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Bits from the MIA team

As Lucas already mentioned in [0] several members of the QA team met last week
in Merida, Spain. One of the important topics which were discussed in a BoF was
the future of MIA handling.

[0] http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2007/12/msg00004.html

MIA means "Missing in Action" and is a group of people and scripts which help to
track inactive people in Debian. The MIA Team is responsible to orphan outdated
packages if the maintainer is not responsive. We also help the people to find
solutions like finding a Co-Maintainer and so on.
According to this information a "MIA Person" is someone who has packages in
Debian and maybe is even an official Debian developer but was quite inactive for
a while and let his package become out of shape. Someone is considered as a "MIA
person" as soon as someone reported this person and an entry in the DB has been

The MIA Scripts
On the host qa.debian.org you can find several scripts in
/org/qa.debian.org/mia. The most important tool is "mia-query" where you can see
the history from the person, which packages he/she maintains and the

Fixed ping-intervals
During the QA meeting we decided the following intervals:

* First contact (tag: nice).
* After _wait 15 days_, send the same mail again in case that it was lost. (tag:
* After _wait 15 days again_, send another mail where you mention something like
  orphaning, this is the most important step and _the maintainer has 30 days to
  reply_ to the e-Mail (tag: prod).
* Send another mail where you tell the inactive person that you _will orphan the
  packages in exactly 15 days_ if we don't hear anything from the person (tag:
* After _15 days more_, orphan all the packages and send another mail. (tag:
* Finally, _after 90 days_ send the person a "Good-Bye" mail and set the tag
  "needs-wat", the DAM will then care about this people. (This step is for DDs
  and DMs only)

(As an addition: All those mails *must* be signed)

Team maintenance
If one package of the person is maintained in a team, at the step where we send
the prod-mail we file a Bug of severity "serious" against the package,
requesting that the person is being removed from the
Uploaders/Maintainers-field. At the point where we orphan the packages, and the
person isn't removed from those fields, we just make an NMU to enforce this.
Don't forget to set these usertags:
User: mia@qa.debian.org
Usertags: mia-teammaint

How to get involved
We still do not want to make MIA-Data publically available since it contains
private information. As before, normal maintainers can send a mail to
mia@qa.debian.org , asking if a person is MIA and we will then reply to you or
ping the person. If you're a DD and want to get involved - please write a mail
to mia@qa.debian.org , we still search people who have time to help. Please also
see qa.debian.org:/org/qa.debian.org/mia/README. Please also see [1].

[1] http://www.debian.org/doc/developers-reference/ch-beyond-pkging.en.html#s-mia-qa

Mario Iseli wrote a tool during the meeting called "mia-tracker" which is now
also installed on the qa.debian.org-host and it has been added to the SVN. It
makes possible to add a header like this to the ping-mails:

X-MIA-Tracker: 20071230 mario@debian.org

This means that a notification will sent to the address on 20071230, so you can
easily track the periods. Please note that this script isn't really tested well
until now, but it will be documented soon in the README file and tested.

This policies are valid from NOW.


Mario (on behalf of the Debian QA Team)

  .''`.     Mario Iseli <mario@debian.org>
 : :'  :    Debian GNU/Linux developer
 `. `'`
   `-  Debian - when you have better things to do than fixing a system

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