NEW Packages process

Stani at
Wed Apr 16 15:18:59 BST 2008

Disclaimer: I am not a MOTU, but rather just a fresh, minor
contributor since Ubuntu Hardy. So I can give my point of view from
the other part of the fence.

On Wed, Apr 16, 2008 at 3:14 PM, Scott Kitterman <ubuntu at> wrote:
>  There is a tension in the new package process between teaching about packaging
>  and getting new packages in.  If all we care about was getting new packages
>  in, we'd take the 5 minutes it takes to fix up the details and upload, but we
>  don't just care about that, so we pitch it back to the contributor to fix so
>  they learn better.  This is sometimes frustrating for the student, but that's
>  part of the learning process.
I agree with this. After I've submitted a package, I got after some
weeks the notice that the debian/copyright was not correct. Of course
this was frustrating and irritating for a first contribution. As I am
as well the upstream author of the package, I considered if I should
not put my time in developing the application rather than packaging
it. But getting all kind of emails about installation problems is also
frustrating. So I decided to fix the issue, which even involved
finding new icons with a clear origin. After that my package got
accepted and was successfully updated with help from MOTU's and DD.

After the whole process, my conclusion is:
- The frustration was 'worth' it. I simply did not know enough and it
is not that difficult in the end. A psychological aspect is that I was
afraid that every other update would be such a painful process. What
as a new contributor you don't realise as that getting your package
accepted is the hardest thing (because you have to learn) and that
afterwards things go (more) smoothly (because you have learnt). So
pointing that out to newcomers could have already a relaxing effect.
- As a newcomer I would not like that my packages are accepted with
(un)noticed bugs. I always thought that MOTU's are Masters of the
Universe and I wouldn't like to be proven wrong. Right now you hope
when your packages are accepted they are ok. As soon as bugs start to
be accepted I guess it only becomes more confusing as it seems more

It is always better first to go through hell to paradise than the opposite.

Also in the whole discussion no MOTU stepped forward to state he can
or wants to do package reviews alone. So nobody seems to consider peer
reviewing as bureaucracy. If you want to prevent newcomers from being
demotivated, I think this is another goal and there are other means to
achieve that (especially documentation and example projects).

Just my 2 cents,

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