NEW Packages process

Scott Kitterman ubuntu at
Wed Apr 16 13:12:07 BST 2008

On Wed, 16 Apr 2008 13:28:20 +0200 Daniel Holbach 
<daniel.holbach at> wrote:
>Hash: SHA1
>Cesare Tirabassi schrieb:
>> If the purpose of this proposal is to reduce the idle time for new 
packages in 
>> the REVU queue than I think there are better ways, the best imho would 
be to 
>> make it more attractive for devs to actually review new packages.


>In an IRC conversation some days ago it was Colin Watson who said "every
>item of bureaucracy should be justified" - this got me thinking about
>this process as we hear a lot of frustration about it.

I agree with this idea.  In this case it's fully justified.

>How do we justify "this needs two reviewers - we don't trust one of them
>to do it right"? Is the quality of packaging our main concern? Which
>parts are we most concerned about?

We have plenty of experience with them not doing it right.  I didn't have a 
lot of new package review time in Hardy and tended to concentrate on 
packages needing second advocates.  I found a lot with what I would 
consider serious problems.

>Please decide on your own how common a situation like this is on REVU:
> - comment by a MOTU: "Could you add a watch file? Please move Homepage
>URL to its own Homepage field.", no ACK
> - two weeks of inactivity
> - upload archived
> - some days later: new upload fixing the issues
> - ...
> - maybe an ACK, maybe not

First uploads get archived after months, not two weeks.

Second, this is the time to fix these issues.  If the contributor won't fix 
them before upload when he wants the package uploaded, they're pretty 
unlikely to come back and fix it later.  For a known contributor who will 
come back, I tend to be more flexible.  I did in fact upload some packages 
with comment on stuff that ought to be fixed in the next revision.

In general, the only thing missing in you scenario was the MOTU advocating 
after the fixed upload.  Of course your scenario also didn't include the 
contributor ping the MOTU on irc/email saying 'I've fixed your issues, 
please look again and see if it's ready.'

>I'm convinced that fixes (fixing the Homepage field, bumping up the
>Standards-Version, etc) above are written quickly once the package is in
>the archive and should not block an upload. We are a distributed team
>which maintains packages in the team and round-trips because of such
>things merely add frustration.

They can be, but often are not.  We get a lot of drive by packagers who 
really won't come back and fix it.

>It all boils down to the question: "Why don't we trust one MOTU to get
>it right?"
Because historically they don't (myself included).

It occurs to me that if you really believe that the new package process 
should be the same as the sponsorship process, then you ought to discuss 
eliminating manual New review with the archive admins.  It's very 
frustrating after having finally gotten your package uploaded to have to 
wait for two seperate and sequential New reviews.

Scott K

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