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Re: [gnu.org #1783839] Updating info about fencepost account availabilit

From: Alfred M. Szmidt
Subject: Re: [gnu.org #1783839] Updating info about fencepost account availability
Date: Fri, 03 Dec 2021 10:25:19 -0500

   Okay but without that automation, is what the sysadmins seem to 
   currently be doing (checking the maintainer file on fencepost before  
   granting access) the correct process then? That seems to be an easy 
   and concrete way for the sysadmins to validate requests for access.

That has never been the correct process.  While that way might be easy
for the FSF admins, it also excludes and hinders the GNU project by
getting more people involved in daily work.  Not everything is done by
being a maintainer, there are many other roles.

   But if the intention is that it's more nebulous, as ams indicates, how  
   are the sysadmins to validate which requests should be allowed without 
   opening it up such that any random person can send an email and get
   access? Who is to make that call and how?

I got my account as a random person many many decades ago by just
asking -- before that I would login as rms, and my mail was via an
alias to a file somewhere world writable.

It is true that todays reality might be slightly different being far
more hostile and we don't want to repeat the breaches that occured
some decades before.  So having some higher bar is sensible, for
exmaple if another user of FP asks for an account for someone instead
of anonymous requests (basically on recommendation) that should be
just fine.

What we should absolutley not do is to hinder people who are
contributing something to the GNU project in roles other than
maintainership from getting an account.  If they need it, they should
get one that has always been how we have done things.

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