Scott Kitterman ubuntu at
Sat Nov 3 02:34:54 GMT 2007

On Friday 02 November 2007 14:00, Stephen Sinclair wrote:
> Hello,
> > Getting new packages into Ubuntu is one of the most challenging ways to
> > get involved in MOTU and packaging (it's how I did it too).  You can also
> > help with fixing bugs in existing packages and merging updates from
> > Debian.  These are generally easier to do and give you good experience. 
> > Additionally, some reviewers are more inclined to review packages from
> > people they know have been more generally contributing to the community.
> I listen in on this list just to occasionally get these kinds of
> insights.  I find it odd, though, that MOTU is more interested in
> reviewing and accepting bug fixes than in new packages.  It seems to
> me that there are two kinds of packagers: 1) people wanting to
> generally improve the Ubuntu experience by fixing bugs and helping out
> any way they can, and 2) people who just want to get their software or
> software they enjoy using into the packaging system so that it's
> easier to manage and easier for other people to use.
> The whole MOTU mentoring system seems to me to be far more oriented
> towards case 1) than case 2), but please correct me if I'm wrong.
I'd put it a little differently.

If I, as a MOTU, was really interested in a package being in Ubuntu, I'd 
probably have packaged it already, so as a rule, MOTUs have a low personal 
interest in the particular new package someone might be bringing (there are 
certainly exceptions to this).  Most MOTUs are interested in new packages for 
their potential to bring in new contributors and serve as a vehicle for 
training potential new MOTUs.  

There was serious discussion about disallowing new packages entirely in the 
Hardy release cycle so that we could focus fully on making the Hardy LTS 
release stable and mature.  In the end, we decided not to do that, but that 
gives you an idea of where many of us are.

There are certainly exceptions to all of this and if you can get a MOTU 
genuinely interested in having your package in Ubuntu, getting reviews gets a 
lot easier.

But there's another reason for suggesting bug fixing all together....

New packages require an understanding of pretty well all aspects of Debian 
packaging.  With bug fixing, it's only a little bit at a time usually.  As a 
result, bug fixing is genuinely a better place to start learning for many 
people.  Helping with bug fixing will not only increase your chances of 
getting reviews, it will also help you learn things that will allow you to 
make your new package better, sooner.

That said, helpful participation is welcome from all, and so if new packages 
are where your interest is, go for it, just have some patience as we ramp up 
for an LTS release.

Scott K

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