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The Package Tracking System

Hello everybody,

a new service is available : the package tracking system (PTS).
It lets you subscribe to (source) packages in order to receive all the
BTS mails sent concerning the source package. Additionnaly you'll get
(as soon as the change is implemented in katie) "INSTALLED" messages
letting you know that a new version of the package has been installed
in the archive.

You can (un)subscribe to a package by sending a mail to
pts@qa.debian.org. The possible commands are :
subscribe <srcpackage>
subscribe <srcpackage> <email>
unsubscribe <srcpackage>
unsubscribe <srcpackage> <email>
which <email>

The which command returns the list of packages you're subscribed to.

Once you're subscribed you get the mails sent to
<srcpackage>@packages.qa.debian.org. The mails sent have an header
« X-Loop: <srcpkg>@packages.qa.debian.org » that lets you easily
filter it in a special mailbox if needed.

I believe this service was one of the last missing piece to let
easily more people work on the same package. 

The possible uses are all very interesting :

* It can be used by "backup maintainers" to follow a package. I believe
  we should encourage all maintainers to look for backup maintainers who
  can help, do the work during vacation of the main maintainer, check
  that the package gets the attention it needs to have.

* It can be used by upstream authors who wish to follow how their
  package is handled within Debian. Those who are using Debian can
  be of great help ...

* It can be used by QA workers who decide to help a maintainer
  to clean his package. You can work with several QA workers, they
  all get the BTS changes and follow what new information is
  provided and so on. They get the patches sent to the BTS, and so on.

* It can (and i'd like to say "should") be used by NMUers to follow
  the package during a complete week after they uploaded their NMU to see
  if they introduced any bugs ...

* It can be used by sponsor to follow the work of their applicant
  (future maintainer).

* It can be used by applicants to see how an experienced developer
  is managing bugs.

* It can be used by people making their own debian derivated distro,
  they can actually follow the update (the katie update still has to
  happen though).

This service now needs to be widely known so that all interested people
can benefit from it. So i'm looking for volunteers who can update the
concerned documentations :
- Debian Developer's Reference
- New Maintainer Guide (cf use for sponsors/sponsoree)
- Debian QA web site

Concerning the Debian Developers' Reference update, I suggest you take a
look at http://lists.debian.org/debian-qa/2002/debian-qa-200201/msg00062.html
I gave a few ideas on how to update it.

I hope you'll all ask your best contributors (bug reporters who sent
patches, upstream authors, other debian maintainers interested in the
package, ...) to subscribe to your package with the PTS. The more people
on each package, the better it will be !

For people interested in getting a new stable release as soon as
possible, i suggest you subscribe to some base/standard packages that
you know relatively well in order to help with the bug management (in
particular for release critical bugs...).

I hope you enjoy !
Raphaël Hertzog -+- http://strasbourg.linuxfr.org/~raphael/
Formation Linux et logiciel libre : http://www.logidee.com

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