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Old 06-29-2012, 08:49 AM
Roger Leigh
 
Default Improving our response to "duplicate" packages in Debian

On Fri, Jun 29, 2012 at 12:55:15AM -0600, Holger Levsen wrote:
> On Donnerstag, 28. Juni 2012, Ben Finney wrote:
> > It's part of the job of a (prospective) package maintainer to advocate
> > for the package.
>
> what???

I don't see anything unreasonable about being able to articulate the
reasons why a package should be part of Debian. I don't mean having
to suffer a drawn out argument, but just being able to give the
reasons why it's important for the software to be in Debian, what
it does, and why it's sufficiently different from what we already
have.


Regards,
Roger

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Old 06-29-2012, 09:11 AM
Guus Sliepen
 
Default Improving our response to "duplicate" packages in Debian

On Fri, Jun 29, 2012 at 09:24:25AM +0200, Josselin Mouette wrote:

> Le jeudi 28 juin 2012 Ă* 16:42 +0200, Guus Sliepen a Ă©crit :
> > - Don't immediately start complaining to the submitter of the ITP. Just let
> > the submitter devote his/her energy to packaging.
>
> I don’t think it is worthwile to let people devote their energy to
> packaging pet applications that will disappear in 2 years time when they
> find another one.

You or I may not think that but clearly the one who is doing the packaging
thinks it is worthwile, and who know how many users there will be for the new
package. Nobody knows beforehand if the application will last only a year or
be there until the end of time. So we should not blame the new ITP for the
already packaged pet applications that have since disappeared.

> We really need to find better ways to involve new users in core teams,
> and that means removing from our collective consciousness the idea that
> you come in Debian to package your new favorite piece of software.

I agree we can use more members in core teams, but complaining to a maintainer
when he files an ITP is usually not a positive step in that direction. This
person will not suddenly think, "hey, you are right, I shouldn't package this
software which I thought was very useful, I should join the FTP masters
instead!"

Already the Debian website mentions lots of things people can do to improve
Debian besides packaging, and I am sure they *are* being done. However, if
there are core teams that are in desparate need of help, they should make this
known somehow. Perhaps there should be a section in the Debian Project News
listing teams in need of help, or in general, non-packaging tasks that need to
be done. Adding (a link to) a list on http://www.debian.org/intro/help or
similar pages might help too.

--
Met vriendelijke groet / with kind regards,
Guus Sliepen <guus@debian.org>
 
Old 06-29-2012, 09:20 AM
Andrey Rahmatullin
 
Default Improving our response to "duplicate" packages in Debian

On Fri, Jun 29, 2012 at 09:24:25AM +0200, Josselin Mouette wrote:
> We really need to find better ways to involve new users in core teams,
> and that means removing from our collective consciousness the idea that
> you come in Debian to package your new favorite piece of software.
Unfortunately different attitudes, skill sets and other things are
required for packaging some software you have chosen for that yourself and
for doing work for one of teams.

--
WBR, wRAR
 
Old 06-29-2012, 04:18 PM
Yaroslav Halchenko
 
Default Improving our response to "duplicate" packages in Debian

I would go even 1 step further and seek from a perspective maintainer,
especially a non-DD/DM, at least some assurance that it is not a
fire-and-forget project for him (e.g. that he is using it extensively
and planing to do so for the next X years) and that he is willing
to put effort in proper maintenance of the package. ITP -> 1 upload ->
X NMUs -> O is not that uncommon. IMHO if there is a strong personal
motivation (i.e. active user) to get a package packaged, it might
provide additional weight toward "accepting" the package to be part of
Debian even if comparable alternatives exist.

I wonder if we shouldn't seek extending an

/usr/share/pyshared/reportbug/debbugs.py:521:itp_template = textwrap.dedent(u"""

with some advocation/motivation fields to make our discussion (upon
reaching the consensus if such could be reached) any fruitful ?

On Fri, 29 Jun 2012, Roger Leigh wrote:
> > > It's part of the job of a (prospective) package maintainer to advocate
> > > for the package.

> > what???

> I don't see anything unreasonable about being able to articulate the
> reasons why a package should be part of Debian. I don't mean having
> to suffer a drawn out argument, but just being able to give the
> reasons why it's important for the software to be in Debian, what
> it does, and why it's sufficiently different from what we already
> have.

--
Yaroslav O. Halchenko
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences
Dartmouth College, 419 Moore Hall, Hinman Box 6207, Hanover, NH 03755
Phone: +1 (603) 646-9834 Fax: +1 (603) 646-1419
WWW: http://www.linkedin.com/in/yarik


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Old 06-29-2012, 04:20 PM
Yaroslav Halchenko
 
Default Improving our response to "duplicate" packages in Debian

On Fri, 29 Jun 2012, Josselin Mouette wrote:
> I don’t think it is worthwile to let people devote their energy to
> packaging pet applications that will disappear in 2 years time when they
> find another one.

+1

> We really need to find better ways to involve new users in core teams,

+1

> and that means removing from our collective consciousness the idea that
> you come in Debian to package your new favorite piece of software.

-10

--
Yaroslav O. Halchenko
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences
Dartmouth College, 419 Moore Hall, Hinman Box 6207, Hanover, NH 03755
Phone: +1 (603) 646-9834 Fax: +1 (603) 646-1419
WWW: http://www.linkedin.com/in/yarik


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Old 06-30-2012, 06:41 AM
Michael Hanke
 
Default Improving our response to "duplicate" packages in Debian

On Fri, Jun 29, 2012 at 09:24:25AM +0200, Josselin Mouette wrote:
> Le jeudi 28 juin 2012 Ă* 16:42 +0200, Guus Sliepen a Ă©crit :
> > - Don't immediately start complaining to the submitter of the ITP. Just let
> > the submitter devote his/her energy to packaging.
>
> I don’t think it is worthwile to let people devote their energy to
> packaging pet applications that will disappear in 2 years time when they
> find another one.

I think this is approaching the problem from the wrong end. Instead of
preserving the status quo and asking oracles to predict the future we
should have better means of _removing_ software that has proven to be
inferior of an equivalent alternative in Debian. The advantage is that
we have objective criteria to be able to make an informed decision --
not a guess based on heuristics and opinion. The disadvantage is that it
imposes work on other volunteers -- but see below...

> We really need to find better ways to involve new users in core teams,
> and that means removing from our collective consciousness the idea that
> you come in Debian to package your new favorite piece of software.

I have to disagree -- and I would even make the bold claim that
"packaging your favorite piece of software" is a very common (if not the
most common) entry point for _people_ into Debian. One could see the
"pet projects" as the price we need to pay to make participation in
Debian very attractive (not even talking about the role that "pet
projects" play in the context of perceived universality of Debian) .
Getting people to participate in Debian, make them become confident and
experienced is IMHO a requirement for increasing the chance of anyone
joining core teams.

If it would work otherwise, we could just post a job-ad on LinkedIn:
"Debian security team is looking for skilled developers".


Michael


--
Michael Hanke
http://mih.voxindeserto.de


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Old 06-30-2012, 07:16 AM
Russell Coker
 
Default Improving our response to "duplicate" packages in Debian

On Sat, 30 Jun 2012, Michael Hanke <mih@debian.org> wrote:
> I think this is approaching the problem from the wrong end. Instead of
> preserving the status quo and asking oracles to predict the future we
> should have better means of removing software that has proven to be
> inferior of an equivalent alternative in Debian. The advantage is that
> we have objective criteria to be able to make an informed decision --
> not a guess based on heuristics and opinion. The disadvantage is that it
> imposes work on other volunteers -- but see below...

More automated bug filing systems would be a good thing. If a package doesn't
get used much then it tends not to get bug reports or NMUs so it can quietly
languish without anyone noticing.

If you maintain more than a few packages it's easy to forget about some that
don't get bug reports.

> > We really need to find better ways to involve new users in core teams,
> > and that means removing from our collective consciousness the idea that
> > you come in Debian to package your new favorite piece of software.
>
> I have to disagree -- and I would even make the bold claim that
> "packaging your favorite piece of software" is a very common (if not the
> most common) entry point for people into Debian. One could see the
> "pet projects" as the price we need to pay to make participation in
> Debian very attractive (not even talking about the role that "pet
> projects" play in the context of perceived universality of Debian) .
> Getting people to participate in Debian, make them become confident and
> experienced is IMHO a requirement for increasing the chance of anyone
> joining core teams.

Yes. Also I don't think that the members of "core teams" really want to have
people learning while maintaining their packages. When people inevitably
stuff up while learning things it's good to do so while working on something
that's not so important.

--
My Main Blog http://etbe.coker.com.au/
My Documents Blog http://doc.coker.com.au/


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Old 06-30-2012, 09:28 PM
Prince Annan Koomson
 
Default Improving our response to "duplicate" packages in Debian

I think finding a way to involve new users is a nice idea, also reviewing members list finding the total number of members and members which are idle can assign packages to maintain depending on their skill set and other factors should also be considered. This will help offload some of workload on other maintainers.

Thanks.
Prince Annan Koomson.

Sent from my smartphone

-----Original Message-----
From: Russell Coker <russell@coker.com.au>
Sent: Saturday, June 30, 2012 8:16
To: debian-devel@lists.debian.org
Subject: Re: Improving our response to "duplicate" packages in Debian

On Sat, 30 Jun 2012, Michael Hanke <mih@debian.org> wrote:
> I think this is approaching the problem from the wrong end. Instead of
> preserving the status quo and asking oracles to predict the future we
> should have better means of removing software that has proven to be
> inferior of an equivalent alternative in Debian. The advantage is that
> we have objective criteria to be able to make an informed decision --
> not a guess based on heuristics and opinion. The disadvantage is that it
> imposes work on other volunteers -- but see below...

More automated bug filing systems would be a good thing. If a package doesn't
get used much then it tends not to get bug reports or NMUs so it can quietly
languish without anyone noticing.

If you maintain more than a few packages it's easy to forget about some that
don't get bug reports.

> > We really need to find better ways to involve new users in core teams,
> > and that means removing from our collective consciousness the idea that
> > you come in Debian to package your new favorite piece of software.
>
> I have to disagree -- and I would even make the bold claim that
> "packaging your favorite piece of software" is a very common (if not the
> most common) entry point for people into Debian. One could see the
> "pet projects" as the price we need to pay to make participation in
> Debian very attractive (not even talking about the role that "pet
> projects" play in the context of perceived universality of Debian) .
> Getting people to participate in Debian, make them become confident and
> experienced is IMHO a requirement for increasing the chance of anyone
> joining core teams.

Yes. Also I don't think that the members of "core teams" really want to have
people learning while maintaining their packages. When people inevitably
stuff up while learning things it's good to do so while working on something
that's not so important.

--
My Main Blog http://etbe.coker.com.au/
My Documents Blog http://doc.coker.com.au

[The entire original message is not included]

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Old 06-30-2012, 10:34 PM
Craig Small
 
Default Improving our response to "duplicate" packages in Debian

On Sat, Jun 30, 2012 at 08:41:07AM +0200, Michael Hanke wrote:
> On Fri, Jun 29, 2012 at 09:24:25AM +0200, Josselin Mouette wrote:
> > We really need to find better ways to involve new users in core teams,
> > and that means removing from our collective consciousness the idea that
> > you come in Debian to package your new favorite piece of software.
>
> I have to disagree -- and I would even make the bold claim that
> "packaging your favorite piece of software" is a very common (if not the
> most common) entry point for _people_ into Debian. One could see the
I'd go even further and say that the reason why people start on
something generally in Free Software projects is to "scratch their itch"
which in Debian could well mean packaing your favourite piece of
software.

I'd be surprised if many newly-minted Debian maintainers would want to
tackle a core project from day one. There is a lot to learn and just
get used to and I'd also rather that people working on the core stuff
have some idea, as well as some history of doing the right thing.

So if we went down that way we've removed one very big incentive "your
fav project is packaged" and created a disincentive "work on highly
visible project X with all its complicated history".

> "pet projects" as the price we need to pay to make participation in
> Debian very attractive (not even talking about the role that "pet
That's a good way of putting it. Also who can predict what is really a
pet project. I bet the first medical related project that was ITP'ed
on Debian people were thinking 'huh, why that here?' and yet I hear now
there is quite a large and vibrant community around this sort of thing.

Some sort of cull for dead projects is definitely a good idea!

--
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Debian GNU/Linux http://www.debian.org/ csmall at : debian.org
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Old 07-01-2012, 12:24 PM
Kevin Mark
 
Default Improving our response to "duplicate" packages in Debian

On Sun, Jul 01, 2012 at 08:34:01AM +1000, Craig Small wrote:
> I'd go even further and say that the reason why people start on
> something generally in Free Software projects is to "scratch their itch"
> which in Debian could well mean packaing your favourite piece of
> software.

Has anyone quantized the % of tasks that a DD/DM does that are outside of their
pet projects? Meaning, once they get their itch scratched, how far outside of
their main reason for joining Debian, do they explore? Would it be useful to
game-ify people's efforts outside their 'comfort zone' (eg. a perl packager
working on Haskell, or doing debian-www work) ?
If people just work on their pet projects, is that the most typical behavior
throughout Debian's history? Do people explore more as they become more
comfortable/familiar over a number of years?

--
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