Role of the Sponsorship Queue

Bryce Harrington bryce at
Thu Mar 4 19:09:19 GMT 2010

On Fri, Mar 05, 2010 at 02:57:47AM +0900, Emmet Hikory wrote:
> > 2. ??It misses the chance for people who think they don't think they want to become Ubuntu developers to discover they are wrong.
>     I agree that the model I describe serves those who may discover
> that they really do wish to be Ubuntu Developers badly.  I'm not
> convinced the current model serves them that much better.  For those
> few who come to IRC and talk to us, we can certainly help them through
> building a candidate, submitting it, etc.  For those that don't, we're
> lost, but I assert we're not more lost than we are now, and certainly
> not more than if we try to push all the patches into the sponsors
> queue.

It's almost like arguing against funding public health care since it
denies people the enjoyment of learning first aid.  ;-)

Having more Ubuntu developers is a good thing, and certainly having
training for this is also a good thing.  But relying on the sponsorship
process as the primary way to accomplish this is not going to be a net
win.  It often takes longer to explain how to do something than to just
do it, so since the primary goal of sponsoring is to get the sponsoring
queue cleared, I expect the motivation is stronger to do the fixes
yourself (or reject the request) than to spend time educating.

Indeed, I think if there is expectations that the sponsoring process is
a primary training tool for Ubuntu developers, then this is not good.
It's like learning a college course by trying to take its final exam.
You may well learn something, but more likely you're going to find it
scary and frustrating.

Identifying potential candidates for becoming Ubuntu developers really
is not that hard, and can be done programmatically.  Query for people
with karma > 500 and karma-this-month > karma-last-month, and who have
attached 3 or more patches to bugs, and who are not already team
members.  You can also probably examine their existing team memberships
to programmatically identify people more or less interested in this.
Now you can bulk-mail all those people and encourage them to attend 
Ubuntu developer training sessions or point them at a paint-by-numbers
procedure for doing debdiffs or something.


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