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Re: Getting NEW packages into Debian first

Hi there,

On Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 10:12:35AM +0100, Daniel Holbach wrote:
> Hello everybody,
> at the last Ubuntu Developer Summit we talked about various bottlenecks
> we have in Ubuntu development. During the session a side-discussion
> started about getting new packages into Ubuntu and motivation of
> developers to review and sponsor them. A few people pointed out that
> they quite often suggested to new contributors to get packages into
> Debian first.
> While I think it makes perfect sense to get packages (that are not
> Ubuntu-specific) into Debian, I just want to make sure that we don't
> overwhelm Debian sponsors if we point that out as one of our preferred
> options.
> What is your take on it?

As I see it, there are two main problems with uploading Ubuntu local packages
via MOTU

  - The amount of time that is spent on REVU by most developers is low enough
	to be negligible, so you've next to no hope of getting your package
  - Once uploaded, packages have a tendency to be forgotten and bitrot.

The former is clealy avoided by going through Debian teams, as these are
likely to have interest and motivation in improving their areas. The members
will also be able to provide better quality reviews than any random MOTU is
likely to be able to.

The second is to some extent mitigated in Debian, as maintainers are expected
to take care of their packages, and Debian as a whole has better QA than
Ubuntu (FTBFS and transitions are handled more carefully), but it would be
unfair to have Ubuntu developers dump packages on a team and expect the
existing members to care in the future. There should be an expectation that
the Ubuntu developer uploading a package subscribes to its bugs and takes
care of any issues (if team maintained, this is an explicit action as only
the maintainer — the team — gets most emails).


> I'm sure our documentation will have to be updated, but if you could
> have a look at the snippet about Debian and give me your feedback, I'd
> appreciate it.
> https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuDevelopment/NewPackages#NEW_packages_through_Debian

Thanks for this, looks nice. I've some little suggestions.

  - Link to [0] about the procedure for NEW packages (and note that reportbug
	-B debian wnpp will generally DTRT).
  - Mentors is generally only the right place for non-team packages. You
	should rather tell people to contact the team via their mailing list
	asking how they usually handle sponsored uploads. For example the CLI
	apps team would like contributors to have their packages in git on alioth
	and then to request sponsorship using our bot on IRC.
  - As I said above, mention to be sure to subscribe to package bugs after
	the package is accepted.
  - In "Going through MOTU", mention that REVU will often involve significant
	delays due to the lack of reviewer time.
  - I often hear "But I don't run Debian" as a reason for not uploading NEW
	packages there. You can do some mythbusting here — most stuff can be
	tested perfectly well in a chroot, or failing that in a VM (and most
	packages will work fine without any changes anyway). Linking to some docs
	about how to run X apps from a chroot, for example, would be nice (sorry,
	I don't have any to hand).
  - Mention #debian-ubuntu on OFTC and this ML as places for Ubuntu
	developers to ask their questions.
  - Maybe talk up the benefits of working with Debian (developers likely to
	be experts on their domain, improved arch coverage, package reaching more
	users, …).



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