Mini-HOWTO for Debian New Members Application Managers
Note: The AM Tutorial wiki page is more up to date than this page.
Documentation and Infrastructure for Application Managers
The basic information needed by Application Manager is provided here, in the New Members Corner. Start to look around until you're familiar with the process and all requirements for Applicants.
There are three important mail addresses for Application Managers:
- The New Member mailing list: firstname.lastname@example.org
- This mailing list covers all aspects of the New Member process and is used by the New Member group (Front Desk, Application Managers, Debian Account Manager) and others to discuss administrative issues and the New Member process. If you have any questions regarding the NM process, you can ask for help there. Please note that the list is archived publicly, so questions of a highly personal nature shouldn't be discussed there. Instead, you can ask the Front Desk privately.
- New Member Front Desk: email@example.com
- This is where the initial applications, advocation messages and final application reports get sent. Any personal questions about individual applications which are inappropriate for a public forum should be directed here as well.
- Debian Account Managers (DAMs): firstname.lastname@example.org
- Normally, this address is only important to submit the final application report. The DAMs are responsible for creating new accounts on the Debian machines and adding New Members' OpenPGP keys to the keyring. They also get to make the final decision on each application, as the official New Member delegates of the Debian Project Leader.
The coordination of the NM process happens on https://nm.debian.org/, where a website provides an interface to a database containing all important information about NM applications. Applicants can use the site to track their application status and Application Managers can use it to organize their work.
As Application Manager, you can log in over a secure https connection, but please note that the password used on nm.debian.org is not the one used for your normal Debian account (unless you change them to match, but that's your business). You can record what you have done with an Applicant and how many applicants you want to process at the same time.
To put someone on hold, you need to go to the applicant's status page after you logged in and mark the "No" radio button for "AM approves and submits report". You should also put a line into the AM comment field to document why you did this.
The rest of the pages is fairly self-explanatory. Some statistics about all Application Managers are available, you can see an unsorted list of all Applicants and change your AM profile.
Notes about the NM checks
As the NM-oriented documentation already provides enough information about the requirements of the checks, nothing of that will be repeated here. If you're unsure how to manage an applicant, use the excellent templates provided by Joerg Jaspert's nm-templates project. Questions should be asked on email@example.com or sent to the Front Desk.
Putting an application on hold
Applicants that are either not able or not willing to invest enough time into the New Member checks to finish them in a reasonable time span (∼ 6 to 9 months) should be put on hold. That's not a problem or an assessment of the Applicant's skills, but a simple reaction to the lack of time. Many people want to join Debian, so Applicants shouldn't block AM spots.
You should discuss the possibility of setting an application on hold when you get the feeling that it isn't moving forward, either because the Applicant doesn't answer or because their only answer is "Yeah, will do it soon". Emphasize the fact that getting off hold when they have more time is no problem.
Other important notes
- Applicants should provide a short biography which can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org in the regular "New Members" email. That's very useful to introduce new members to the project. Please note that the Applicant has to agree to the publishing of this biography.
- Get some background information about the Applicant and put it into the report — use your favourite search engine, private mail archives, the BTS and all other means that come to your mind. Sometimes the application process is too short to get a proper impression of the Applicant's personality, so try to find out what they did in the past.
- Ask sponsors and other people who worked closely together with the Applicant to provide short statements about them. As more and more packages are team-maintained, you can almost always find someone who's able to tell you more about an Applicant. Include these statements in the report.
- When checking the performance of a packaging Applicant, you should be aware that one tiny package in the archive is not enough to satisfy the Skills part of the T&S checks. The package should have had more than one upload, some users (check popcon) and some (closed, if possible) bug reports. This is important to see how an Applicant interacts with users.