Re: Some thoughts about packages and priorities
On Mon, Aug 17, 2009 at 5:20 AM, Jeremiah
> On Aug 2, 2009, at 15:23, gregor herrmann wrote:
>> During DebConf I talked with several people about the constantly
>> growing amount of packages in our repo and about concerns regarding
>> keeping the quality with the rising pile of work.
> As always gregor you seem to do the heavy lifting. :-) Thanks for starting
> the discussion.
>> In theory it might be nice to have some rules or guidelines for
>> deciding about creating new packages, in practice that's probably to
>> difficult. One evening I've written down the following thoughts, and
>> before I forget about this file on my hard disk I decided to send it
>> to the list:
>> "Quality before quantity"
>> Or: What to upload, what to package?
>> 1) Existing packages with RC bugs.
>> 2) Existing packages with other bugs.
>> 3) Existing packages with (useful) new upstream versions or (useful)
>> packaging changes (includes adopting packages).
>> 4) New packages which are new deps of existing packages.
>> 5) New packages with RFPs.
>> 6) New packages with informal requests.
>> 7) New packages that are "just nice".
>> For ITPs:
>> - Please X-Debbug-CC firstname.lastname@example.org
I'd be happy to do it, provided that Ryan's gen-itp script does this.
Then it's no extra work and makes sure the debian-perl list gets a
copy of all the bug reports.
>> - Please add a short note about _why_ this module is being packaged
>> or send a mail to email@example.com if it's about a
>> larger set of packages belonging together.
I should do this, yes; I usually note it with a Blocking Fix in the
control system, but sometimes things slip through, since I have to
wait awhile between filing the bug and getting acknowledgement from
the submit system. It might be useful to note such things in the bug
report itself, though, I agree.
>> I'm not sure how useful these thoughts are for others, but I think
>> I'll try to use the order of priorities listed above for my uploads
>> in the next time and see how it works.
> I think this is extremely useful. One potential worry I have is that people
> new to debian-perl often start at number 7 on your list, or they have their
> own itch to scratch. If there is a more formal "work on these packages
> first" policy, it might frustrate these new contributors.
I'm not sure if this is really too great of an issue, especially given
the (cough, glacial) speed that things move at in other parts of the
Debian world. I understand it's important to address the harder things
(RC bugs, etc) but those things come with experience -- both with
Debian and working with Perl. I think one reason a lot of the FTBFS
bugs we get don't get addressed more quickly (though it still is
pretty quick!) is because people either don't really take ownership of
their modules or they just don't know how to fix them. I think one
thing that can help here is getting some more participation from the
users that use both Perl and Debian.
I agree with Jeremiah, in that it might frustrate new contributors,
especially since my initial motivation for joining the group was, of
course, having my own modules packaged. Open source is a generous
thing but begins with a bit of selfishness; I think it's fair to allow
this, as long as people don't upload many packages hit-and-run style,
leaving them for someone else to maintain. On the other hand, it's
nice for people to be able to, say, go on vacation without worrying
that the package will be neglected.
I understand that the number of packages in our group is increasing
(1400+ now!) but I don't think this is really a problem. Perl packages
are a lot easier to manage than other packages, which is why at our
count we have decent QA scores while people with under a hundred other
packages would have a lot more. Perl's a lot easier to work with than
C, in terms of FTBFS bugs and all, and those nasty hard-to-trace core
Though it might get a bit difficult for us to handle so many packages
(Ryan becoming a DD can help here, I'm still waiting for that \m/),
it's really in the best interests of our users, because for popular
modules their only other recourse is to install things via CPAN --
which, in the case of MojoMojo and its many dependencies, really sucks
I think it benefits everyone if the Debian and Perl/CPAN communities
coordinate their efforts; I think Ryan and I are a good start, but I'd
like for some more crossover.
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