Developer Application Board

Matthew East mdke at
Wed Jul 15 08:24:02 BST 2009


On Tue, Jul 14, 2009 at 3:16 PM, Scott James Remnant<scott at> wrote:
> The Technical Board would like to devolve its current function of
> reviewing and approving developer applications to a new Developer
> Application Board.

The idea and methodology seems fine to me, although out of curiosity I
would be interested in hearing the main rationales for the change
(e.g. is it seen as a better governance model, or simply a way to end
a backlog on applications, or both).

> The new board will use a private mailing list to discuss applications
> ensuring the confidentiality of discussion between the applicant and the
> board.  This will prevent any critique from becoming a matter of public
> record, which has been raised as a concern where (for example) a future
> employer searches for information about an individual on the web.

I'd like to explore this bit briefly if I may.

My experience with the granting of upload privileges is limited to
what I have (privileges for ubuntu-docs and gnome-user-docs) and that
was granted through private discussion so this is going to sound a
little hypocritical, but I instinctively feel that there is a lot to
be said for public discussion in relation to this process. The
granting of upload privileges is arguably one of the most important
part of Ubuntu's quality control system for software, and open
processes are a part of Ubuntu's philosophy and governance. I feel
that it's reasonable to give other developers the opportunity to
express both positive and negative comments in a public meeting, and
to discuss those in a constructive manner.

How serious a concern is the point about future employers? I'd be
interested in finding out how many times that has been raised in the
past. Equally, what are the reasons that it is felt that a person's
activity and contributions in Ubuntu shouldn't be available
information to a prospective employer? I'm betting that a lot of
developers use their contributions to Ubuntu in a positive way when
making applications for jobs, as one would with any volunteer work
which is relevant to the field of employment. Ubuntu is on my CV, and
I'm not in the technology industry!

If there was any risk that critiques would not be constructive or not
give the individual a proper chance to respond and resolve any debate,
I'd definitely support the use of private discussion where
appropriate, but I'm pretty sure that there isn't such a risk.

Looking forward to hearing your points of view. Clearly the TB is best
placed to assess all of these issues as the body with experience
actually performing the job, and I will certainly defer to their view,
but I thought I'd put these thoughts out there for some discussion.

Matthew East
gnupg pub 1024D/0E6B06FF

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