NEW Packages process

Stephan Hermann sh at
Wed Apr 16 19:27:01 BST 2008


Am Wed, 16 Apr 2008 11:45:31 -0500
schrieb "Justin Dugger" <jldugger at>:

> On Wed, Apr 16, 2008 at 11:20 AM, Stephan Hermann <sh at>
> wrote:
> >  We need a barrier, to not let all software into Ubuntu, which will
> >  only live for a couple of months.
> On the contrary, while I agree that review is good and necessary, many
> upstreams view individual distributions as testing grounds for
> patches.  Linus has often said historically that if he rejects your
> patch, maybe have the redhat tree carry it for a while. Upstream is
> the spring from which all software flows, so it's safer to place the
> risk with a single distro than push a bad patch out to everyone.  Of
> course, this sort of system requires people capable of evaluating and
> fixing software and patches. If MOTU doesn't have that kind of human
> capital, then it's probably better that this sort of work be left to
> Gentoo, Debian etc and let upstream handle applying patches when
> they're ready.

No...I'm not talking about "patches towards already existent packages".

I think we have valuable people, who are even involved in upstream
projects, to judge about a patch, the quality of it and the
usefullness for the distro. Some patches are useful for distros, but
not actually for upstream...we see that every day :)

But the whole thread is about something else.

Actually, what I saw in the past is, that many upstream developers of
small projects are just coming by and packaging their stuff, actually
this is a good thing, but when you see, that a project with one upstream
developer, who happens to be the packager who proposed the package to
revu, only lives for a couple of weeks or months, just because there is
no interest in the upstream project itself, then it makes no sense, to
push the package into the archive, actually it's a waste of time and a
waste of bandwidth and storage.

People, who are reviewing the packages, are investing valuable time
into this, and the result of their work should be valuable, too.
A package where the upstream project dies after a countable timeframe
is not worth to be in any distro.

Now, what's left. We have packages with upstream projects which are
valuable. But the guy who proposed and packaged the software in the
first place, runs away after the software is in the archive, or
he/she runs away even before the package is ready...hell, this is
wasted time, too, because now the active motus have one package more
to take care of (when it was acked even by 2 MOTUs and uploaded by a
MOTU), and we don't even get the other packages, coming from debian, in
shape for every release. But it's not against our policy, we don't
force the initial packager to stay with us...he/she can come and go as
he/she wants. If we would have a process of automatic removal of
packages which are not maintained over a certain ammount of time, that
would be great...we have many dead packages in our archives...;)

It's a problem of the ammount of packages, the ammount of time to get
things done (remember it's community which means people have also a
real life, a life which earns money and real life love actually) and
(sry for the word) human resources.

Therefore, having a high barrier for eventually not needed software, is
good, and we should see that at least some of the well known  lower
barriers (lintian etc.) are taken automatically before the human MOTU
resource starts to work on that.



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