More efficient package reviewing

Lucas Nussbaum lucas at
Wed Aug 2 23:09:02 BST 2006

On 02/08/06 at 15:58 -0400, Hubert Figuiere wrote:
> Hi,
> I would like to raise a few points/concerns about the package reviewing 
> process and the fact that the backlog of package to be review on REVU is 
> increasing every day. It is not to blame people, but I'm sure we can make the 
> process faster by reducing the actual workload.

I'd like to raise a few other issues about importing new packages into
Ubuntu. REVU isn't only about this, but if discussing the issues
described below might help reduce REVU workload.

== Do we really want newer upstream release ? (ie: diverge from Debian
by having newer software available) ==

Having the newest software is great, but we have to be able to maintain
it. By introducing divergence from Debian, we increase the number of
merges we will have to work on in the future. And merging two different
versions ("visions") of a new upstream release is not easy.
Maybe we should have a more responsible attitude wrt new upstream
releases, and only package them ourself when Debian is clearly lagging,
and we know the newer upstream release will bring something very useful
with it (bugfixes).

== Do we really want more software in Ubuntu ? ==

It seems that the main opinion inside MOTU is "let's get as many
packages in as possible". However, most of such packages never make it
to Debian. Why ? Maybe because Debian is slower. But also maybe because
nobody cares about a 7th package providing the same functionality. In
Debian, ITPs are often answered with comments such as "what does it do
better than XX ?". Maybe, for new software, we should add a field in
REVU where the uploader will describe why he/she thinks the package
should be included in Ubuntu, and exactly how it compares to similar
packages already in the archive.

Another thing that we should definitely do is make some stats about
packages that were added to Ubuntu but aren't in Debian. Are they really
used ? But we'd need a popularity-contest with more participants ...


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