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Re: Multi-person sponsorship

On Tue, Feb 17, 2004 at 11:21:11PM -0500, Joey Hess wrote:
> Matthew Palmer wrote:
> > So, comments, brickbats, acclaim, whatever.  Throw it at me.
> Well I don't think that this system as described would be of any use to
> me. I want to maintain a close relationship with the people whose

A worthy sentiment.  I certainly have no wish to tell anyone else how to run
sponsorships (especially since I'm not the most experienced sponsor around). 
However, there's nothing to stop you only checking and uploading packages
created by someone you have otherwise agreed to sponsor.  Nothing I'm
creating is supposed to place an obligation on *anyone* to sponsor something
they don't want to - and I apologise if anything I've said gave anyone that

> package I sponsor. I want to know if they are not able to send me a
> package that will build properly. I want to work with them and be

Since you only get packages for sponsorship which have built in a clean sid
chroot out of my system, you can be fairly sure of that.

> familiar with the overall work they are doing on Debian, so I want to
> always sponsor their package except when I'm unavailable (or too slow).

That's likely to be the biggest problem, when you want to be "maintainer"
for a maintainer.  <grin> However, you can easily just pick out the packages
of people you want to sponsor, and leave the rest.  The benefit of my system
is that you've got something of a todo list (a la qa.d.o/maintainer.php) of
outstanding sponsorships.  You never know, you might see someone new there
are decide to contact them and sponsor them...

I'm interested in how many of your sponsees do you know are/aren't doing,
say, QA work quietly, or working on d-i, or doing bug triage?  I know that
at least one person I'm sponsoring isn't doing anything on anything else,
because I used to work with him, but apart from that, the people whose
packages I've sponsored could be working towards becoming DPL and I'd hardly
know.  Should I know these things?  Do you think that a good sponsor should
be doing these things, or that it's useful in the general case for a sponsor
to know all of a sponsees other activities?

(Those are serious questions, BTW, although on reading back they might sound

> Evenually, and most importantly, if they turn out to be doing a good
> job, I want to get them into Debian as a proper DD, and that is why I
> require the numerous bits of information I gather in passing while
> sponsoring them, so I can know if I want to advocate them or not. 

If you don't mind me asking, what sort of information do you ask for from
potential sponsees?  (Warning: your answer may become FAQ fodder <g>).  Info
similar to what gets asked for in the "background" section of NM?

> (I'd also like to see AM's making more use of this information. If I've
> advocated someone, I can tell you what parts of T&S they have already,
> IMHO, passed.)

If you put that information into an advocacy report, does the AM ignore it,
or are they not supposed to take other people's experiences into account? 
(That seems odd, considering that some NMs get their AMs switched on them).

> Also, if things should go wrong, and my sponsee turns out to not have
> the skills, interest, or time, I consider it my responsibility as the
> sponsor to do any cleanup that might be required, orphaning or
> temporarily maintaining packages, etc.

That is, IMVHO, an important role for a sponsor.  A comment someone made
up-thread (about an "NM keyring") triggered a thought for me - a kind of
"sponsee-db.debian.org", where people who are not DDs, but who have
sponsored packages, have their info.  That'd cover keys, name, country, and
some echelon info.  That's probably not for me to write, but if anyone's
interested in a project, I know that I, for one, would be happier with a
wider knowledge of sponsored package maintainers.

> I don't see that your system helps with any of these things. I can see
> it being possibly useful in the case where I am temporarily unavailable
> and my sponsee needs to make an upload, but I cannot imagine myself
> using it to randomly request to perform such a sponsorship for someone I
> don't know and don't have a working relationship with, for a package
> with which I am unfamiliar.

As I said at the beginning of this message (and which I think bears
repeating), I'm not interested in making this "the one true sponsorship
way", nor do I want anyone to think that they have to sponsor whatever's
next in the queue.

> Just me, perhaps.

No, your comments have, for the most part, echoed my own sentiments, and
embodied them far more eloquently than I could have done.  Thanks for taking
the time to write them down.

> (I also hope that nobody roots your autobuilder.)

I'm not keen on ever providing the .debs that come out of the autobuilder. 
It's a "does this build?  here's the build and lintian logs from the build,
showing what happened" test only.  For upload purposes, I expect sponsors to
check, build, and upload from the source provided.  Sponsor or otherwise, I
would think that any developer who blindly uploads any binary not built by
them needs to be "re-educated".  Trusting someone else's build system is not
something that I'd be keen on.  Never mind having the build server r00ted,
who would trust me not to go rogue and put a dodgy compiler in the chroot?
Oops, I think I've just switched into "why I don't think that source-only
uploads suck" mode... <grin>

- Matt

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