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Re: Self-assessment of the quality of the maintenance work

On Sun, 21 Dec 2008, Mark Brown wrote:
> On Sat, Dec 20, 2008 at 06:19:26PM +0100, Raphael Hertzog wrote:
> > The collation of all those data will give us a better view on the
> > maintenance status of each package and it could be displayed on the PTS.
> > We could also use those info to direct new contributors to help in
> > existing packages instead of packaging new stuff.
> > What do you think of the idea ?
> I'm not sure that the e-mail bit of this really adds anything - the

I don't understand why you say that:
- email is the primary way to get in touch with a maintainer
- making sure that the maintainer responds to an email query is
  the traditional way used by the MIA team/DAM to see if a maintainer is
  still active
- it's also indirectly a way to authenticate him for the web form
  because we can put a cookie in the link (unfortunately, we don't have any
  officially endorsed web authentication method that works well to
  identify debian contributors)

> information reported is only going to be as good as the people filling
> it in make it and there's little motiviation to make much effort with
> the data.

Can you expand ?

> Something that used existing metrics to try to determine if
> the package was actively maintained before sending the mail might be
> more useful there and would avoid making work for people who are clearly
> active.

I wish to collect more information than "active"/"not active" so I think
that the answers of the active ones are as interesting than those of the
less-active ones. 

And as already said, "active"/"not active" is really specific to each
package and someone with more than a few packages is likely to be active
on some packages and less-active on some others. What would you suggest in
this case ?

> The web application side of it does sound like a good idea, though: the
> existing WNPP has some issues arising from the use of the BTS as the
> back end (like making sure e-mails get seen by the right people, for
> example).

Indeed, in the long term, I wish we could have a "recruiting team" that tried
to find new maintainers for packages. The goal would be to have the maximum of
packages with active maintainers. In the same spirit, it's easier to get a
new maintainer rolling while the package still has a passive one that is
willing to sponsor and give advice to him. Once it's orphaned, you have to
find an interested sponsor and it's not always easy.

Raphaël Hertzog

Le best-seller français mis à jour pour Debian Etch :

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