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Delays in package processing

I'm finding the manual package signing step that has to happen before a
package can go into testing to be a considerable drag.

There's a long lag between submitting a request and the event actually
occurring, and there's no real visibility into why a request is
languishing.  For example, there are some packages in the F-8 pending
queue that have been there for six weeks.  I usually end up going into
#fedora-devel and bugging people after four or five days, but I don't
actually like having to prod people who I assume are already busy doing
other worthy work.

The combination of delay and opacity makes my volunteer job as a
packager a lot less rewarding.  I'd like to package more software,
rather than less, but as long as the delays and overhead of maintaining
just one or two packages are this high, that's a big barrier to me
working up any further enthusiasm.

I have a few meta-questions about this situation which might help to
defuse my discontent with the process.  I can't imagine that I'm the
only one in this position, so maybe it will help others too.

Is the package signing step done by hand?  That's been my understanding,
but maybe I'm missing something.  It reminds me of Sigourney Weaver's
role in "Galaxy Quest": a seemingly needless insertion of people into
the process.

If so, why?  Can we switch to an automated process?

If a long delay between submitting a request to bodhi and getting a
human to turn the crank is going to the norm, could we add some
functionality that lets us see why?  Some graphs showing the rates of
request submission and clearance, and the amounts of time that packages
are spending in queues, might help people who aren't glued into the
faily process to understand what's going on.



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