random idea re new queue
I had an idea about a different way to handle the new queue, to take some of the pressure off the ftp-masters and ensure that if no ftp-masters are available, some new queue processing is still possible. The basic idea is to allow developers to send in signed .changes files as vouchers that they have examined a package in the new queue and believe it is suitable for Debian.
For this to work, packages could be uploaded to an alternate, public new queue. Of course you have to take care of any possible crypo export and copyright issues when doing so, so some packages may not be eligible for upload there. But this lets developers examine packages in the public new queue, if their maintainer uploaded them there. An obvious package to upload there would be a package that is not really new, just split into a new binary package.
A developer would then download a package from the public new queue, check it and make sure they belive it's suitable for Debian, re-sign its .changes file (and rename it), and upload the new changes file. Call this advocating a package. The specific checks the developer performs is up to that developer; they're putting thier reputation on the line that the package is suitable. We would probably develop a standard checklist. Once a package got the requisite number of signed .changes files, it could automatically be accepted from the new queue w/o ftp-master action.
I expect there would be problems, possibly involving updating the overrides files that I am not aware of, since I'm not a ftp-master. We'd have to work those out. There might also be problems with developers abusing this priviledge, so the ftp-masters would probably need the ability to limit the number of packages a maintainer could advocate in a given time period. The ftp-masters might be more comfortable with only giving this ability to some smaller subset (but still in the dozens) of developers at first, though I'd hope it would in the end be something most developers could do.