Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-factory (1134 mails)

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[opensuse-factory] The languished meaning of "maintainer" (was: Calling for a new openSUSE development model)

Robert Schweikert wrote in :

I believe that an underlying issue to the overall state is the package
maintenance model. Look at any perl or python package in the devel
projects and you'll find tons of people listed as "maintainers" but
almost non of them is a "true" maintainer. Everyone of the listed
"maintainers" is inherited from some parent project and in the end no
one really feels responsible.

Indeed - but: it is the way it is represented in the webui that is
misleading. If you use the command line client, `osc meta pkg`, you get
a *much* more useful and concise set of people - and usually the people
who *really are* responsible. If the so-obtained list is empty, you can
consider the package abandoned already.

That this is an issue is also evident in the increased mail traffic on
the list about lingering SRs.

The problem with lingering SRs has more to do with the
"maintainer"-called role being overloaded - *in prj context*.
I concur with your observation. 22 "maintainers" in games,
42 in devel:libraries:c_c++ don't paint a good picture. But
server:irc's list of 8 also sports the linger problem.

There are a handful of prj-level actions:

- the true maintainer, IOW, "I maintain indeed all packages in here".
This only makes sense for a limited set of develprjs, predominantly
those that deal with a single "software stack" (a group of obviously
related packages). Examples are network:mail:zarafa,
network:telephony:asterisk*. But not games, not d:l:c_c++.

- fallback maintainer: responsibility to accept lingering SRs not
having been accepted by the bspkg maintainer in a handful of days
(3/5/7? maybe settable within the pkgmeta?), provided they meet best

- mentor: responsibility to 1. decline *new* packages - sorting out
unsuitable license, ...; 2. approve new packages and perhaps send
corrections immediately afterwards, ...;

These extra roles are merely for self-description of users, and
should simply have the same commit permissions as the current
"maintainer" role do now.
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