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Re: Sponsorship in Debian (Re: Ubuntu-originated packages in Debian (Re: ubuntu keyring?))

On Fri, 20 May 2011 10:40:09 +0200
Arno Töll <debian@toell.net> wrote:

> while I largely agree with the all other things you mentioned, I have
> one thing to add here:
> On 20.05.2011 04:23, Paul Wise wrote:
> > Chose a specific person to mentor, review their packages, educate them
> > about Debian, upload their packages when ready and encourage them join
> > DM/NM. Rinse, repeat.
> This is currently more like an ideal rather than the current practice. I
> admit, I can't judge from others perspective, i.e. I can't know what
> other DDs do I didn't meet (so far), but from my experience the sponsor
> process is tenacious and frustrating for the sponsoree.

It's also very frustrating for the sponsor and the hassle involved in
filtering out some truly abysmal packaging efforts from the list of
sponsorship requests is one reason why I have not returned to
sponsoring after an enforced break some time ago.

There really is no point asking for a sponsor until the package is
ready for upload and that means lintian clean, fixes obvious bugs
listed in the BTS, pbuilder compliant and something which is useful to
the rest of Debian (i.e. not your pet upstream one-user project).

Honestly, I feel that Debian can do without the majority of NEW packages
awaiting sponsoring - I'd only really be interested in sponsoring
ITA bugs, not ITP and for packages with a maintainer, the sponsoring /
upload needs to happen with that maintainer or that team.

If the ITP started out as an RFP (which largely get ignored otherwise)
filed by someone unconnected with the maintainer then at least there
may be some merit in the NEW package but otherwise....

> While the idea you mentioned is really good in theory, it lacks DDs
> having time and interest to mentor a given person over time.

which goes two ways - it is just as demotivating for the DD.

> So from my experience, in reality you need to seek a new sponsor for
> every upload you want to get into the archive and this takes a lot of
> time and patience.

That is counter-productive. Sponsorship can be package-specific in that
one DD sponsors a group of packages but the same maintainer works with
multiple sponsors for a wider range of packages. However, there does
need to be a relationship between the DD and the maintainer otherwise
the whole thing breaks down. 

Fly-by sponsoring is *not* helpful to Debian.

> This is also a challenge for the DM/DD application process for a
> candidate, as certainly no one has a comprehensive overview about the
> prospective maintainer and would advocate him some day since most DDs
> know the candidate from a single upload only or so.

In which case, sponsoring in Debian is simply broken IMHO.

I won't return to sponsoring until I am reasonably confident that I can
allocate enough time to a particular set of packages and their
maintainer(s) to get each of those maintainers through NM (or DM but
I'm less keen on DM personally).

If the maintainer isn't interested in becoming a DD or DM, then Debian
shouldn't be interested in sponsoring packages for that "maintainer".

IMHO sponsoring is a long term responsibility for DD's - a means to
get more people through NM, not a means to get more rubbish packages
into the archive which the QA team will eventually need to remove.

The emphasis of sponsoring seems wrong to me currently - it is *not
about the packages*, it should be about the people.


Neil Williams

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