For the future of openSUSE development we want to change some things. Currently, we have some policies around the distribution that date back to the time when there was no openSUSE. Code contributions are only possible if you go through a Novell developer. The same thing is true if you want to make some technical decision.
On the other hand it's really easy to pass contributions to the Novell Developers. A simple "osc sr" and you have the change you want in the openSUSE distribution. But we want to go further now and make it as easy as possible for everybody to leave a footprint in, and become responsible for, the openSUSE distribution.
To make this transition easy going for everybody we came up with the following plan:
We want to split up Factory into smaller parts and join together devel projects of packages into topic projects in the Build Service. So for instance we want to have a GNOME:Factory project with all GNOME and related packages and Kernel:Head project with all the packages that belong to the kernel. To no one's surprise there are already a lot of teams that handle their packages in this way. For instance the GNOME and the Kernel Teams ;-) What we want now is to use this model for every aspect of the distribution, not only the big parts where this comes naturally. All current maintainers are working at the moment on an initial setup for these groups. You can see it evolving live in this svn repo:
This is of course not the only possible way to sort packages and in fact we are only trying to come up with a good starting point. We will always allow moving of packages, creation of new topic groups, or removal of obsolete ones. We also use currently an Novell internal database called the Package Database (PDB). It holds a lot of RPM metadata, for instance the description, the license, URL and so on but also data that does not end up in the specfile like the devel project and things like that. We have started to migrate this data to the OBS and to provide means of changing it.
Those are the "technical" changes we are about to do for Factory. The other change we want to introduce is a policy change. As our goal is to make it possible for everybody to work on the distribution we will simply allow the topic groups to organize themselves. We think that there is not the one and only way such a group of maintainers can work together, but it depends on the involved people and also on the topic what the best way is. So to transition we will throw together the people that are currently maintainer of packages and help them work out how to best collaborate with each other and new people.
This is what we will do. I also have this summarized in the following Roadmap:
2009.06.03 - 2009.06.15 * Create HOWTO for packagers with the most used osc commands, persons to contact, documentation and so on. -> Portal/Maintainers * Current maintainers sort through the packages in the topic groups
2009.06.10 * have drop submitreq done * have clone submitreq done * have change devel project submitreq done
2009.06.15 * Create missing buildservice projects * Set devel project for the packages in Factory * Turn of PDB syncing for Factory * Start working with the TOPIC groups
2009.06.15 - future * Fix "bugs" in the new way of working (AI: everybody) * finish pdb migration (AI: henne/adrian/jw/rudi) * open up maintenance process (AI: henne/dirk) * open up check in/review process (AI: henne, autobuild team) * open up other teams/tasks/processes that support the distribution (AI: henne)
I hope you support us in this ongoing move and bear with us as we change the way we work on this distribution for the last God knows how many years! :)