Merges - Pinging Previous Uploaders

Emmet Hikory emmet.hikory at
Sat Jul 14 06:48:49 BST 2007

On 7/14/07, Jordan Mantha <mantha at> wrote:
> Other people's merges? Nobody "owns" anything in MOTU. We are a team. We
> take care of Universe and whatever needs to be done. MOTU is the
> maintainer, not individuals. If a merge is decently documented then there
> should be *no* problem with another MOTU merging it later on for the vast
> vast majority of packages. If there is then there's something else going
> wrong.
> People should be worried about *how* to get a merge done more than *if*
> they should do it. Honestly, MOTU is sounding more like a bunch of
> independent individuals than a team trying to rock the Ubuntu world. I
> think MOTU could face even more serious manpower problems if it continues
> to do so.

    Thinking about this as a larger issue, rather than just "How do we
ping?", I'd like to second Jordan on this.  The lack of a concept of
ownership of packages is one of the ways in which Ubuntu differs from
other distributions, and one of the things that makes us strong.

   If someone believes a merge (or any other change) will improve
Ubuntu, and the candidate revision is technically correct, there's no
reason not to process it.  If someone wants to be notified of all
changes to a package, as they have special knowledge or interest, they
can subscribe to the package in Launchpad.  If a package has special
maintenance concerns, these should be documented in the packaging
(e.g.: please use the VCS to update this package => XS-Vcs-* in
debian/control, please be sure to adjust the seeds rather than
manually changing dependencies => Depends: germinate, please check
with $team regarding this packages, as there are deep interactions
with $system => comment in README.Debian-source).

    Perhaps a better solution to the perceived issue of "That person
stole my merge" is to focus on fixing bugs and providing new features
in our uploads, rather than focusing on merges.  Much of the
communication I've seen with new contributors lately seems to be
related to merges, syncs, new packages, and Debian coordination.  This
is different from previous cycles, where I saw a lot more on tracking
bugs, fixing bugs, implementing new features, and improving
integration with the rest of the distribution.

    Given the expanding number of contributors, perhaps a better model
is to provide some guidelines to improve coordination and reduce
duplication of effort.  If you're planning an upload, make sure some
LP bugs are assigned to you, and set "In-Progress".  If you're
considering an upload, check the package bugs, and if someone else is
working on the same package, ping them to coordinate your efforts.  If
this isn't enough, we're not working as a team.


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