Membership structures in Debian and Ubuntu
Aug 19, 2010, 23:02 (1 Talkback[s])
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"Debian and Ubuntu have a set of official membership roles that
can be granted to regular contributors. Those roles come with
rights that enable the contributors to do their work and to
participate in the project governance (elections and other official
decision-making processes). It's also a way for the distributions
to acknowledge the work done: most contributors are proud of the
status they reached.
"The membership structure plays an important role in the
development of a distribution: it defines the kind of contributors
that are welcome in the project, it sets expectations of the
project towards its contributors and defines their rights. In the
end, this shapes the project's ability to recruit new contributors
to keep the project alive and kicking. This article introduces the
existing statuses in Debian and Ubuntu, and defines the —
sometimes confusing — jargon associated with them.
"The Debian case
"Debian only has two types of official members: Debian
Developers (DD) and Debian Maintainers (DM). The rights of the
developers are codified in the Debian Constitution while those of
the maintainers have been defined in a general resolution of 2007.
The Debian Maintainer status is still mostly documented in a wiki
page. The integration of this new status in Debian's official
processes has been slow to come largely because it was introduced
— at that time — without enough negotiation with the
involved parties. Nowadays, it is preferred that people get the DM
status before applying for DD."