I recently sponsored several uploads, and was asked to sponsor even more uploads, and that got me thinking about our sponsorship workflow. It’s a clear bottleneck in Debian, and discourages many new contributors, which obviously sucks.
The best way to improve the process would be to have packages of better quality when a DD first look at them. They would be more likely to be uploaded right away, which frees time for other packages. I think that there’s a lot of room for improvement in the current mentors.debian.net implementation. Here is a small list of features I would like to see.
- Integration of some QA tests in mentors, as soon as the package is uploaded:
- does the package build cleanly?
- piuparts test?
- lintian/linda checks?
- Better list of packages awaiting sponsors, with info including:
- does the package fixes bugs (number of bugs fixed per severity)?
- is that package already in Debian?
- is that package a new upstream version?
- popcon score
- how long has the package been waiting?
This would allow potential sponsors to prioritize requests.
- A commenting system, for each package, so comments for rejected packages are not lost, and the next potential sponsor can double-check
- A way for sponsors to mark some sponsorees as “friends”, so it’s easy to find all the requests from people I “trust” (for some definitions of “trust” ;)
- Maybe, a scoring system, where providing good comments on other’s packages would make you win “karma points”, and improve your classification, which could later be used by sponsors to choose what they are going to sponsor next.
The good thing with this whole list of features is that everybody can help. So, if you are looking for a sponsor and want to help solve this problem, start coding now ;) And if you need me to create nicenameforyourservice.debian.net, just ping me. There’s probably some code to steal from svnbuildstat.debian.net, so contacting its developers would be a good idea.