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Re: relationship with Ubuntu - call for feedback

On 10/21/2011 10:33 AM, Andrew Starr-Bochicchio wrote:
> On Fri, Oct 21, 2011 at 9:51 AM, Iain Lane <laney@debian.org> wrote:
>> There is a push, and coming with it a growing movement, to get
>> applications into Ubuntu via a new Application Review process (aka
>> extras.ubuntu.com) which is a parallel repository available for stable
>> releases only that is not a part of the distribution.
>> I have seen numerous people advising authors to direct their packages
>> towards this new process instead of the usual Debian→Universe→Backports
>> route into a stable release.
>> Some members of the community are promoting, in tandem with these
>> developments, a push for a smaller Universe and indeed a questioning of
>> why one would want to contribute upstream at all. Here's a couple of
>> quotes from recent mailing list threads
> <snip>
>> It seems to me that this is a fundamental shift in what we consider a
>> distribution to be, becoming a 'platform' on top of which people offer
>> applications (the app-store model which the software centre promotes)
>> rather than a collection of all the great Free Software out there. I
>> fear a negative impact on both distribution developer motivation and the
>> quality of the distros (including a knock-on impact on Debian as
>> upstream) if this new method of distributing apps takes hold and the
>> next generation of nice applications never see themselves in the
>> distribution.
>> WDYT? Is there a real problem here?
> As an Ubuntu developer who also contributes directly to Debian, it
> certainly has made me question my future roll in Ubuntu.

The new Application Review board (ARB) in Ubuntu takes it as part of the
primary charter to direct developers upstream to Debian, with some
helpful guidance in how to package, and how to take up maintaining their
package in Debian. One submission (out of a total of 6) that went
through the ARB has already gone upstream to Debian, and is moving
out-of-cycle updates to Ubuntu Backports. Another currently under review
used to be packaged in Debian (lost maintainer), so we're guiding the
developer in how to revive it.

The developers we get through the ARB are a different level than Debian
usually works with. Many have no packaging experience at all, some
submit tarballs, some don't even know how to create tarballs. It's a bit
like tier 1 mentoring. The overall goal is still to train them up, in
the expectation that some will get more and more involved, and
eventually join the ranks of DM/DD as well as Ubuntu developers.


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