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Re: extras maintainence

On 2/10/06, Ralf Corsepius <rc040203 freenet de> wrote:
> In short: We are volunteers, and if volunteers want to do something, you
> shouldn't prevent them from doing it - You should make it as easy as
> possible, otherwise they will feel peed.

Volunteer fire fighers don't get to do whatever they want..
Volunteers for the special olympics don't get to do whatever they want.
Many examples of volunteers in the brick and mortar world have a code
of conduct and lay out a set of responsibilities and obligations
associated with the volunteer work which volunteers agree to comply
with, partly to discourage lackluster and irresponsible volunteers
from participating and detracting from the overall effort.  Its not
unreasonable to discuss the responsibilities and expectations on
volunteer packagers in the context of the overall goals.

> Example: I don't have a problem in continuing maintenance of some
> packages for FE3 for some time, until _I_ am loosing interest, but I am
> not interested putting the burdon a legacy project would additionally
> impose on me.

I think its quite fair to ask all maintainers to pledge to
maintainership for a package on the timescales of specific releases to
be honest about what their commitment is to the project... upfront. 
If a maintainer is only interested in maintaining a package in Extras
for the latest Core release..we should know that.. upfront... so other
people in the project can prepare to take over maintainership at the
appropriate time.

And I don't think its in this project's best interest to encourage
packagers show up, build a package, and then lose interest in that
package within a month and orphan it. I think there should be
accountability for atleast a release for ALL packages from ALL
maintainers, and if a maintainer has personal issues which makes it
impossible to meet the expectation for maintainence for atleast one
standard Core release.. then perhaps that packager shouldn't be
volunteering for this project.

And I don't think its in the project's best interest to encourage
maintainers to lose interest part way through fc3's "legacy" process.
I think we should be asking maintainers to be explicit about the
timescales over which they are willing to make the effort over defined
chunks of time and holding them to those estimates. Its going to save
us lots of effort down the road scrambling to replace maintainers as
they orphan packages willy-nilly.  I think there should be clearly
established points at which dropping maintainership for a package is
encouraged so other people can plan their time to pick up
maintainership of packages they are interested in and to discourage
dropping maintainership between those time points. 6 month periods or
something. Every six months or so, we do a general shout out to all
maintainers and ask them to re-affirm if they are going to be
maintaining their packages for the next 6 months. If they can't
honestly commit to that, then other people can plan on taking over the
co-maintainership of those packages to prevent a gap for any package. 
Its called planning.

Many volunteer organizations have accountability mechanisms which rely
on explicitly defined expectations as to how much work individual
volunteers are pledging to do when they join the organization.  There
is no reason that a discussion about the expectation for volunteers in
this project cannot happen.


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