On Sun, Apr 27, 2008 at 10:47:35AM +0200, David Nielsen wrote:
> I think many of the people who have left active contribution life, myself
> included, simply feel overwhelmed with the amount of beaucracy. Why
> complain, we already feel like we are being forced around by boards and
> commitees who meet and decide the fate for us all and it doesn't really feel
> like they are working for us. It feels very much like we have no influence.
All kind of beaucracies don't have the same influence on community
empowerment. What I want here are rules such that it is easier for community
members to force other packagers to act upon bugs. Hopefully the new
rules should allow to bypass FESCo and end up being simpler. However,
these rules are not targeted at most of the contributors, but those who
propose solutions together with bugs, I think it is a small part of the
contributors. And it is also directed against packagers who either don't
care much about their packages or are heavily under load and for an unknown
reason don't ask for co-maintainers, it is also a small part of the
> More beaucracy is not the solution here, I think lessening the effort needed
> to get help and let your voice be heard is. Let us start a Fedora Mentor
> program for new contributors, to guide through the little kinks with a smile
This is the role of the sponsor.
> and so new people have a friendly face to turn to instead of endless wiki
> pages. Right now being a contributor feels a lot like being thrown out of
> the nest by your sponsor and expected to fly, getting reviews done has a
I have never refused to answer questions from people I sponsored, and I even
try to follow a bit their acts, and I am pretty sure that it is the case
for every sponsor. Did your sponsor ignored you?
> discouraging nepotistic feel to it, you can have packages sitting around for
> months if you don't know anyone.
I don't think this 'nepotistic feel' is right. The problem is rather
that reviews require to find an interested reviewer with the needed
skills. Therefore groups form with shared interests and in these groups
reviews will be done much rapidly. Otherwise one have to wait for a good
soul like Tibbs, Parag or Mamoru (I recalled from the top of my head,
and I checked afterwards
http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/PackageMaintainers/PackageStatus and I got
it right, even the order
who do a lot of diverse reviews to help you.
I agree that it is not very healthy, but I am not sure that it can be
In the end these groups depend on who fedora attracts. I personally fear
that in the future the diversity will be reduced (though hopefully EPEL
could drag in other kind of people).
> We need some kind of network here to catch
> these little stumbling blocks that frustrate new developers.
I have never seen that, but I have heard that there are people on irc
almost always here and willing to help.
> We need to ensure a way to remove the bottlenecks, help explain how to do a
> good review, how to get the information mentioned in those guidelines.
> Everytime we get a contributor who does not master this we simply add to the
> workload of people who do and we add to the backlog of packages that sit in
> the review queue.
You mean by living people or by documents (for example like
> More contributor might in fact end up being a bad thing.
> Let us foster a culture where it is okay to ask questions and ask for help,
> and make it easy to do so.
I think that questions on -devel list are never turned down and in
general people try to answer. The expertise may not be there, however.
> Encourage developers with many packages to draw
> in new developers, hold their hand as co-maintainers for one of their
> packages and eventually let them own it.
Everybody can go to the package database and ask to be in initialCC and
in commit messages. However learning how to use the packagedb raises the
bar for newcommers.
I think that the reverse is also right, that is have the sponsor ask for
co-maintainership to be in initialCC and receive commit messages from
the people he sponsored.
> This way we would also avoid the
> risk we currently have where if something happens to Hans or he decides to
> switch priorities in life, 200 packages are without an owner overnight.
We are not encouraging enough co-maintainership, I agree, but as far as
I can tell each time somebody went AWOL (some rather important packagers
did that in the past) things went smoothly. Maybe it won't in the
future, I don't know. There are certainly packages that will have hard
time finding anew maintainer. For example it seems to me that packagers
interested in fortran for example are not very numerous so if the few
people interested quit, the few packages will certainly be left.
But if gnome packages, even a big share, are orphaned they'll find new
maintainers soon, in my opinion.
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