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Re: Work-needing packages report for Jul 11, 2003

On Mon, Jul 14, 2003 at 12:16:56AM +0200, Thomas Viehmann wrote:
> Steve Langasek wrote:
> > And adopting is the only way to improve the existing system?  I would
> > argue that finding bad packages and *filing for their removal* is a far
> > better example of improving the existing Debian system than adopting a
> > package that no one uses.
> > I also agree that Debian is already too big for us to continue adding
> > unlimited developers to our ranks who are only interested in working on
> > their pet packages.

> Probably something like "apprentice comaintainership" would be a very 
> nice way to educate DDs and IMHO is an approach to that should be more 
> considered more systematically. (I'm presently helping Christian Kurz 
> with dput on that basis.)

I definitely agree that comaintainership is a good idea, but I'm not
sure how to provide such opportunities systematically.  I'm always open
to help on my packages, but I'm not sure how posting a "want ad" would
help in general: as with all volunteerism, it works better if you're
working on something you enjoy, and I would think those who enjoy
working on the packages I work on would already be submitting patches
without further prompting.

> But look at what happened when I tried to do something about the WNPP 
> (and pitifully "maintained") package phpgroupware ([0],[1] - and I 
> should add that I've received private mail encouraging me to continue 
> to try to take over phpgroupware and that exactly *nothing* happened 
> since that thread on the side of Luca and his favorite successor). I 
> guess I'm be looking for a sponsor, but who will sponsor the package 
> while Luca is still clawing?

I'm not sure what fix you would hope to see here.  At least in part,
this seems to have been a question of maintainer territoriality.
Territorial developers are a fact of life in Debian; demonstrating that
you can be effective in spite of such territoriality would certainly be
more likely to persuade *me* that you're ready to be a DD.  Indeed, if
you can't find anyone willing to sponsor your uploads, it's usually a
sign that you should re-evaluate your approach to the situation.

And FWIW, speaking as one of the uploaders on the php4 package, I've
already sponsored uploads of the only PHP-related package that I expect
I'll ever wish to.  All of the packaged PHP applications I use appear to
already have capable maintainers; and all the PHP software I *don't* use
is such a mixed bag that you'll never convince me to get involved with
maintaining it.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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