I've thought about moving away from the NM templates for almost a year now, so after discussing some basic ideas in winter, I started to do something about it a few months back and decided to try my ideas out with Hanna Wallach. As Hanna is a busy person, we haven't done very much until now, but I'll hope this will change in the next weeks. This weekend, I also got Russ Allbery to try this out with me, so I now have 2 applicants to test stuff with.
My basic idea is to look at the current templates, group questions about the same topic and the replace them by actual tasks (like bug triage, QA work, ...) This works fairly well for P&P and leaves only the licensing stuff and 5 or 6 other questions.
The T&S checks are a bit more complicated, as they deal with stuff developers should know, but often don't need to handle in the package they maintain while going through NM. Examples for this are the evil sysv-rc question, "dpkg doesn't support versioned Provides, list workarounds" and the infamous C/C++ library packaging questions [which I only answered partially in my NM process, together with a promise to never do library packaging].
I'm not quite sure how I'll handle those, but the best way is probably to search for a fitting bug and ask the applicant to fix it (or stay with the questions). I'm open for suggestions, so if you have good idea, mail me.
Anyway, I'm quite anxious to see how this works out - It sure is more work for the AM, but on the other hand, it's much more motivating than reading the usual, "interesting" answers. The advantages are easy to list: More fun for the applicant, big chunks of QA work done by NMs and perhaps more interest in Debian in general.
It seems that my last post amused one of my colleagues a lot - I was talking to her while her screensaver displayed my text about advanced sexual positions and she couldn't stop giggling.
Anyway, I'll be leaving credativ next week, after 3 months of an internship here. It sure was a nice experience - especially working with other FOSS guys (and lately, also gals) every day is nice! The fact that these people are not only interested in the same things as me, but are also friendly and helpful made the time here very pleasant. Definitely a lot better than the unfriendly environment of my 9 months of community service after school.
While working here, Debian released sarge, my girlfriend passed her final exams at school and I finally sent my stuff to the Uni Karlsruhe, where I will start to study CS in October. Not a bad summer, I'd say ... except for the 5 kgs I gained while eating the cookies Michael provides #-)
Watching "Everything you always wanted to know about sex but were afraid to ask"again lead me to a very important question: Was "Advanced sexual positions - how to achieve them without laughing" ever published? It sure is a topic that still needs a lot of research.
Oh, and I'm also interested to see how well the new cool version tracking feature of debbugs works. Thanks for implementing it, Colin (and aj and whoever has taken part in its development). It's nice to see that so much cool stuff happens with the BTS at the moment.
I'm back at home (well, what I call home on weekdays) for the first time since monday. Work kept me busy at Monday and Tuesday, featuring my first portrayal of "consultant in suit, working alone". After surviving that, I stayed at Alexander Wirt's for the night (he could provide food, while my fridge was totally empty). We watched some nice geek movies and used IRC (in public channels) for our communication :-) Yesterday was the more-or-less-monthly local LUG meeting, so we went there after work, stopping for a few minutes to IRC, cook, IRC, eat, IRC.
The good thing is that the week is nearly over and I get to see my girlfriend again in two days :-)
Alex is also responsible for some weird pictures of me, demonstrating my commitment to the ideal of good relations between the Front Desk and the DAM:
The bad thing is that praying doesn't help, Ganneff's queue is still very long. OTOH, he started with even more applicants waiting for an account, so we should all be happy that the DAM works so hard. cough This looks like I want to motivate him, no idea why. cough
There are also other weird pictures of me, but you'll have to wait some years before I'm ready to put a link to them in my blog.