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Proposal: Repository Community Collaboration Statement



I have a feeling I might regret this, but if nobody tries....

I have written up below a proposed simple statement of collaboration which ideally a number of interested parties in different repositories (EPEL, Fedora, RPMforge, AT etc.) could sign up to.

At this stage I'm interested mostly in whether people like the broad principle, rather than picking apart specific wording as I'd rather this didn't descend into a discussion about semantics or politics. Basically: is this something that people feel could form the basis of something they'd be willing to sign up to? Or should we all just go back to arguing about repotags?

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Repository Community Collaboration Statement
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This is a statement signed by a number of groups which produce add-on RPM packages for the following operating systems:

- Fedora Linux
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux and compatible derivatives

This statement is not binding and does not by itself compel anyone to do anything. Any signatory may withdraw at any time. However the signatories have agreed to the principles contained within it and commit to working together for mutual benefit.


1. Statement of goals

The signatories have as a high level objective the development of packages for the targeted operating systems which are technically sound, robust and give an excellent user experience. Whilst acknowledging that "mixing repositories" will always be somewhat unpredictable due to differing goals and standards amongst signatories, the signatories aim to promote informed choice amongst users by avoiding unnecessary user inconvenience when switching between competing packages.


2. Acknowledgement of independence

Each signatory is independent and fully entitled to operate in a self-sustaining way which does not depend on other signatories. This includes all senses but notably infrastructure and policy. This Agreement does not override the signatories' own policies, though it is expected that signatories will normally make reference to this Agreement in their own policies.


3. Acknowledgement of peer status

For the purpose of this Agreement, the signatories agree to act as peers and no signatory is considered superior.


4. Main agreements

The signatories agree therefore to promote the following standards amongst their contributors:

a)to make reasonable efforts to research existing packages (if any)from
  other signatories before starting to package a certain item of
  software from scratch

b)to make reasonable ongoing efforts to keep competing packages as
  similar as possible, particularly in the sense of RPM dependencies and
  file locations, such that upgrades or migrations between different
  repositories are not unecessarily difficult for users

c)to avoid wherever possible publishing packages which are egregiously
  incompatible with packages from other signatories, without sound
  technical reasons

d)to attempt to collaborate constructively at an intellectual level with
  other signatories and their contributors where reasonably possible,
  particularly where a contributor feels there are specific technical
  deficiencies in existing signatories' packaging; the signatories
  acknowledge that it is better to discuss these differences in an open
  and respectful fashion and try to reach a consensus solution, rather
  than creating incompatible packages.


SIGNATORIES:

[list]

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Tim


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