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

On 20/12/08 at 18:19 +0100, Raphael Hertzog wrote:
> Hello,
> I would like to propose something new that would partially supersede the
> work done by the MIA team and that would also generate new information
> somehow related to the topic of WNPP.
> The basic idea is quite simple, we want to ensure that each package is
> maintained as well as possible and for this we need to ensure that
> it has one or more active maintainer(s). Hence every X months, each
> maintainer receives a mail with a link to a web form where he'll have a
> list of all the packages that he maintains/co-maintains and for each
> package he has to answer several questions that explain his relationship
> with the package (the answer are preseeded with the values he selected
> the previous time so that he can quickly skim over it if nothing has
> changed):
> - what kind of maintainer he is
>   - active (responding quickly, forwarding bugs, …)
>   - passive (responds only to major problems)
>   - backup (not doing anything unless solicited)
> - if the package needs an active maintainer or not (most perl modules are
>   well maintained with a single "passive" maintainer)
> - if the package needs help from another volunteer
> We could integrate various heuristics/data in the process to help the
> maintainer recognize that he's (not) keeping up and that he needs help
> or maybe that he's no more "active" but only "passive".
> If the maintainer doesn't respond, he automatically enters the MIA
> process and the package is quickly marked as needing help/attention
> from someone else.
> 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 don't really like it.

Your main goal is to improve our detection of packages that need
attention. (it would also help detect inactive maintainers, but even
that has the goal of improving the quality of our packages).

However, I have the impression that currently, we do pretty well at
detecting packages that need attention. What we don't do very well, is
taking care of those: we have tons of orphaned packages, and tons of
packages that need investigation according to Bapase. So that's probably
where we should put more work.

Also, I think that the usefulness/noise ratio of your system would be
quite low. Maybe such a system could still be useful, but it would be
needed to filter the list of packages first. There are tons of packages
where there's no doubt that they receive enough attention.
| Lucas Nussbaum
| lucas@lucas-nussbaum.net   http://www.lucas-nussbaum.net/ |
| jabber: lucas@nussbaum.fr             GPG: 1024D/023B3F4F |

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