New Official Flavor Process Issues (Was Re: Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix packages)

Steve Langasek steve.langasek at
Fri Jul 29 13:34:45 UTC 2022

Hi Erich,

[Dropping ubuntu-release from Cc: as this isn't relevant for that list]

On Wed, Jul 27, 2022 at 06:21:56PM -0700, eeickmeyer at wrote:
> On Sun, 2022-07-24 at 22:54 -0700, Steve Langasek wrote:
> > - The source package points to github for its seed.  This needs to be
> >   hosted on Launchpad, and owned by a team of which ~ubuntu-core-dev is
> >   a member.

> There is no documentation anywhere that I know of in this context for
> the requirement of the involvement of a member of the ~ubuntu-core-dev
> team, so now I'm emploring the technical board to get this sorted,
> preferably on some kind of documentation, but not necessarily on
> <> as I'm not happy with that
> wiki entry from a community standpoint. More on this later in this
> email.

There seems to be a misunderstanding here.  I did not say that members of
ubuntu-core-dev needed to be involved; I said that the team which owns the
seed branches needs to have ubuntu-core-dev as a member.

See any of,, by way of example.

This follows directly from the fact that ubuntu-core-dev is entrusted with
the ability to upload all packages in the archive as necessary; and unlike
some packages where a maintaining team might have a package with a Vcs-Git
pointing to a repository that only they can commit to, but that they can
merge changes back from the archive if someone needs to upload the package,
for a flavor metapackage the VCS branch *is* the real source.  A core dev
cannot make (maintainable) changes to these metapackages unless they can
commit to the VCS; so rather than leaving them with the only option to fork
the official seed branches for the flavor under ~ubuntu-core-dev (or
~ubuntu-motu) and make it impossible for the /flavor maintainers/ to update
the branch pointed to by the source package, we should simply head this off
up front by making sure ubuntu-core-dev is a member of the team owning the

Concretely, the Release Team needs to be able to create new branches for
each flavor when a new series opens.  So the above is not a hypothetical.

This is not documented as a requirement on the wiki page simply because when
that page was being prepared no one thought to include it given that this is
meant to be simply clerical rather than a requirement that the flavor team
needs to overcome with effort in order to be considered by the TB.  I have
no objections to it being documented on the wiki.  Regardless, in practice
this is simply:

 - create a -dev team for the flavor in launchpad
 - invite ubuntu-core-dev to the team
 - push your branches to git under the new -dev team
 - point your meta package at that git repository

> Your reply brings up a larger discussion which involves not only the
> technical board, but also the community council since there are
> community implications that need to be addressed as the wiki entry you
> referred to is not at all community friendly.

What, concretely, is the Community Council asking be changed on this wiki
page?  Does this just concern the above omission, or are you asking for
something else?  I'm not clear what "community friendly" means here.

> > On Sat, Jul 23, 2022 at 09:26:16AM -0700, Erich Eickmeyer wrote:
> > > On Sat, 2022-07-23 at 07:46 -0700, Erich Eickmeyer wrote:
> > > > There is also an ubuntucinnamon-meta package which Joshua has been
> > > > creating manually, but I suspect this should be uploaded later after
> > > > a germinate seed has been created.

> > > I stand corrected, he's using germinate to create the meta.  It'll be
> > > easy to transition to a proper seed once the flavor is official.

> > This needs to happen *before* the flavor is recognized as official.

> If there is a step-by-step process that is undocumented, then this
> brings up a point that I'll address below.

Again, I'm happy to document this in whatever detail the CC thinks is
appropriate, but I also don't think this should be surprising to anyone
involved in Ubuntu development.  The Archive Admins don't approve NEW
packages before they're uploaded; the SRU team doesn't pre-approve SRUs but
reviews them based on what is actually uploaded to the archive (and requires
SRU test cases for the actual binary packages built as part of the SRU, not
just pre-upload testing); likewise, the TB is going to need to assess a
candidate flavor based on what is actually in the archive, not what is

> Thanks for the help, Steve. However, the list in that wiki entry reads
> like a checklist for the technical board to follow when considering a
> flavor to become officially recognized. That's great and all, but it is
> very difficult for a flavor that is attempting to become official,
> especially after 3 years of trying, to follow as a guide.

You mention that Joshua has been working towards official flavor status
following <>, but that page has had
the requirement of Tech Board approval for much longer than 3 years; so why
is the first outreach to the Tech Board only happening after 3 years, only
after a redirect on my part from ubuntu-release, and at a point where any
sort of pushback apparently results in significant frustration?

> Therefore, on behalf of the Community Council, I charge the technical
> board to come up with such a document, posted in an easy-to-find
> location, so that unofficial flavors (two currently on my radar include
> Ubuntu Cinnamon and Ubuntu Unity) can have a streamlined shot at
> becoming official flavors if they so desire. Remember, this is about
> putting the community first, and a growing community is a healthy
> community, which means allowing and helping new flavors rather than
> discouraging them.

The page, already linked from
<>, should be this one place.  We should not
have separate documentation for the Tech Board and the flavor maintainers. 
It also appears to clear the bar for being easy-to-find (as much as anything
ever is) since you and Joshua were both already aware of it.

However, aside from adding more details like the above around seeds, and
clearly documenting that becoming a daily is a prerequisite for becoming a
released flavor, I'm not clear what you are asking for that isn't already
there.  So please, clarify.

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                         
slangasek at                                     vorlon at
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