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Re: Question to Stefano, Steve and Luk about the organisation into packaging teams.

Stefano Zacchiroli wrote:
> On Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 05:39:38PM +0100, Stefano Zacchiroli wrote:
>>> "Collaborative maintenance should not be mandatory (we do have
>>> several very efficient one-man-band developers), but should be our
>>> default".
> <snip>
>> What I would do if the times will come, is to get in touch with NM
>> people. My proposal would be to add a "join a team" entry as one of
>> the *recommended* step in our join checklists.

I agree that this is a good idea. Some documentation is very focused on
packaging new software, where existing teams are already having a hard
time to keep up maintaining important packages. I think both for the
existing maintainers as well as for the NM it's very probably more
rewarding to work together on existing packages.

> Let me add a second way to implement that default; I've split it in a
> different mail because it touches a different subject: handling of
> sub-standard quality packages. We need ways to identify them and to,
> initially gently and then more forcibly if needed, encourage
> maintainers to pass over maintenance. How to do that is a different
> topic, let's assume we have a way to identify such packages.

I think it's important to foremost work together with the maintainer on
this. The goal should be that the maintainer is more proactive in the
future and we would not get sub-standard quality packages for them that
easily anymore.

> In such scenario, the first choice should be to look whether we
> already have a team maintaining related packages and get actively in
> touch with them to check whether there are people in the team willing
> to take over maintenance. The second choice should be an attempt to
> create a team for the maintenance of the package, possibly federating
> together related packages. FWIW, that's how I got involved in several
> of the teams I'm a member of: responding to cries for help together
> with other. If all this fails, we should then put the package up for
> adoption as we currently do.

I don't think it's a good idea to take over packages from existing
maintainers unless that maintainer agrees with it or is not active
anymore. Proposing the maintainer to join existing teams maintaining
similar packages is a good idea though.

> Finally, I believe our most important packages (e.g., as defined by
> their archive Priority or shared libraries with tons of reverse
> dependencies) should be team-maintained, at least to provide backup
> maintainers. In fact, the PTS already implements such a warning on a
> Priority basis (implementation by Raphael, a while ago); similar
> warnings can and should be added to other tools of our toolchains.

Not a bad idea, though it's only a 'should' and should not be
interpreted as a 'must' IMHO.



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