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Re: Some questions about Fedora

On Thu, 2007-09-20 at 09:11 +0200, Lucas Nussbaum wrote:
> Q1. Packages
> How many "pieces of software" do you have in your distribution?
In our development distribution:
- 8232 compiled packages (binaries)
- 4638 source packages 

>  Do you distinguish between "source packages" and "binary packages"? (if yes,
> give numbers for both). 

Source packages are what the binary packages are built from.

> Are there subdivisions in the set of packages (by kind of support, by "freeness")? 


> Are all packages supported the same way, or are there different levels of 
> support?

All packages are treated the same.

> Are some packages imported from another distribution, or are most of your 
> packages done from scratch by your developers ?

All packages are done from scratch by our developers.

> Q2. Your developers
> What's a "developer" in your distribution?

Developers/Contributors are people who contribute something to the
distribution. This includes: packages, art, documentation, leadership,
time administering our servers, being an encourager of our distribution
in various places. Pretty much anything that helps fedora and users of
fedora. We derive the count of developers by looking in the Fedora
Account System. That keeps track of people who have registered to have
access to the resources we maintain.

>  How many developers do you have?

942 - I'm counting developers here based on people with access to (not
necessarily using) www.fedorapeople.org - that means users who are in
the Fedora Account System and who are a member of at least one other
group. This may not list all of our contributors but it definitely
covers all of the developers.

>  How many of these developers were active in 2007?
Unfortunately, I don't have access to this information. (Does anyone
else on this list?)

>  Does a company (which one?) employ a large number of developers? 
Red Hat, Inc employs a good number of developers. 

> Do you have different
> "classes" of developers, or does everybody have the same access right to
> all your packages?

Everyone has the same access to all the packages. The only exception is
that an individual package maintainer has the right to restrict access
to his/her packages to a specific set of developers. 

>  How do you integrate new developers? How do you
> handle contributors who don't have access rights to the archive? (is
> there some kind of sponsoring system?)

Yes, contributing a package and going through the package review and
approval process typically gets you sponsored. You then are able to help
maintain that (and potentially other) packages in the distribution
(anyone else want to give a better answer here??)

> Q3. Developers and packages ownership
> What's the relationship between developers and packages? Does each
> package have an assigned developer, or can everybody modify all packages
> without stepping on anyone's toes? Are packages mostly maintained by
> teams, or by developers working alone?

Each package has at least one assigned maintainer, unless it has been
orphaned. However, in most every case any package maintainer can help
out on someone else's packages. We recommend that no one just take over
someone else's package without asking permission first. Packages are
mostly maintained by one or two maintainers - but not in every case.

> Other questions:
> - Did I send that mail to the right mailing list? 

Sure, ultimately you could have sent this to the Fedora Board which
could have provided the answers. The Fedora Project Board 'speaks' for
Fedora in official ways.

> - Which question should I have asked? What should I ask next?
the order is fine.
Ask about license rules of packages in distributions
Ask about patent concerns and responsibilities of distributions.
Ask about how much upstream development a distributions' developers do
and in what ways does it help.

> - Do you think that this initiative is interesting?
Sure, why not? :)

> - Do you think that this should move to a seperate mailing list? Would
>   you participate in such a mailing list?

I'm not sure it needs its own mailing list.

> - Can you suggest a project that could host such a mailing list without
>   annoying anyone? :)

Maybe something at the linux foundation?

good luck,