community package maintenance

Avi Bryant avi at
Sun Jan 18 19:47:57 UTC 2004

On Jan 18, 2004, at 4:16 AM, Andreas Raab wrote:

>> I would very much like to hear your opinions on this matter, in 
>> private
>> if you prefer.
> Okay since you asked:
> It is fundementally wrong to forcefully exclude code in packages from 
> the
> community processes (e.g., "reduce the load" on harvesters). While I 
> agree
> that there is a resource problem the solution cannot be to exclude 
> portions
> of code from those processes by "putting it into packages". If 
> anything, the
> opposite is true - we need to include external packages in the 
> community
> processes, increase the number of people participating.

Ah, thanks.  It's good to understand where you're coming from.  
Actually, there isn't a single thing you say in this email that I 
disagree with - so although you may not share my opinions, you should 
know that I emphatically share yours.

Yesterday, in the context of talking about where Monticello needs to 
go, Julian and I were discussing exactly this: how do we make it easier 
for the community to be involved in external packages (for example, 
there isn't much in the way of process right now to submit fixes to 
Seaside and so on).  What we were trying to imagine was something very 
like BFAV, but structured by package rather than as a single flat list. 
  I also mentioned this possibility to Ken Causey a few days ago.  There 
are two things that I think are crucial for such a facility: one is 
that it should make the job of the maintainers of a package easier, by 
providing a central list, with various kinds of metadata, of all of the 
changes that have been submitted.  The other is to make it easy for the 
community to bypass the maintainers completely, and use a package 
version from the fixes archive as the de-facto release if need be.

So maybe we're putting the cart before the horse, here.  I won't, 
personally, agitate any more for reducing the number of things that go 
into the update stream until we have a reasonable substitute that works 
for packages.  But are we all agreed that building such a thing is 
necessary and desirable?  And can we talk about how such a facility 
might work?

The first step, I think, is to have an easy equivalent of "mail 
changeset to list" that works for packages instead.  I envision this 
maybe uploading a package version to a central FTP site, from which we 
can generate daily RSS or mail list posts etc.


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