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Re: Idea for maintaining packages up for adoption

Le lundi 18 juillet 2005 à 16:36 +0200, Martin Schulze a écrit :
> Raphael Hertzog wrote:
> > I discussed this with Benjamin Bayart who is a TeX expert and gave me
> > some examples concerning some small packages like "dvi2dvi". He's not
> > willing to go through NM to become a Debian Maintainer because that's
> > too much hassle just for maintaining one or two little packages like
> > this one. The bulk work for those packages has been done and they're
> > mostly in "maintenance mode"... they don't represent too much work.
> > In the end, we decided to remove several packages he's using because we
> > couldn't find a maintainer for them.
> I'm not totally convinced this is a good idea, since a) Debian depends
> to proper maintainership and b) other people went through NM as well
> for small tools - some of them became more interested and maintain
> more packages these days.

I agree that having proper maintainership is the best thing in general.
But we're discussing corner cases here: packages who lost their initial
maintainer and that nobody want to adopt. It usually means that there's
no intersection between the set of users of this package and the set of

> > The problem is then : we have knowledgeable people willing to help but
> > we don't have a Debian maintainer for them. Benjamin sent several patchs
> > in the BTS and they are still there... waiting to be applied.
> Any Debian developer could work on them.
> Debian QA has often shown itself as being the maintainer for orphaned
> packages.  I guess you want to start a task force that will actively
> maintain such packages.  When done properly, it's probably a big win
> for Debian.

That's the idea ... except that the task force would involve actively
external contributors and DD would only manage the packaging side + the
upload of the package.

> > The suggestion I made is the following : let's co-maintain all those
> > packages on alioth (with Subversion) ! We'd give access to any outsider
> > who has a patch ready to be applied... all the packages could be built
> > automatically and sometimes the outsider could ask for a "sponsor
> > upload" to update it in the main archive.
> > 
> > This is mostly how the maintenance of perl module works now, so I see no
> > reason why it couldn't work in this case.
> Don't they have a real maintainer, HE?

It's a team... they have a maintainer field pointing to a mailing list:
Maintainer: Debian Perl Group <pkg-perl-maintainers@lists.alioth.debian.org>

> > Another idea in this direction would be the following : I consider that
> > Benjamin is able to maintain the little TeX packages and I'm pretty sure
> > if he could upload them himself, he would do a good job. He's probably
> > not able to maintain "any" Debian package and going through NM would
> > require work from him that he's not willing to do. Does that justify
> > that we forbid him to maintain the TeX packages that he's able to
> > handle ? I think "no".
> I may be missing the point but why can't he find a more or less
> permanent sponsor who checks the packages as well?  That's how
> it works for other packages.  Am I totally off the road?

No you're not ... but a permanent sponsor is "permanent" only if he has
a real interest in the package. And as explained, we're discussing a
case where nobody inside Debian is interested in the package (but we
have users interested in it).

Raphaël Hertzog -+- http://www.ouaza.com
Formation Linux et logiciel libre : http://www.logidee.com
Earn money with free software: http://www.geniustrader.org

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