Sponsor shortage

Michael Schwendt mschwendt at gmail.com
Fri Jul 10 22:44:31 UTC 2015

On Fri, 10 Jul 2015 15:25:05 -0400, Ben Rosser wrote:

> 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.

??? When exactly in the process does it look like you're not going to
get sponsored? After a week? After a month? After having done 2-3 reviews
and linked those reviews in the needsponsor ticket(s)? After having pointed
at that work in a post to devel@ list?

I would need to see your initial review requests to comment on this
issue further.

Nowadays, I consider the review queue as very tiresome. I've commented
on many tickets, I even have made clear behind my name in bugzilla that
I'm in the packager sponsors group, but nobody has taken that as
opportunity to email me privately. The time when new contributors did
that is gone.

There are too many in the queue, who sit and wait passively, sometimes
even without keeping a single package up-to-date. They do not take the
opportunity to practice maintaining the package. And they do not
demonstrate high interest in the package either. It doesn't count if
there's some private [hidden/secret] repo somewhere where updates may
be published. All that matters is what the volunteer offers in the
review queue and/or visible to the sponsor.

When somebody has not submitted a single ticket in bugzilla, not even
via ABRT, one can not even be sure the person is using Fedora.

> 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 (
> https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/How_to_get_sponsored_into_the_packager_group
> ) 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.

And yet there are too many, who dump a first src.rpm into the queue without
doing anything beyond that. No self-review, no review of other packages,
no questions, not even mailing a potential sponsor who is active in other
tickets. This is extremely disappointing for the sponsors, too.

> 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.

That's one way how to do it. Unfortunately, some of the needsponsor people
don't respond. Some respond after months, saying they have been busy. No
notification of that in the ticket. No response! What would happen if the
package were in the distribution? Somebody would start the non-responsive
maintainer procedure.

It doesn't work, if new contributors prefer a dumping ground for packages,
because they read about such things "somewhere" (such as plans on additional
pre-approval package repos, or Copr, or even other plans).

> 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.

Why is that? A year is a lot of time for studying the Wiki, the guidelines,
the review process, the review guidelines and attempting at doing at least
one or two reviews. A year is also a lot of time for a bit of activity in
bugzilla or on mailing-lists. So, when a potential sponsor searches bugzilla
for the person's email address, the results would show that the person has
reported a bug before or has left comments in tickets. No activity beyond
a src.rpm (in enough cases fetched from openSUSE or other dists) is not

> 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.

It's too tiresome IMO. Pinging is frowned upon in other tickets, too. Just
be responsive, keep track of a single ticket that is important to you
because you need it for the sponsorship process. It is severely
demotivating for reviewers as well as sponsors to get no response to
reviews they post in the tickets.

> 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.
> https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=879839

Similar symptoms. Absolutely no activity. Sit and wait while
doing nothing, not even updating to the last version or mentioning
that update in a quick comment.
Quote: "I would be happy to find a sponsor that has some knowledge
in this area."

Then it has taken a full month to reply to a comment left in the
ticket. Perhaps too late, and the volunteer who wanted to help
testing has lost interest already in such a slow response time?

Also, the review queues are open to the public. If there's absolutely
nobody to comment on the package or review it -- anyone can post
reviews in there! -- that a sign of no interest in that

> https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=997190

Opened on 2013-08-14 and nothing since? Very disappointing!
404 Not Found currently. Likely abandoned at some time without
updating the ticket, such as closing it or leaving a status
update. Fire'n'forget? No real name entered either.
Ticket history shows the process has not been followed, and
the ticket has been without the FE-NEEDSPONSOR flag for three

> https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=986550

Hard to comment on. Similar symptoms. More than a month to reply to a
reviewer. Abandoned meanwhile without leaving a comment in the ticket.
And enough time for a bit of activity with regard to How To Get

> https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1005518

Quote: "I have not yet found a sponsor. I will attempt to do so."

Nothing since. Just a reviewer, who has quickly pointed at the
How To Get Sponsored document.

I'm not a fonts guy, but isn't there a Fedora Fonts SIG? And other
fonts packages in the review queue where a new contributor could
attempt at doing a few reviews? Or any attempt at becoming a
co-maintainer of existing fonts packages? Any activity?

Really, I think you're asking for too much, if you expect all
single-package-review-quest-with-no-activity guys to be sponsored
or to be sponsored quickly.

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