UbuntuStudio flavor status in jeopardy, action needed [Was, Re: [Ubuntu Studio] Cry For Help]

Steve Langasek steve.langasek at ubuntu.com
Tue Mar 5 22:23:18 UTC 2019

Dear DMB,

In October 2016, I wrote a mail to ask the DMB to revisit their approach to
the question of Ubuntu upload rights for Ross Gammon, in light of the fact
that this meant the difference between having or not having any uploaders on
the team of an official flavor, UbuntuStudio.

Because there has been some turnover on the DMB since then, and because I'm
adding some new cc:s here (including the TB), I'll quote my original email
for context:

On Tue, Oct 04, 2016 at 10:49:57AM -0700, Steve Langasek wrote:
> Hi Ross,

> On Tue, Oct 04, 2016 at 07:11:06PM +0200, Ross Gammon wrote:
> > Hi Laney & Steve,

> > Thanks for helping us out in the Ubuntu Studio Team.  I know you guys
> > already have plenty on the go.

> > As Set says, I did apply to be a Contributor.  But, because I had only a
> > few uploads in Ubuntu (I am a DM in Debian), and all to different
> > sponsors, I didn't manage to get any endorsements.  It didn't help that
> > I emailed all the sponsors just before the northern hemisphere holidays
> > either :-)

> > Anyway, after a few more sponsored uploads you can expect a fresh
> > application to the DMB.  I will probably ask for PPU rights to the
> > ubuntustudio-* packages first.  And then I will begin working towards
> > rights to the Ubuntu Studio package set (which needs a little update by
> > the way).

> I think it's important that we as a community not be overly process-bound
> here.  It is of course still necessary to make sure the people asking for
> upload rights are trustworthy and know what they're doing, but we're talking
> here about a situation where an official Ubuntu flavor has an active
> community but no active members with upload rights.  Fixing this should not
> require multiple round trips to the DMB for them to grant gradually more
> permissions over a span of months; the Ubuntu Studio package set exists to
> serve the needs of the Ubuntu Studio community, and it should be
> uncontroversial for the folks who are actually maintaining Ubuntu Studio to
> be given access to this package set.

> I am cc:ing the DMB to make sure they're aware of this situation, and to ask
> them to proactively address this gap for the Ubuntu Studio team.

While this resulted in some email discussion with members of the DMB at the
time, there was apparently no formal follow-up by the DMB, and I am dismayed
to learn that two years on the situation remains unchanged and there are no
active members of the ubuntustudio team with upload rights to the Ubuntu
archive, which only came to my attention because of Erich Eickmeyer's email
this weekend to ubuntu-release:

On Sat, Mar 02, 2019 at 11:54:38AM -0800, Erich Eickmeyer wrote:
> [Sent to: Ubuntu Studio Development, Ubuntu MOTUs, Ubuntu Release Team]

> Hello all,

> Over the course of the past few months, myself, Len Ovens, and Ross Gammon
> have been working hard on updating the Ubuntu Studio tools. In particluar,
> we have done a number of things to the tools:

> * Updated Ubuntu Studio Controls (ubuntustudio-controls) with a number of
> bug fixes
> * Renamed Ubuntu Studio Meta Installer to Ubuntu Studio Installer
> (ubuntustudio-installer) and gave it a secondary purpose of installing
> Ubuntu Studio's stack on top of a flavor other than Ubuntu Studio (think of
> Ubuntu Studio as a ToolKit)
> * Updated Ubuntu Studio's default theme and icon theme (part of
> ubuntustudio-look and ubuntustudio-default-settings in addition to
> ubuntustudio-icon-theme)
> * Updated Ubuntu Studio's plymouth boot theme (part of ubuntustudio-look)
> * Added a GRUB theme (grub2-themes-ubuntustudio)
> * Fixed bugs and missing apps in our menu (ubuntustudio-menu)
> * Worked upstream with the developer of Carla to get Carla in Ubuntu's
> repos.

> Unfortunately, none of that made it in before feature freeze, despite my
> mailing our development list that it needed to happen, and tagging certain
> packages with [needs packaging]. Perhaps I'm just doing it wrong.

> Basically, it comes down to this: Nobody on the Ubuntu Studio Team has
> upload privileges in any way. As such, these tools are sitting waiting to be
> uploaded.

> So now, unless I'm wrong, each one of the packages now needs a Feature
> Freeze Exception to be uploaded into the repo. This is disappointing
> because, as of right now, Ubuntu Studio 19.04 is looking identical to Ubuntu
> Studio 18.10.

> My intention was to apply to become a MOTU after the release of 19.04 in
> order to prevent situations like this from happening again. Unfortunately,
> it looks like that will be too late unless we can get someone to get in and
> review these packages:

> * https://launchpad.net/grub2-themes-ubuntustudio
> * https://launchpad.net/ubuntustudio-controls
> * https://launchpad.net/ubuntustudio-installer
> * https://launchpad.net/ubuntustudio-icon-theme
> * https://launchpad.net/ubuntustudio-look
> * https://launchpad.net/ubuntustudio-menu
> * https://launchpad.net/ubuntustudio-default-settings
> * https://launchpad.net/carla

> So, please take this as our cry for help to get these packages updated and
> included. I don't know how to do this, and I've never been shown the
> process. So, maybe my MOTU training sarts here.

> Thank you for your time, and in advance for your help.

With my TB hat on, let me be direct: it is unacceptable for us to have an
official Ubuntu flavor which has no uploaders.  This is explicitly called
out in https://wiki.ubuntu.com/RecognizedFlavors:

  Guidelines to become and remain a recognized flavor:

  * One or more developer with upload rights.

Unfortunately, since it appears the DMB neither acted, nor communicated with
the TB regarding their inaction, and since I also failed to follow up to
make sure this was dealt with, we have now had *four* UbuntuStudio
releases (17.04, 17.10, 18.04, 18.10) which did not meet this policy.

I will say right now that we will not have a fifth.

Now as then, I do not presume to substitute my own judgement for the DMB's
regarding whether any particular person should be given upload rights; but
we do have a situation that needs to be dealt with rather urgently.
*Either* the UbuntuStudio community proposes, and the DMB ratifies,
ubuntustudio PPU rights for one or more of their devs; *or*, UbuntuStudio
must not ship as a recognized flavor for Ubuntu 19.04.

Here is what I would ask of each of the parties on this thread:

 - Erich, Ross: please resubmit ASAP for one or both of you an application
   to the DMB for PPU rights on the ubuntustudio packageset.  (Given Ross's
   status as a Debian Developer, I would assume it would be easier to get
   him approved, but ultimately I think that's for you to decide.)

 - DMB: please prioritize working with the members of the UbuntuStudio team
   to ensure timely feedback and timely decision-making so that these PPU
   applications have optimal chances of success in time for 19.04.

 - fellow TB members: let's please discuss how we can sustainably audit that
   flavors are continuing to meet the requirements for recognition.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                   https://www.debian.org/
slangasek at ubuntu.com                                     vorlon at debian.org
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