams wrote:
> Fly-by sponsoring is *not* helpful to Debian.

I wholeheartedly agree.

...and non-fly-by sponsoring is what I instead call teamwork:

Personally I don't do sponsoring, but instead encourage teamwork.

And just as importantly: I insist on _calling_ it teamwork and not
sponsoring - even in the cases where no existing team is found suitable
and we end up forming a new tiny team (which some might argue is a
disquised sponsorship relationship). Id addition to promoting the
concept of teamwork, I believe it encouaging team _spirit_ as well.


- Jonas

--
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* Tlf.: +45 40843136 Website: http://dr.jones.dk/

[x] quote me freely [ ] ask before reusing [ ] keep private
 
Old 05-20-2011, 10:12 AM
Charles Plessy
 
Default Sponsorship in Debian ( Ubuntu-originated packages in Debian ( ubuntu keyring?))

Le Fri, May 20, 2011 at 10:23:42AM +0800, Paul Wise a écrit :
>
> Help out with the debexpo project which aims to refresh the
> mentors.d.n code and implement some of the ideas generated a while ago
> that could be used to streamline the flow of packages into Debian.

Dear Paul and everybody,

in the meantime or in addition, the BTS could be used to track the requests for
upload and the package reviews. Here is a simple proposal that combines this
plus a an approach based on mutual reviews.

http://wiki.debian.org/PackageReview

Have a nice week-end,

--
Charles Plessy
Tsurumi, Kanagawa, Japan


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Old 05-20-2011, 12:29 PM
Neil Williams
 
Default Sponsorship in Debian ( Ubuntu-originated packages in Debian ( ubuntu keyring?))

On Fri, 20 May 2011 12:01:43 +0200
Jonas Smedegaard <dr@jones.dk> wrote:

> On 11-05-20 at 10:22am, Neil Williams wrote:
> > Fly-by sponsoring is *not* helpful to Debian.
>
> I wholeheartedly agree.
>
> ...and non-fly-by sponsoring is what I instead call teamwork:
>
> Personally I don't do sponsoring, but instead encourage teamwork.
>
> And just as importantly: I insist on _calling_ it teamwork and not
> sponsoring - even in the cases where no existing team is found suitable
> and we end up forming a new tiny team (which some might argue is a
> disquised sponsorship relationship). Id addition to promoting the
> concept of teamwork, I believe it encouaging team _spirit_ as well.

Actually, that's a really good idea.

I may decide never to sponsor again but I'm always open to some
teamwork, particularly as teamwork expresses the requirement that the
team gets along with each other and the need for a longer term
arrangement.

--


Neil Williams
=============
http://www.linux.codehelp.co.uk/
 
Old 05-20-2011, 02:44 PM
Arno Töll
 
Default Sponsorship in Debian ( Ubuntu-originated packages in Debian ( ubuntu keyring?))

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

Hi Neil (and Piotr who said similar things),

On 20.05.2011 11:22, Neil Williams wrote:
> It's also very frustrating for the sponsor and the hassle involved in
> filtering out some truly abysmal packaging efforts from the list of
> sponsorship requests is one reason why I have not returned to
> sponsoring after an enforced break some time ago.

I know. I review packages myself (although my opinion as non-DD is not
necessarily effectual). I'm absolutely with you, if you claim some
packages are not worth to be considered to be sponsored while being in
such a bad shape.

Problem is, there /are/ some packages which are of good quality and
there /are/ people willing to help Debian as prospective developers, but
they are scared off sooner or later, because they get no resonance for
their efforts as no one cares and you slowly starvate their efforts.

The whole point is to find a procedure to help those people and still
prevent DDs to be overwhelmed by people whom didn't ever read policy.
This is where things have to improve as this would be a win-win
situation for both parties.

> There really is no point asking for a sponsor until the package is
> ready for upload and that means lintian clean, fixes obvious bugs
> listed in the BTS, pbuilder compliant and something which is useful to
> the rest of Debian (i.e. not your pet upstream one-user project).

True. On the other hand debian-mentors is and should be a place where it
is allowed to make mistakes. You can't expect everyone to be born as
Debian developer knowing everything.

You should neither expect from your sponsoree to make no mistakes at
all. This is, what your role as mentor is for: To assist people, being
new to Debian and help them once they are caught in pitfalls you can
help to come over.

However this isn't such a problem in reality. There /are/ experienced
people willing to help for packaging/technical questions. Just take a
look on d-mentors in IRC or mailing list, and you will see, there is
hardly a technical question remaining unanswered. This /does/ change as
soon as you ask for sponsoring where you have good chances not to get
any reaction at all, regardless the quality of your package.


> Honestly, I feel that Debian can do without the majority of NEW packages
> awaiting sponsoring - I'd only really be interested in sponsoring
> ITA bugs, not ITP and for packages with a maintainer, the sponsoring /
> upload needs to happen with that maintainer or that team.

Fair enough. On the other hand we are all volunteers and therefore we
all help, where we do care for. Its not about taking over a package for
the sake of being advocated one day, but because you love to work on a
given package you do use daily (ideally).

> which goes two ways - it is just as demotivating for the DD.

Again, fair enough. Bug again: You can't expect to get more helping
hands for Debian as a whole if you scare people off by not giving them a
chance though. Of course not everyone deserves a chance (yet?), but that
should be communicated to prospective maintainers as early as possible.

Its just not fair writing on the Wiki or on similar places about the
sponsoring procedure, encouraging people to read _a lot_ of
documentation (New Maintainer's guide, policy, developer reference,
dozens of resources in the Wiki, ...), letting them work for weeks on
their package(s) and then just ignore them, regardless of their quality
of work, just because DDs made bad experiences with other, totally
unrelated candidates.

I'm absolutely with you if you tell me, not everyone deserves this
attention, but for the sake of Debians philosophy you should really make
sure, you don't scare off people whom do.

> Fly-by sponsoring is *not* helpful to Debian.

True. It neither does for the candidate.

What are alternatives though, if no one else feels sympathy for your
problems and your former sponsors don't react? Again, my case: I'd love
to improve my package's quality (i.e. upload new upstream releases, fix
bugs, port new architectures), in fact I did all of that. I just can't
spread my improvements, as I can't upload, so I spend my time updating
my package on mentors /while/ being in seek for sponsors and waiting to
someone pushing it to the archive.

> I won't return to sponsoring until I am reasonably confident that I can
> allocate enough time to a particular set of packages and their
> maintainer(s) to get each of those maintainers through NM (or DM but
> I'm less keen on DM personally).

Unfortunately this is what most DDs seem to think.

> If the maintainer isn't interested in becoming a DD or DM, then Debian
> shouldn't be interested in sponsoring packages for that "maintainer".

I agree. In fact I proposed to start DM application by the day one is
seeking for a sponsor (i.e. he files a RFS). This didn't find a larger
audience though so I threw away my idea.

I would be even fine if you would /require/ a prospective developer to
proof his skills before being allowed to file an ITA/ITP (e.g. similar
to the NM process).

> The emphasis of sponsoring seems wrong to me currently - it is *not
> about the packages*, it should be about the people.

Partly true. Its about the people /and/ its about the packages they care
for. You would perhaps neither invest so much love in packages you don't
care for, and Debian most likely does not need DDs who just love to see
the "DD" in front of their name. Its more about people being
enthusiastic to help Debian for things they /do/ care, and if that's
some random Gnome theme, for god's sake, let them do if they obey all
rules (and I personally /don't/ think one needs to package every theme).

- --
with kind regards,
Arno Töll
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Old 05-20-2011, 03:06 PM
Jonas Smedegaard
 
Default Sponsorship in Debian ( Ubuntu-originated packages in Debian ( ubuntu keyring?))

Hi Arno,

On 11-05-20 at 04:44pm, Arno Töll wrote:
> On 20.05.2011 11:22, Neil Williams wrote:
> > Fly-by sponsoring is *not* helpful to Debian.
>
> True. It neither does for the candidate.
>
> What are alternatives though, if no one else feels sympathy for your
> problems and your former sponsors don't react? Again, my case: I'd
> love to improve my package's quality (i.e. upload new upstream
> releases, fix bugs, port new architectures), in fact I did all of
> that. I just can't spread my improvements, as I can't upload, so I
> spend my time updating my package on mentors /while/ being in seek for
> sponsors and waiting to someone pushing it to the archive.

An alternative is to seek team members rather than mentors. Only one
team member in each team needs to have upload rights.

I imagine mentors would not mind help out teams as well as individuals
if that one person in the team with upload rights happen to not be very
good (pedagogically or time-wise or whatever) at mentoring as well.

Think "teams" instead of "sponsorship" - it helps all involved move the
focus from "getting approved" to the essential "maintain".


Kind regards,

- Jonas

--
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* Tlf.: +45 40843136 Website: http://dr.jones.dk/

[x] quote me freely [ ] ask before reusing [ ] keep private
 
Old 05-20-2011, 03:42 PM
Joey Hess
 
Default Sponsorship in Debian ( Ubuntu-originated packages in Debian ( ubuntu keyring?))

Arno Töll wrote:
> What are alternatives though, if no one else feels sympathy for your
> problems and your former sponsors don't react? Again, my case: I'd love
> to improve my package's quality (i.e. upload new upstream releases, fix
> bugs, port new architectures), in fact I did all of that. I just can't
> spread my improvements, as I can't upload, so I spend my time updating
> my package on mentors /while/ being in seek for sponsors and waiting to
> someone pushing it to the archive.

You appear to be a perfectly fine candidate to be a DM; you have
actively maintained packages in the archive; you are actively
involved with and sending improvements upstream; your package
is well put together[1].

When I was maintaining the DM keyring, I would not hesitate to add
someone like you to it, as long as they had the required DD signature of
their gpg key. (I can't find your key on the keyservers to check it.)

Could it be that the DM process has accreted enough baggage that it is
putting off contributors like yourself? I see in the wiki page
http://wiki.debian.org/DebianMaintainer some quite strongly worded
discouraging language[2], although it's not very clear if that is
wikicruft or normative requirements. This would not be too surprising;
presumably the same forces act on the DM process that act on the NM
process.

> > I won't return to sponsoring until I am reasonably confident that I can
> > allocate enough time to a particular set of packages and their
> > maintainer(s) to get each of those maintainers through NM (or DM but
> > I'm less keen on DM personally).
>
> Unfortunately this is what most DDs seem to think.

Personally, I'm much more interested in sponsoring people whose packages
have DM-Upload-Allowed; I prefer not to set up a cycle of busywork for
myself.

--
see shy jo

[1] Although the comment in xndb debian/rules about DH_OPTIONS
needing to be exported seems wrong AFAICS.
[2] > is there something special the candidate has done, or is it that
> whatever the candidate is working on is particularly important, or is
> the candidate remarkably consistent, or what?

> What has the candidate actually done that has earned your trust?
> What makes the candidate special compared to the other folks who are
> helping Debian? What in particular about the candidate's work should
> people lurking on the Debian lists be trying to emulate if they want
> to be a Debian Maintainer or a Debian Developer?

> has the candidate been particularly helpful supporting users?

This is a long way from the originally voted on requirement that a DM
be "technically competent and good to work with".
 

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