REVU: Automated Package Checks

Kjeldgaard Morten mok at
Sat Jan 24 01:10:12 GMT 2009

Loïc, Nathan,

It is in principle possible to transform REVU into a super- 
sophisticated package-analysis machine that would extend Lintian's  
capabilities and it is even in principle possible that virtually error- 
free packages would result.

The point is, it doesn't solve our problem, because at some point, a  
human being needs to have a look at the package. Even if all packages  
were perfect, we still could not handle one review plus an upload with  
the current activity of MOTUs.

In addition, having this automatic checking would not change the rate  
of arrival of new packages. Our rate of processing is less than the  
rate of arriving packages, and consequently the pool of packages  
awaiting review is constantly increasing.

A second point is, that no matter how sophisticated the program, it  
will not be able to solve issues that are common with many of the  
packages. F.ex. that the package has to be split into several  
subpackages, which often is a point of discussion, that the  
description is not understandable, that files need to be removed from  
upstreams tarball, etc. etc. There are lots and lots of issues that  
could never be detected automatically.

Thirdly, and most importantly, is the personal interaction we get with  
the uploaders, and in this regard the simple things people are asked  
to fix is often a useful beginning. It gives you an opportunity to  
judge the qualifications and personal qualities of the uploader, and  
it tells you if the uploader is truly interested in doing some work.

So, in my opinion, REVU is a very good tool already that fulfills it's  
purpose very well. What is lacking is the involvement of more MOTUs.


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