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Re: Proposal for collaborative maintenance of packages

Le lundi 19 décembre 2005 à 11:04 +0100, Christoph Haas a écrit :
> > This infrastructure is seriously needed in Debian because:
> > - team maintenance with SVN is more and more popular, and a good web
> >   interface above a SVN repo of Debian packages would help all those
> >   teams
> If there is a fixed team working on a package they propbably already use 
> subversion and svn-buildpackage.

Right and I've seen regular post for pkg-gnome summarizing which
packages needs to be uploaded, etc. It would be good to have a tool to
create this list mostly automatically ... there are plenty of ways to
improve things ! :)

> > - an official way to follow interaction between mentors and sponsors is
> >   needed and actual mentors.debian.net/sponsors.debian.net are not
> >   enough for that
> Not in the current shape. Let me announce already that we are working on a 
> massive redesign of mentors.debian.net at the moment. We will rework the 
> interface to improve the communication between sponsors and mentors (yes, 
> it's badly needed, I know). Our approach is not a repository though. m.d.n 
> is mainly a place to upload and download packages - but not work on them 
> in parallel. Repositories are very useful when packages are co-maintained. 
> I'm working on multiple Debian projects where we would be lost without a 
> repository. But when it comes to sponsorship it's the 
> maintainers/sponsoree's task to maintain the package. I don't think the 
> sponsor should change the package at all. When sponsoring packages I don't 
> touch them. Even if there is a typo I "complain" to the package maintainer 
> and have the bug fixed. So I personally see a difference between 
> co-maintainership and sponsorship. 

Of course there are differences, but I don't see why we need to use a
different tool. If the applicant just works in the SVN repository, even
if he's the only one working on it you have an history of his work and
you can see how he progressed. The sponsor interested in the package can
see how the work is progressing even if the sponsor didn't send him an
updated source package.

Even for the NM process, it's great to be able to review in a single
place all the work that he may have done.

> > - we need to facilitate the work of sponsors because we're lacking
> >   sponsors
> Sponsoring isn't too hard. Potential sponsors just need to look at the 

Yes it is, otherwise you'd have more people doing it. Whatever can be
simplified must be simplified :
- checking that the .orig.tar.gz file used is the same than upstream
- creating diff between current version and unstable/experimental
- debdiff between packages
- reviewing .diff.gz
- i'm sure we can find many similar things

We must create a tool that does the most important check automatically
for us. 

> > - we need to let skilled external contributors maintain packages for us
> >   (when they don't want to become DD)
> I'm perfectly happy with a "permanent sponsoring relationship". Some DDs 
> seem to want every maintainer to become a DD. Becoming a DD is still a 
> long road and IMHO not needed. Once I have sponsored a package I know it's 
> technically okay and I know the sponsoree. Uploading a consecutive update 
> of the same package takes a few minutes only. I wished more sponsors would 
> offer such a relationship. When I had to look for sponsors myself a while 
> ago I saw sponsors come and go. And some packages didn't even make it into 
> Debian because nobody was interested.

Permanent sponsoring should ideally also work with several sponsors...
but this will work only if the sponsor can easily do all the check
needed so that he can gain trust in your work.

> > FWIW, I have an alioth project ready to be used :
> > http://alioth.debian.org/projects/collab-maint/
> What is the purpose of that project? Creating a repository? Or moving this 
> discussion to a mailing list there?

It was meant to host the central repository needed. We can also use it
to develop the tools needed... but we can decide to use it for other
purposes if needed.

The discussion should take place on usual Debian/Ubuntu lists IMHO.

> As a conclusion... some of the aspects you proposed will be handled by the 
> new "version" of mentors.debian.net. In the future we plan to migrate 
> mentors.debian.net and sponsors.debian.net into a single service. We will 
> see how that works out. :) At least I'd like to monitor all efforts being 
> done because it would be sad to see m.d.n to become superfluous.

It would be sad, that's why I invite you to share your plan about
mentors.d.n and see how it can be intelligently merged in the scope of
that project. The VCS should not be in contradiction with your work I

> PS: Andreas Barth's posted about "Bits from the Darmstadt QA team meeting" a 
> while ago. I wrote him a lengthy mail but never got a reply. I wondered 
> what happened.

What happened there ? Please see this web page full of videos:

Raphaël Hertzog

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