"Linux distributions don't simply appear on mirrors and
BitTorrent networks fully formed. A great deal of work goes on
behind the scenes before a release sees the light of day. Linux
users who aren't involved in the production of a Linux distribution
may not fully appreciate all of that work. Take, for example, the
work done by Debian's ftpmasters team.
"While it's obvious, or should be, that someone has to actually
create the packages that go into Debian and one assumes that there
is Quality Assurance (QA) and so forth, the ftpmasters team is
largely invisible to users. This was highlighted recently by Joerg
Jaspert's call for new volunteers for the ftpmaster team.
"The essence of the job is maintaining the Debian archive,
accepting new packages (NEW), maintaining the scripts for
processing incoming packages, and pulling packages when asked by
QA, among other things. The ftpmasters also move packages from
testing to stable when the time comes, though the decision to do
this is made by the release managers team. The canonical
description of the ftpmaster job is more detailed (unfortunately
ftpmaster.debian.org was down at the time this article was
written), but the basic gist is that the team deals with new
packages and keeps the archive going."
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