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DPN: Highlighting contributions other than packaging (Re: How to track non-uploader contibutions? [was: "welcome" part in DPN])

Le 2012-01-06 18:29, Francesca Ciceri a écrit :
On Mon, 19 Dec 2011 13:57:37 +0100, Ana Guerrero wrote:
My biggest
point here is either you welcome all kind of contributions or you don't
welcome any and just save it for people becoming project members.
I thought a little bit about it and I think that we could at least try to
elaborate a poc on how to track non-uploader's contributions, in order to
finally welcome them as well (and probably to have a more accurate view
of the Debian project).

First of all: who are the non-uploading contributors?
I can think mostly (yes, I'm biased here) of translators, but there are
at least also documentation writers, artists (web/graphic designers), ...
(help me here, I'm sure there are others!).

So, I think there could be some methods to actually track at least
translators contributions (hence debian-i18n cc-ed).
AFAIK there are five main things a translator could do in Debian:

1. translation of po strings 
2. translation of web site (and dpn)
3. translation of descriptions of packages
4. translation of wiki.debian.org
5. translation of debian manuals

All these contributions are coordinated by the l10n-$language team, often
through a team coordinator. As not all of these translation works are
version-controled we can't simply check for who make the commit, also
because it's quite common for the coordinator of the team to commit
contributions from other members.
In some cases, i.e. DDTSS, there's also the possibility to contribute
anonymously which is great for privacy but don't help with statistics ;).

So, summarizing:

1. translation of po strings → this is easy: the translator's name is
provided in the xx.po file, which is send as patch (with tag l10n) to the

2. DPN, website → DPN keep tracks of translators with a specific tag,
website do a similar thing, providing a "maintainer" field for translated

3. DDTSS → *this* is difficult. Here anonymous submit are allowed.

4. wiki.d.o → usually in order to translate it you need to create a new
page named LANG/$pagename, so we could found easily who translate what :) 

5. translation of debian manuals (and release notes): here is usually
present the name of the translator.

So, I think that we can mostly track the activities of translators,
hopefully automagically. Maybe with some scripts for data mining on BTS,
webwml, manuals, recent changes page on the wiki.

What do you think about it?


Hi Francesca,
thanks for jumping into this topic. It seems welcoming is not as easy as it sounds!

Translation is not my area so this is not a comment on tracking contributions from translators specifically but about what we want to include. I agree with Paul that we could also consider issue trackers. But should we?
Here is a concrete case to reflect on:
A user installs Debian for the first time and sends an installation report, thereby filing its first issue report. That user becomes gradually more involved, sends patches and 10 years later, he becomes an official project member in order to join DSA.

What do we want the DPN to say about that contributor? I believe we should mention all additions of project members. But I think we should also mention that contributor's involvement sooner. To be clear, I don't think it's bad to mention someone several times. But we also shouldn't mention someone again before they've contributed a lot more.

The Debian project is not great at giving credit to its contributors. Launchpad has information pages on contributors which seem pretty good. For example, see https://launchpad.net/~cjwatson
This information includes a "karma" score, which quantifies a contributor's involvement. That score must of course be very approximative, but if we had it, I'd say a good way to credit contributors would be to mention every time a contributor reaches certain thresholds, for example 500 points.

Now, of course we won't be in a position to implement such a system tomorrow. In the meantime, as a rough approximation of that ideal, we could try to track some types of contributions when that is easy to implement. Tracking package uploads is a good start. Someone who uploads a package has clearly reached a significant level of involvement.
Regarding translations, I do not know what could be done.

Regarding issue reporting, it should be easy to have a list of new reporters. But I don't think we want to mention everyone who reported an issue. http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/pkgindex.cgi?indexon=submitter&archive=yes lists nearly 20000 reporters, which is too much. If we only keep those who reported 10 issues and more, the list gets a lot more reasonable, but that's already a little more complicated to implement. Furthermore, one entry on the list does not necessarily correspond to one person. For example, I appear under 3 addresses. There will surely also be some spammers, and people who didn't enter their name, or entered a pseudonym. So I think tracking issue reporters would require important efforts (both to implement an initial system, and to process data produced by the system).

I think we should keep a few goals in mind:
  • Cover as many significant contributors as possible
  • Be fair in our credits. Only "credit" a contributor a second time when he deserved it.
  • Have good mentions. Try to make it as clear as possible why someone is mentioned (and do not mention veteran contributors as if they were new). Ideally, even point to the contributor's contributions.
As we certainly can't detect all contributions, I think we should avoid "welcoming" contributors which newly show up on our trackers, as this could be insulting to veterans.

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