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Re: Should we try to draw more attention on ITAs waiting for sponsorship (with testing removal) ?

* Olivier Berger <olivier.berger@telecom-sudparis.eu> [2014-01-30 13:51:40 +0100]:

> Hi.
> I'm not sure this is really a problem we should address. Sorry if I'm
> overlooking details.
> I suspect we have quite a few orphaned old packages still in testing,
> for which an ITA (Intent to Adopt) has been offered by a non DD, which
> is waiting for sponsorship. Typically, some of these potential
> maintainers may be active users or upstream maintainers.
> But who cares ?
> If such package are getting removed from testing (re. new release policy
> experiment), maybe that would draw more attention to these pending
> sponsorship requests (provided that DDs using them, or "educated" users are indeed
> notified of the testing removal), and help bring back updated packages
> and new maintainers in the loop ?
> I'm not sure we can back this discussion by figures of such pending
> sponsorship requests, or if that could be counterproductive in the
> end. Maybe testing removals isn't the best way to encourage more
> mentoring and sponsorship (I'm thinking of the Mentoring of the Month
> experiment in Debian-med that Andreas presented at the Paris Mini
> Debconf recently, for instance).
> I myself isn't very motivated to sponsor packages which I don't
> use... but maybe I'm not noticing at all (or didn't read how-can-i-help
> messages ;-).

I'm pretty certain that you need to back this gut feeling with hard numbers:
how many ITAs are _actually_ languishing?

Furthermore, as I said on IRC, having an ITA'd package removed from testing is
more likely to serve as a demotivation for the potential new maintainer, rather
than incite a DD to take a look at a package.

Why is this different than removing RC-buggy packages from testing? Well, the
person whose package is removed has a better chance of understanding the reason
of removal (the stick is used on the same population we want to motivate). I
don't think that unilaterally using a stick on population A to motivate
population B will ever work.

But that's a gut feeling too.

If you want to help the sponsorship processes long term, there are a lot of
tangible things to do:

 - Read debian-mentors@l.d.o, provide advice, sponsor packages;
 - Enhance our infrastructure around sponsorship. The mentors.debian.net
   codebase is functional, but the todo list is long and the architecture could
   use some work;
 - Engage on a program that _is_ working long-term, such as the MoM (mentoring
   of the month) program as advertised by Andreas Tille.


Nicolas Dandrimont

Your job is being a professor and researcher: That's one hell of a good excuse
for some of the brain-damages of minix.
(Linus Torvalds to Andrew Tanenbaum)

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