Sponsor shortage

Ben Rosser rosser.bjr at gmail.com
Fri Jul 10 19:25:05 UTC 2015

On Fri, Jul 10, 2015 at 12:32 PM, Michael Schwendt <mschwendt at gmail.com>

> On Fri, 10 Jul 2015 14:31:52 +0100, Jonathan Underwood wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > Today I happened to look at this page:
> >
> > http://fedoraproject.org/PackageReviewStatus/NEEDSPONSOR.html
> >
> > from which I can see we have potentially on the order of 100 new
> > potential contributors to Fedora whose efforts we're missing out on
> > due to a lack of sponsors. Some people seem to have been waiting to be
> > sponsored for a couple of years. This is quite an unfortunate
> > situation - what can we do to improve that situation? How many
> > *active* packaging sponsors do we currently have?
> How many *active* NEEDSPONSOR contributors do we have?
> There are many in the queue, who submit a single package with lots of
> mistakes -- or the package not building at all -- and slow response
> times in bugzilla, or no response, and who don't follow the How To Get
> Sponsored guidelines either. With a bit more activity, it would be
> easier to get sponsored. But sponsoring someone based on a single
> package is a hard decision. I'd like to see more motivation from new
> packagers, as pushing packages through review often is much easier
> than maintaining the package in the Fedora dist for some time.
> --
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Speaking as someone who relatively recently went through the process though
(and whose package(s) sat in the review tracker for two years): motivation
is hard to come by when it looks like you're not going to get sponsored
because (you think) nobody cares about your package.

And yes, I did read the guidelines, and yes, I did review other packages in
an informal capacity (at least initially). I think (although it's been a
long time, so I may have forgotten) I even poked the devel list a couple of
times early on, but the guidelines (
) stress that sponsorship is kind of a passive process. While there are
things you can do to increase your visibility, you wait for someone to
notice your package, you shouldn't mass mail people asking for a sponsor,
etc. A "don't call us, we'll call you" sort of process.

Then, once someone *does* notice your package, maybe they work with you on
improving it, ask you to do a few other things, etc. And it becomes a more
active process on both sides. At least, that's been my understanding of the
process based on what I've read in those guidelines.

But there are tickets in the queue that have sat there for at least a year
with no subsequent comment by another other than their author-- which
likely means their author is waiting for someone to take a look at the most
recent set of changes to their package. In some cases, there is no comment
at all by anyone other than the author.

It wouldn't be a bad thing, IMO, to (automatically?) ping sufficiently old
tickets with a sort of "what's the status on this" and maybe a link to the
sponsorship guidelines reminding them that there are other things they can
do if they still want to become a packager.

Here are some examples of tickets that have been left languishing with no
word for quite some time. Some of the Spec/SRPM URLs in these no longer
work anymore, which tells me it's definitely been a long time since anyone
even looked at them.


Ben Rosser
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