Focus of MOTU (Was: NEW Packages process)

Stephan Hermann sh at
Thu Apr 17 09:25:27 BST 2008

Hi There,

this whole discussion actually freaked me out a bit. I don't know how
you feel about it, but I think we (as the MOTU team) need to come back
to our main focus:

	Get Universe/Multiverse as shiny as possible !

Ok, here it goes...

Priority 1a:

	I think our main focus should still be to fix
	Universe/Multiverse packages for the actual development
	release. That means, merging, syncing, fixing packages which we
	are importing from Debian or from older times from

	This will eat most of our time during a release.

Priority 1b:

	Recruite New Blood !

	Yes, we are lacking of Menpower. We need more active people,
	who are working on Prio 1a !
	This we can only achieve, with more PR. Furthermore, we need
	smart people and people who will stay focused, and even when
	"older" MOTUs are showing some "Burn Out" symptoms, we need to
	help them to come over this situation.

	("older" doesn't mean here: Age, it means Time being involved
	in the Ubuntu MOTU Project)

Priority 2:

	Fixing universe/multiverse even for older releases.
	This includes StableReleaseUpdates, Backports and as well
	Security Fixes. 

	Backports are quiet easy to achieve, but SRUs and
	Security Fixes are serious and difficult. We should try to find
	people, who are trustable and sensible for those areas. Here,
	I think we should recruit this group of people from the already
	existent MOTU Crew.

Priority 3: 

	New Packages !

	Ah yes, our actual problem. I do think it's more wise to point
	people to the mentor/sponsor project of Debian. But
	nevertheless, we are responsible to push interesting Software
	into Ubuntu, even before they hit Debian.
	But this should be, until we are more active people working on
	Prio 1 and 2, low prio. 
	New Packages are sometimes probelmatic, regarding the time and
	quality. Quality means here, not the packaging quality, but
	more important the quality of upstream projects. 
	As I explained in one of yesterdays replies, many packaged
	software has not the quality upstream wise. We should ask us,
	if we want short living upstream software packaged, or if we
	push those packages towards Debian. If there is interest in
	Debian, we can adopt this packages later on.
	In my opinion, we shouldn't have a strong focus on new packages
	at all. And yes, there are cornercases where I want to see
	packages, which are not in Debian yet, in Ubuntu. But this
	should be an exception for special areas, e.g. xfce, kde or
	gnome, when people are coming to us with special software,
	which would give us a worthable addon to fix bug no. 1

	I don't think, that we need all shiny, only used by a minority
	(means less then < 100 users), software in our archives. If
	it's important for the packager to include it into Ubuntu, IMHO
	there is need for it in Debian too, so that should be the first
	way to push this software.

Priority 4:
	Training !

	Training is important. Knowledge transfer is important.
	I would like to see more MOTU-School/Ubuntu-School
	sessions. Not only for packaging and other development stuff,
	but also e.g. regarding Virtualization, Buildserver Setup,
	Server Setup in general, Automatic Deployment of Debian/Ubuntu
	releases, License Knowledge, etc...

	I know, some of these topics are also covered by our Sponsors
	business, but not everybody has the opportunity to spend money
	for trainings. Therefore we should be able to concentrate some
	of our knowledge into a training session and explain the world
	how things are working in real life environments.

Priority 5:
	Decreasing Red Tape (Bureaucracy) !

	In the last year we saw a lot of bureaucracy added to the MOTU
	team. I do think, this stops us a lot. 
	I know, without some bureaucracy we would sink in chaos, but
	too much bureaucracy is bad.
	We should try to stop this, before it gives us more problems,
	and scaring away people. 
	Instead of introducing new barriers for old behaviour, we
	should try to renew some of our processes to be adapted for
	the situation now.
	An example: 
	in the beginning, during the merging time, we just went through
	MergeOMatics list of packages, and everybody was catching at
	least a package. No need to think about/ping the last uploader.
	"Just get our work done these days", was the devise.

	Today, we need at least to look at two places, MoM+DaD, asking
	the old uploader, eventually waiting too long for an answer.
	This slows us down.
	During Merging Time, it's important that we get hands on many
	packages as we can manage, and just fix them, or file a sync
	report for it. This gives us more time to fix stuff in the
	later stage of development.
	Communication is done via IRC and a MOTU should take care about
	the last uploaded packages he/she touched in the first place.
	When he/she's done with it, he/she can take whatever package
	is left, without further written or spoken permission of the
	last uploader. 
	IMHO this is the most important rule, nothing else.

Well, that is my view of the things today...

read it or trash it directly :) 


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