REVU: Automated Package Checks

charliej cjsmo at
Thu Jan 22 23:43:08 GMT 2009

On Thu, 2009-01-22 at 17:30 -0600, Nathan Handler wrote:
> Hello,
> For those of you who might be unaware, I have taken over Siegfried
> Gevatter's (RainCT) role of REVU Coordinator. For the past few days, I
> have been thinking about something, and I want to get the opinions of
> the rest of the people in the community before taking any action.
> Currently, in order for a new package to enter the repositories, it
> needs to be uploaded to REVU. There, it can wait either a few hours,
> days, or even months for a MOTU to review it. If the MOTU finds
> something wrong, the contributor needs to make the necessary
> corrections and upload again to REVU. They then need to wait for the
> package to get reviewed a second time. This goes on and on until 2
> MOTUs find the package to be acceptable for the repositories and
> advocate it.
> Most people that I have spoken with about REVU feel that the biggest
> downside about it is the long delay between the first upload to REVU
> and the point at which the package enters the repositories. This long
> delay is mainly due to the waiting period between uploading a modified
> version of the package and a MOTU re-reviewing it. This is what got me
> thinking, if we can reduce the number of times that a contributor
> needs to upload a package to REVU, we can greatly decrease the delay.
> One way that we can accomplish this is by having REVU perform some
> automated checks of the source package (more than it does now). We
> could then have it add a comment to the upload mentioning what was
> wrong, and send it to the Needs Work list. This automatic check could
> look for things such as a debian/changelog entry that has a proper
> version and target distribution, and closes a needs-packaging bug on
> Launchpad. These are common issues that I have seen on the majority of
> the packages that I have reviewed on REVU. By automatically sending
> them to the Needs Packaging list with a comment, the uploader will be
> made aware of the issues with the package, and a MOTU will not waste
> their time reviewing a package that is known to have errors in it.

If it would also send an email of the comment to the uploader would be
nice ;)  
> I am aware that REVU currently checks that the package has a valid
> Maintainer in debian/control, has a debian/watch file or
> get-orig-source target, and that it is lintian clean (when run on the
> .dsc); however, it seems that most people ignore the messages that it
> displays above the comments. This is one reason why I feel adding an
> actual comment and sending it to the Needs Work list would be much
> more beneficial.
> Like I said, I am interested in hearing what the rest of the community
> things about this idea.
> Thanks in advance,
> Nathan Handler (nhandler)
> REVU Coordinator
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