Miriam Ruiz
random thoughts on technology and life

{June 07, 2007}   Sponsorship of Debian Packages

One of the worse things for a maintainer that happens not to be a DD (Heh!) is finding a sponsor for the packages. I remember some time ago I preferred to send the packages I had developed to upstream so that they could hang them in their own pages, instead of Debian repositories, because it was much more effort for me (and more emotionally stressing) to deal with finding a sponsor than to develop and maintain the package itself.

I still have that feeling when I need to find an sponsor for any of my packages. The fact that I’m maintaining much more of them now doesn’t help, and I seem to be needing a sponsor almost every day lately. Even though I might have been spending lots of hours in getting a package ready for Debian, solved the problems with upstream, replaced non-free stuff inside, getting everything ready so that other people can benefit from my work, I still have that strange feeling that they’re doing me a favor by letting me put that package into the repositories. I wonder if the people developing other distributions have that feeling too or if it’s Debian-specific.

Of course, having a lot of friends as DDs, knowing them in person, knowing that they trust you, helps a lot. At least you don’t have the feeling that you’re being scrutinized that you have when you’re a newbie to Debian Development. Still, when I need sponsorship for any of my packages, I still have the feeling that I’m appealing to friendship to achieve it, and that I’m pestering my friends. I’ve even been directly accused by some of pestering them about sponsoring my packages. It makes me feel bad. I don’t like spending lots of hours doing something for other people, and afterwards feeling an egoist for wanting to share it. That’s how the current sponsorship process makes me feel, and I guess I’m not the only one out there feeling this way. Do people doing stuff from Ubuntu feel this way too?

“Finish your NM, Become a DD“, I’m often told when I complain about this. Yup, it’s true, I agree. Anyway I’m mentioning this not as a personal problem I myself have, but something that many non-DD maintainers feel, and that might be one of the reasons why some of them might decide in the end to jump into another distribution that doesn’t make them feel kinda bad people just for doing stuff. It might be surprising to here, but I don’t feel myself ready for becoming a DD yet. It might be kinda Impostor Syndrome, dunno, but I cannot keep myself from feeling it.


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