The NON uploading DD process

(and a couple of tricks that saved my volunteer life)

CC-BY-SA 4.0, (C) 2014 Francesca Ciceri (madamezou)
Made with Reveal.js (C) 2013 Hakim El Hattab MIT Licensed
"Lord of the Rings" videos (C) 2001-2003 Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema for fair use purposes

What is this new devilry?

not so new...

  • General Resolution approved October 2010
  • implemented by DAM in November 2010
  • first non-uploading DD (mdz) in December 2010

...not so devilry!

The Debian project acknowledge that:
  • to pursue Debian goals package maintenance as well as a wide range of other technical and non-technical contributions are all valuable.
  • Active contributors of non-packaging work, who share Debian values and are ready to uphold Debian Foundation Documents, deserve the opportunity to become Debian Developers.

how many?

9 non uploading DDs vs 998 uploading DDs

but there are many more people doing non packaging work in Debian

and there's an ongoing effort to map them: Debian Contributors!


  • translators
  • events organizers and volunteers
  • graphic artists
  • publicity people (DPN and press editors)
  • wiki editors
  • website contributors
  • ...everyone who doesn't do packaging work!


I don't need to be a DD to do my debian contributions, why should I bother?

to have "citizenship rights" in the project!


Ok, you convinced me: how can I do it?


there are many places where to start, it depends on what you like to do!

(debian-l10n-$language, website, wiki, publicity team, Q&A, etc)

find some advocates

if you work in a team, it will be easier


come and meet us: at DebConf, mini DebConfs, etc. We're awesome!

(Also: beer. And signatures on your GPG key)

apply on nm.d.o

it's just a click away!

Philosophy and Procedures, the standard first part

licenses (boring, but needed) and procedures

also, agree to SC, DFSG, DMUP

Tasks and Skills: a scaled down second part

there's not a template of questions here: it depends on what you do and how your AM will decide to test you

Life as NON uploading DD

a survival guide

On communication

assume good faith

and never take it personally!

look at our (soon to be?) code of conduct

be two times more polite than usual

accounting for:

language/cultural gap

fallacies of non verbal communication

go straight to the point

time is a scarce resource for all of us, even more the time to read emails

remember the diversity paradox

...and its solution: from "yes, but" to "yes, and"

...and in the more heated discussions?

when the going gets tough, the tough send no more than a mail every 3-5 days on the same thread

This way, you'll be able to:

  • give other people space to voice their opinion
  • cool down
  • think carefully about the content of it: that mail is your only chance for some days to make your point

but what if it goes out of hand anyway?

shut down the pc, go for a walk

try to clear the air via private mail

what can men do against such reckless hate?

contact the listmasters!

On collaboration

documentation is your friend

...but with limits

if it takes you a day of googling and reading obscure manuals (and you're not enjoying it), it's either one of these:

the instructions are not clear enough

ask your teammates to not use technobabble when explaining what is your task

you are being too shy

asking is ok

you are not stupid for asking

you are not expected to know everything

on feeling an impostor

in Debian you are the scarce resource

we have plenty of excellent packagers, what we need is people with other skills you!

on overcommitment

no means no...

... but you have to say it!

don't let yourself or other people bully you into doing something

this task was appointed to you, and if you do not find a way no one will

"... but if I don't do it, no one else will!"

not true. also, not a good motivation for doing something

especially if it involves being in charge or having responsabilities

nothing is forever

do you need a break from Debian?

just take it! the world won't end without you

volunteering is not and should not be a life sentence

(also, there are lots of cool projects out there that could use another hand!)

Notes for teams

  • spread the word about non-uploading DDship
  • encourage your non-packaging contributors to apply
  • keep your team non-packaging friendly:
    • no technobabble in documentation
    • remember that something trivial to you, may not be trivial for others
    • list the available tasks for non-packagers

Thank you for the attention!

the buddha approves