Future of REVU and Debian Mentors

Jordan Mantha mantha at ubuntu.com
Mon Jul 30 06:50:56 BST 2007

On 7/29/07, Scott Kitterman <ubuntu at kitterman.com> wrote:
> I was recently subscribed to the debian-mentors mail list (working on getting
> a package uploaded to Debian) and discovered that the author of the Debian
> Mentors system is getting ready to overhaul that system.
> That got me thinking...
> Why do REVU an mentors need to be separate?

A couple thoughts:
  1. For a new Ubuntu contributor Debian can be a quite intimidating.
I remember being quite confused trying to figure out *both* Ubuntu and
Debian while doing my first package from scratch. Of course this is
also a big reason to "combine forces" between REVU and debian-mentors,
*if* it can be pulled off.
  2. There are social differences between Ubuntu and Debian as well as
just the technical ones. It's sometimes easier to maintain our own
system. We'd need to get by-in from DDs and the current debian-mentors
maintainers. For instance, who should be allowed to review/sponsor?
Most MOTUs are not DDs and vice-versa so I can imagine there would be
quite a bit we'd need to work out.

> Except for versioning and release, with minor exceptions (like the freeness of
> GFDL) packages can be made identical for both Debian and Ubuntu.

There is also the issue of native Ubuntu packages. I imagine Debian
isn't much interested in Ubuntu-specific stuff so we still need to
deal with those.

> I could see up pooling resources on reviewing new packages and if a MOTU
> thought a package was ready to upload, then they could upload it and if a DD
> thought a package was ready, they could sponsor it.  We'd have to deal with
> version/release, but I'd imagine it could be programmed in.

This is a really interesting suggestion, in fact I don't know why it
hasn't been suggested before. Perhaps because it would take a large
amount of Debian/Ubuntu cooperation and we tend to separate packages
into Debian packages and Ubuntu packages. It also seems to me that
quite a number of contributors to REVU don't really want to deal with
Debian, as it is more work for a distro they don't use.

I personally tend to think that with our resources we are better off
really encouraging people to put their packages through Debian unless
it is Ubuntu-specific. I found debian-mentors to be very helpful and
getting a package into Debian fairly easy, once I figured out how
things worked. I think working on "How does an Ubuntu user/contributor
get their package into Debian?" would benefit MOTU/Universe. Also
figuring out how to get Debian to "take on" packages created by Ubuntu
users. I know several cases where a contributor wanted to get the
package into Ubuntu rather than Debian because they didn't want to be
the Debian maintainer.


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