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Re: Taking care of existing packages

Le Fri, Aug 21, 2009 at 06:09:45PM +0200, gregor herrmann a écrit :
> I just think we also have to keep in mind that the proverbial "itch"
> that new contributors are trying to "scratch", i.e. why they want to
> help in Debian in the first place, is that they are missing a piece
> of software they use or would like to use. Therefor an approach as
> (silly example) "You can only get a new package sponsored after
> fixing 10 existing ones." might demotivate potential new
> contributors.

Hello everybody,

interesting discussion. I think that it can be good to remind that even for the
pakcages that are maintained by only one person, this is a collective effort to
make it arrive to the user's hard drive. The package has to be
copyright-reviewed, built, sometimes rebuilt, released. It can be part of large
dependancy clusters (“testing migrations”), its description and debconf texts
will be translated, and the English version will be reviewed, it can have
security issues, it has to be sent on mirrors, pressed on CDs, etc, before
getting in the hands of the user, who would not have opportunity to use it
without a kernel, package and mirror managers, graphic and command line
interfaces, and of course at the beginning of the story, a Debian installer,
some documentation, and a packages.debian.org website to know about the

I agree that putting pre-requisites will be demotivating. Nevertheless, the
email where the sponsor informs that he uploaded a package can be a good place
to hint the new contributor about how to give back in a way that compensates
the extra load that his package puts on the whole ecosystem. In that sense,
helping to remove packages should also be highly appreciated when applying to

Have a nice week-end,

Charles Plessy
Tsurumi, Kanagawa, Japan

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