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Re: Package mailing lists (was: bits from the DPL for September 2011)

On Wed, Nov 09, 2011 at 07:41:27AM +0900, Iustin Pop wrote:
> Sorry for reviving and old email. To what extend do you think this
> should apply - even at individual package level?
> I ask this because of the following: recently I had a 1-1 discussion
> with a co-maintainer of one of my packages, which went between our
> personal emails. I quite disliked this (since it will be buried in our
> mailboxes), but email conversations seem simpler than going through the
> BTS for all discussions.

That's an interesting corner case, thanks for mentioning it.

The problem statement, as I see it, is that with private email aliases
there is no visibility of the activities that go through it. Therefore,
if the involved people (a maintenance team in your case) go MIA, nobody
will notices until some sort of "timeout" and the corresponding
frustration of people trying to contact the (former) team.

In the specific cases of packages though, the situation is better than
with other teams (e.g. infrastructure teams), because we've others
well-known ways of knowing if somebody is taking care of a package. We
can have a look at BTS activity and package uploads, for instance.

My take then it's, as long as work goes through the usual channels for a
package (such as the BTS), the lack of a public mailing list is less of
a problem than in other situations.

I can't help thinking, however, that as soon as a maintenance team
reaches the size of the "magic number 3", they will *want* to have a
mailing list anyhow. Because starting from the size of 3, mailing a
single address is handier than enumerating your other co-maintainers.
(And if the address is a list, the better.)

I'm not sure how we can make it easier for small maintenance team to
have a mailing list. Maybe starting archiving @packages.d.o addresses
could be a first step?

What do others think?

Stefano Zacchiroli     zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} . o .
Maître de conférences   ......   http://upsilon.cc/zack   ......   . . o
Debian Project Leader    .......   @zack on identi.ca   .......    o o o
« the first rule of tautology club is the first rule of tautology club »

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