This is also related to the "Coolo needs help thread".
During osc12 we had various discussions related to the topic of getting the distribution out the door and how we can get there within the release schedule that we had agreed to a while back. Part of this discussion are the two sessions I had the opportunity to lead, both are available on youtube opensusetv, if you are interested in this topic please go and watch these sessions, as well as Stephan's session, also on youtube. Unfortunately we did not have video equipment in the BoF session.
The basic proposal is, and this received general agreement at osc12, that we will move toward changing the model as proposed in the session. This implies the following:
- In the web UI one will no longer see inherited project maintainers on the package page, only the "true" package maintainers. (Inherited "maintainers" will be hidden in an expandable tree)
- We will collect information about all packages in all devel projects that feed factory. We will generate a list of packages that have no maintainer, and a list of packages that need help, i.e. a package that has fewer than 5 maintainers. In addition we will list packages that have more than 5 maintainers and try to encourage maintainers from those packages (to get the number to 5) to take on packages that need help.
- We want to clean up the devel project maintainer list to a ratio of 10/500 packages with a max of 25. ~ In many cases package maintainers in a given project do not care about all the other packages in the project, yet they are on the project maintainer list. ~ Also many people have their Hermes notifications disabled as they get too many messages about packages they do not care, hopefully with the changes more people will re-enable their Hermes notifications (more on this below)
- We would like to see a notification on the package page if the package fails to build in factory
- Would like to see package build status information on the factory status page about the status of the package in it's devel project.
- Having the monitor page and the status page presented in the current form is confusing, we need to somehow merge the information.
- It would be really nice if there were some kind of policy engine that could enforce the "no more than 5 per package" and the "no more than 25 project maintainers" policies. ~ now OBS is not just for openSUSE, thus this cannot be hard coded into the OBS code, thus this is potentially a lot of work.
- We would like to have some kind of rating system on the devel projects
- We will produce guidelines for package and product maintainers outlining what is expected. ~ These guidelines are not hard rules, but provide help to new people stepping in to define the role they are comfortable with. There appears to be a problem that the complete void of guidelines in this area leads to paralysis and people just do not know what to do if they want to help. We have documents how to package, these guidelines will be a hopefully short list of "what is expected".
These are the rough outlines of the "plan". Obviously there is work to be done and the OBS team already has plenty to do. It is up to me to document in more detail the requirements/use case before a potential timeline can be developed. I will also start a wiki page attempting to define the various roles in the devel process and then opening that up for discussion once the basics are in place.
Now to a couple of counter points.
- Yes we will step on some people's toe, sorry. Meaning if you get removed as project maintainer from a devel project and you really really want to be a project maintainer you are probably not going to be happy. Please do not take it personal and get yourself added back to the project. Preferably you would find one of the project maintainers that remained, by chance and chance alone, and get that person to drop of the list. Chances are you will find someone willing to "make space for you" ~ Sorry, but this process has to be somewhat arbitrary due to the large number on the various devel projects. ~ Please be not offended, there is no vicious intent, just the intent to help the project grow and scale better.
- Yes, the "rules" are changing, and if you maintain a package that is also in factory there will now be some expectations ~ In the end we all should have the same goal, create a quality distro in the time frame we promise, thus this should really not be a big deal
Before I close this rather long e-mail (sorry) I have a kind of survey question. I would like to have the hermes settings of package maintainers reset "automatically" as we move through the house keeping project such that package maintainers get notification of build failures of their packages. I realize many people have these turned off today, but again, this is probably due to the number of notifications due to the project maintainer mails that most people do not care about.
OK, before I write another couple of pages about this subject I'll stop here.
Thanks for your attention, please no flaming, bitching and moaning. Great ideas and help are welcome.