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Re: next FESCo meeting agenda.

On Thu, 2006-07-06 at 07:56 +0200, Michael Schwendt wrote:
> On Wed, 05 Jul 2006 17:43:31 -0700, Toshio Kuratomi wrote:
> > I would like to see another level of Fedora Extras Contributor.  Someone
> > previously unsponsored who wants to work on an orphaned package (or
> > potentially orphaned due to AWOL maintainer) could be sponsored as a
> > mentored packager.
> Are you convinced that you would find enough people who want an official
> role that sounds so "uncool"? Long ago we've done something similar
> occasionally for some time. People with access to CVS and buildsys have
> forwarded the modifications sent by contributors without access. It is
> still possible at a limited degree, provided that a sponsor is willing to
> do it. It doesn't add any security.
I don't know.  I'd be willing to do it.  But I forsee that it's really
only possible to handle one mentoree at a time so just saying I'd do it
doesn't scale very well.

I would not want to gate changes to cvs, though.  I'd want the mentoree
to have full access to the package they are comaintaining.  My
additional responsibility is to scrutinize the actions that the mentoree
is taking.  The mentoree gets the full experience of maintaining a
package in Extras.

> And it doesn't work smoothly for new packages, btw. (It bears a big risk
> that the sponsor ends up with orphans)
I can see that risk.  The answer is really that the mentor has to be
willing to maintain the packages that their mentoree is working on if
they go AWOL.  Which is, on one hand, another burden on the mentor.  But
it is less than if the mentor would have packaged (or picked up from
orphan status) the package themselves and had to keep it updated without
benefit of a co-maintainer.

> > The mentor would track their mentoree's actions more
> > closely than normal. 
> What would be "normal"? ;)
"Without clearly defined responsibilities for sponsors...." *grin*

> > Watch their cvs commits.  Take a hand in watching
> > upstream's changes.  Act as co-maintainer for the mentorees packages.
> The majority of contributors want the full show, and quickly. A "Fedora
> account". Even if they know they will have problems handling some things
> (like working with the relevant tools). 

This is the piece I want to address with a mentor-mentoree relationship.
The new contributor gains access to commit to a specific package and use
other infrastructure earlier in the process but they have someone
overseeing their work and the scope of their power is limited to a few
packages (until they've proved themselves and moved out on their own.)

> Further, some people sign up
> quicker than they have an idea what to contribute. It's the old "be part
> of it" community game without clear activities or contributions. Many more
> people would sign up for an account if that became possible without
> needing a sponsor and without actual contributions. It doesn't help Fedora
> Extras if people are sponsored without contributing anything to the
> package maintenance. On the contrary, when refusing access to CVS or
> buildsys for someone who started getting active in bugzilla with a package
> submission, there would be complaints that it hurts their productivity.
The mentor plan is for when someone wants to maintain a few packages but
doesn't have the history to prove they know how to package.  It is not
an "open the gates to the unwashed" plan.  The mentoree would have to be
"sponsored" by a mentor (Which will probably be a smaller pool than the
sponsors as not every sponsor will want to take on the burden of having

> But remember, that it is possible to revoke sponsorship.

There are a few people who are currently contributing to Fedora Extras
that I think would have benefited from a mentorship program.  They are
enthusiastic, committed, and willing to take advice.  But they don't
have the experience to know how to troubleshoot build failures, what
kind of spec file changes are acceptable and which are fugly hacks, and
so forth.  If they had a mentor that forced them to justify their spec
file changes or that was available to figure out the pros and cons of
the ideas they bounce around they'd be much higher quality packagers by
now.  I don't think we want to revoke the sponsorship of these types of
packagers, just figure out a better way to educate them.


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