Sponsor shortage

Michael Schwendt mschwendt at gmail.com
Sat Jul 11 22:56:55 UTC 2015

On Sat, 11 Jul 2015 14:37:05 -0400, Ben Rosser wrote:

> I don't really want to turn this thread into a "why didn't I get sponsored
> sooner?" thread (and in fact, looking back, I'd guess not linking the two
> informal reviews I did wasn't a good thing). But since I brought it up...
> https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=823679
> In fact, you yourself were the first reviewer. I guess I could have emailed
> you privately, but...

More interesting is: What has happened between 2012-09-20 and 2014-07-28?
No comments, no version updates. ==> A lost opportunity to practice
maintaining the package, and a lost opportunity to demonstrate your
interest in the package. I mean, if you've packaged it and use it, why
would you ignore the several new releases and not even comment on
And almost two years are a lot of time to attempt at doing a few
reviews (even if only other Python based packages). And no questions
about the process in two years? ==> That's the classical sit-and-wait
passively scenario I've pointed out. Of course, some packagers only
show impatience and repeatedly post one-line ping-like comments, such
as "So, is the package ready to be included?" instead of referring to
the process howtos and specific steps to be done. A lost opportunity
to show that you're aware of the documentation and familiar with where
to find it.

> I assumed that eventually someone who was a sponsor would review my package
> and tell me what they thought of it. Then maybe ask me to do a few more
> things, maybe a few more reviews. Tell me what they thought I needed to
> work on, etc.
> And, I mean, that eventually did happen. So I guess the system worked. It
> just took a long time to work.... longer than I would have expected from
> only reading the documentation on the wiki.

What's extremely broken here is that in two years nobody else has
shown interest in this package. No users, no other packagers.

> > 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.
> So you're saying that reporting bugs against other components in the
> distribution that aren't necessarily packages is a thing that we are
> looking for in potential new packagers?
> That seems reasonable. But this is not indicated on the How To Get
> Sponsored page.

Hiding somewhere (or hiding behind a pseudonym/nickname on IRC) doesn't
lead to anything at all. I see a real name in the review queue,
I don't know it yet, and I don't see the same name anywhere else
related to Fedora either. Putting the person's email address into
bugzilla's monitoring list, I see no activity. No comments on other
packages in the review queue. No bug reports. No activity at all. No
way to get to know that person. That's even problematic when somebody
is using a different dist and is only trying to push a package into
the collection without interest in maintaining it later.

> I thought the point of the sponsorship system was to help mentor potential
> new contributors until they reached the point where someone thought they
> were competent enough and sufficiently well-versed in our guidelines. While
> simultaneously providing a hurdle from preventing just anyone from
> contributing low-quality packages into the distribution.

Based on a single tiny package it's not possible to tell whether somebody
is "competent enough". So, activity and creativity can make a difference.

There are sponsors and new packagers, who work on reviews [of other packages]
in private email rather than in bugzilla. Nobody is "forced" to perform
possibly wrong (and embarrasing) reviews in bugzilla to get sponsored.

Sometimes you can also negotiate with a potential sponsor, which doesn't
mean to bribe him, but perhaps tell a few things about your packaging
background, such as a personal repo you offer somewhere. Activity is the
key in many cases.

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