It’s been hard to avoid the whole Dunc-Tank debacle that’s been going on in Debian for a while now. I can’t say I care a whole lot, but after reading the position statement posted by a few DDs I got to thinking.
At about the time of Warty Warthog I jumped on the Ubuntu band wagon. I had been using Debian for a few years already. Becoming a DD was something I thought was worth persuing, but it was hard work. I didn’t even find anyone to upload my packages. Disappointment struck and I jumped ship. In Ubuntu I found a new community, a community that was growing and actively supported people who were interested in contributing. Due to circumstances I couldn’t put in as much work as I wanted and I still had that nagging feeling that to really contribute, even to Ubuntu, I needed to contribute to Debian. After all Ubuntu is a fork of Debian. There was also a kind of built-in inequality in Ubuntu. There were first-rate citizens and second-rate citizens. First-rate citizens were employed by Canonical. In the end my Ubuntu days ended during Breezy and I went back to Debian. There were several reasons for my switch back, but one was that in Debian everyone is equal. You can go as far as you want in Debian, you just have to put in the work. It is a meritocracy.
So, where do my thoughts on DT come? Well, here it is; DT threatens that equality. Debian runs the risk of becoming a project with tiered membership. Luckily the members are vocal, opinionated, and not afraid of using their MUAs. I still have trust in Debian. We live and we learn.
The basic idea of DT (paying people to work on Debian) isn’t all bad but maybe they should have let the DDs elect who gets paid to work on Debian? Or maybe it should be run similar to Google’s summer of code, with project proposals and DDs electing projects worth investing in?
In the end, what do I know? I’m not even a DD.