My blog is included now in Planet Debian, so this post is to say hello :)
And what can be better to explain who I am, that saying that I am a Debian Contributor?
What does “Debian Contributor” mean?
There are lots of tasks that people accomplish to make Debian better, and Debian Contributor is a new hat to credit any participation in the Debian Project, of any kind (even if the contributor is not a full-member of Debian).
The idea was started and promoted by Enrico Zini. In less than one year, a website with a list of Debian Contributors, data source schemes and much more pieces have been designed. The site is working, and evolving, according to a roadmap.
There are some working data sources already, some other “proof of concept”, pending to adopt or refine. There are much more kind of contributions that still have no data source created. Everybody can help on that!
An example: my contributions
I’m listed now as wiki editor (at least, I edit once a month when doing my spam fighting tasks), website committer (I upload translations to the Spanish part of the website), and publicity (I’ve sent some news to Debian Project News from time to time).
Having your name in a list may seem a small thing, but happiness is made of small things!!
The website committers data source is one of the “proof of concepts” and it’s not being updated recently. I hope that somebody in the www team takes care of that… oh wait, I’m part of the www team…
I’m part of the Spam Fighting Force too, but the data source tracks the spam reports reviewers, and I don’t do that, I only report spam. That’s why I’m not there (yet).
I’m also a translator, member of the Spanish team. Translators are already credited in the translation coordination pages (for example this one), but we want to include them in the main list of Debian Contributors too. That means modifying the bot that tracks the mailing lists. I have joined the i18n team and I hope I can understand how it works and try to propose the required changes. If in the meanwhile, other person comes with the solution, the better!
I have given a talk (and two lightning talks) in the last MiniDebConf Barcelona 2014. Most of the speakers in Debian events are available via the Debconf website, for example: http://penta.debconf.org/dc13_schedule/speakers.en.html I’m sure a data source can be created somehow!
More examples of data sources
As I said, these are only examples (it’s not about crediting “my” contributions, but everybody’s). So if you explore the already managed data sources, you can find the Debian Sysadmin and Security teams, package maintainers, package uploaders to FTP sites, committers to several source code repositories of Debian-related software, people helping mentoring other people in Debian, people helping in the New Member process, people subtitling talks…
But we need more!! Please have a look at DcSiteDevel where you can learn how to create a data source and the tools for extracting information in an easy way. If each Debian Team cares of their own data source (which allows to credit their members) it is a sustainable way and also improves those Team’s visibility (and new contributions, probably!).
The last updates to Debian Contributors project are about identity management. Right now the site only shows data of contributors having a @debian.org account or an account in Alioth (the Debian software forge, used for many subprojects). It also uses the email field to merge contributions made in areas where you login with other kind of user (e.g. the wiki). This is a great step towards crediting people that are not full Debian members (yet), if they want their names to appear in the Debian Contributors list (they can opt-out too, or show/hide each contribution separately).
So, what next?
There is a Roadmap and a TODO list. But nobody as individual can know all the roles and actual work in the Debian project. It’s better that each team cares about how to send their contribution info to the site. There are some mining tools available to extract for example names of committers in source code repositories, or senders in mailing lists. Not much code is required. Please think about it and join the wave of making Debian diversity skills more visible!