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> Debian Go packaging team — 64 volunteers. Anyone can contribute; no formal status needed. Don't need to be a Debian project member, even.

As the team have abandoned the usual team set up for Debian, I wonder what effect that has upon the rigour of the packages they produce, and whether this informal arrangement can continue to scale as the call for more volunteers.

Is it successful only because of key players? Will it fall apart when they move on?

This is consistent with the usual Debian workflow nowadays. It's been a long time since only Debian developers could usefully contribute. Most new Debian developers these days have already contributed a bunch.

One can get a guest account on Debian's gitlab instance, salsa.debian.org, and be granted various rights. One's merge requests can find their way into packages. Eventually one can be granted permission to upload specific packages, and then later apply for full membership.

There are also non-uploading Debian developers with full access to participate in every other way - not everyone focuses on packaging.

Compared to when I became a Debian developer in 2001, the typical process to full membership is way more gradual, but the process to first contribution is much faster and simpler. Good tradeoff.

Can this apply for submitting new packages as well? The process (at least the old process) as dissuaded me from doing just that.

Mostly yes. For new packages, an existing Debian developer has to do the initial upload, after reviewing your work. Once the package is in the archive and they're confident enough with your work, you can receive package-specific permission for subsequent uploads.

There is a bit of bureaucracy the first time you want package-specific upload permission, but mainly to vouch for you in a lightweight way, to validate your identity, and to agree to Debian's various policies.


But proposing merge requests via salsa can happen without any of that even if your contributions will end up in new packages.

You can't do the upload yourself, but it's pretty straightforward to prepare a package and ask someone to upload it. (It is not too different in theory from, say, needing a Homebrew maintainer to hit "merge" on GitHub; it's a little more work on the sponsor's side than just hitting a button, but not much more, and the bulk of the work in either case is reviewing the new package.)

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