dholbach welcome everybody to our MOTU Q&A session!

  • let's start with the usual round of introductions

MrLimeni hello everybody

dholbach I'm Daniel Holbach, have been MOTU for a couple of releases already, worked in the Desktop Team and other places, but now am focussed on making MOTU KICK ASS and make going through the MOTU process as smooth and enjoyable as possible Smile :)

  • who else do we have here? Smile :)

* jono raises hand/join #ubuntu-classroom-chat

jono oops

  • heh

* dholbach spotted some familiar faces - introduce yourselves Smile :-)

dholbach ok, let me introduce a few people then...

  • we have norsetto, Cesare Tirabassi, who has similar aims as I do: making becoming a MOTU fun and as smooth as possible seb128, Sébastien Bacher, Desktop king and packaging ace

* seb128 hugs dholbach

dholbach we have jono "Jäger" bacon, Metal Drummer and Community Manager

* lool waves

jono hehe

  • heya lool Smile :)

dholbach we have Hobbsee, she kicks ass in the MOTU team and has the large pointy stick of doom

* Hobbsee waves

dholbach lool, Loïc Minier, he rocks as much as Séb does

  • we have pedro_, Desktop Bugs King, always trying to get close to beat Séb with his Karma points Smile :) who else do we have here? who did I miss? who of you is interested in becoming a MOTU and joining the team?

* effie_jayx raises hand

dholbach effie_jayx: great to have you here

* warp10 raises hend

lool dholbach: Don't say "as much", one of Séb and me must be better than the other, you got to name the best of us two

dholbach warp10: great Smile :)

lool :-P

dholbach jono wants to become a MOTU too Smile :-)

* Hobbsee wants to become a motu! :P

  • dholbach hugs Hobbsee lool just became a MOTU

MrLimeni I'm Dino Rastoder, and i am student at computer science. I'm very interested in becoming a MOTU.

dholbach lool: I wouldn't try to make that decision - you guys ROCK Smile :)

* proppy raises a finger

dholbach nice, great to have you all here

jono this is great Smile :)

* txwikinge2 waves

dholbach do we have questions already?

jono can I make one small statement dholbach?

dholbach jono: sure

jono I would just like to encourage all existing MOTUs and all new prospective MOTUs to spread the word about MOTU and blog about it - I would love to see new MOTUs blogging about their progress

dholbach this session is completely free-form: so please interrupt and ask whenever you have a question or a statement to make deadwill heya

dholbach jono: very good point

jono MOTU is going to be a real focus in the coming year, so I would love to see us all advocate people getting involved Smile :)

dholbach it'd be great to have more coverage on planet ubuntu, also setting up a blog at wordpress.com should be just a matter of a few clicks

dholbach do we have questions already?

  • who of you played with packaging tools already?

txwikinge2 dholbach: how is it with the package names for different releases. DO they change even nothing in the package changes?

MrLimeni What are responsibility of a MOTU?

effie_jayx dholbach, Your last session on packaging on Open Week was awesome. very "human", I wanted to find the logs to it. but I found it was your first talk on both logfiles

* txwikinge2 is playing with the packaging tools

dholbach txwikinge2: if there are no changes during a releases, the package is unchanged but will be transferred into the new "release pocket"

  • so assume we had package (1.2.3) in feisty and it had no changes during gutsy then it will be package (1.2.3) in hardy too txwikinge2: does that answer the question?

txwikinge2 but you have to change the gutsy->hardy in the changelog file ?

dholbach txwikinge2: only if you do an upload to hardy

  • some packages have changelog entries that date back to edgy, some might even date back to warty

txwikinge2 ah ok.. thanks

dholbach great

  • MrLimeni: that completely depends on your interests

    MrLimeni: some MOTUs have a narrow interest in just a few packages, some try to help with every QA task they can find we have people who are interested in ruby or python or games and they work closely with the debian team counterparts some MOTUs help with transitions, for example porting all packages that use libabc1 to libabc2, and so on we always try to have all packages installable and buildable, that sometimes requires quite an amount of work too

proppy do we have to fill a debian bugs or a ubuntu bugs for each ubuntu or debian counterpart ?

dholbach if you decide to take care of a certain package or a class of packages, you are responsible for keeping the package in a good shape:

  • - take care of bug reports and fix them or forward them upstream

proppy or is this a good idea to work only in one place, and then get the result synced ?

dholbach - keep the package updated

  • - talk to the debian maintainer, etc
  • MrLimeni: I hope that helps to answer the question

    effie_jayx: thanks for the kind words Smile :)

MrLimeni ok, now i have some ideas

dholbach great

MrLimeni tnx

dholbach proppy: some people decide to talk to the debian teams in IRC, some send emails to mailing lists, some file bug reports

  • there's a variety of ways to get involved with each other proppy: I personally think that during merging it's a good idea to forward changes upstream at the end of the release cycle things are usually too hectic to get everything included upstream

proppy dholbach: i.e yesterday I fill a new upstream version bug for debian, I don't know if it a good practice to also fill one on launchpad and to link the debbugs ?, or just to ask for a sync when it's one on the debian part ?

* norsetto thinks it is a VERY good idea during merging to forward changes upstream

dholbach but close bonds between maintainers and teams are very important, it helps to not duplicate work

  • proppy: it might depend on how active the debian maintainer is proppy: if you're under the impression that the new version is important and it does not happen, you can always file a bug in ubuntu or do it yourself

* norsetto upstream meaning especially debian

proppy dholbach: but filling two bugs, one on ubuntu and one on debian, could lead to duplicate work too, due to lack of coordination ?

dholbach proppy: the good thing is that the bug status in LP is updated automatically

  • so we know if the fix has landed in debian

proppy I mean in the hypothetical case that there is lack of coordination on a specific issue, I'm not speaking in general team

  • ok

dholbach we can't rule out that some duplication happens

  • that's why close ties are important any more questions? I noticed that only a few of you have started working with packaging tools yet

    one page that's worth reading is http://wiki.ubuntu.com/MOTU/GettingStarted

proppy what about ITP versus Needs-packaging ?

  • is it a good pratice to fill both ? when working on a new package

dholbach it references all the important steps you need to go through

effie_jayx dholbach, how can we help for the next release? I have some minor experience with pbuilder and I can say I know my motu ABC

dholbach proppy: we have no policy telling you to file an ITP or RFC

dholbach ITP in Debian means "Intent to Package", so you should only file it if you REALLY want to maintain the package in debian

  • sorry, I meant RFP above RFP means "Request For Package"

proppy dholbach: but what is the usage (not the policy) ?

dholbach something I used to do, when I packaged a new piece of software, for example when I packaged 'glom': follow up on the debian bug report saying "please package glom", I said "I packaged it for Ubuntu, grab the source package at http..."

proppy dholbach: I was just worried if I should fill an itp for the needs-packaging bugs I'm working on

  • dholbach: thanks for the explanation Smile :)

dholbach 'bitesize' bugs for example are bugs that are suited for new contributors, because they're likely to be easy

  • 'packaging' bugs refer to bugs that are not in the source code of the package, but in the packaging itself and can be easy

effie_jayx dholbach, Could I comment on something?

dholbach we have 'upgrade' bugs, where users request new upstream versions of a package, this can be easy too, if you follow the 'update a package' recipe on http://wiki.ubuntu.com/MOTU/Recipes

  • effie_jayx: sure

effie_jayx dholbach, One of the most difficult things about helping out doing MOTU work is that people like you help out alot ... but people in the channel are at times busy building stuff for ubuntu and have little time to check your stuff. People in #ubuntu-motu are AWESOME but they lack the time for doing MOTU stuff. we would need more people just there to mentor little grasshoppers like us

dholbach also we have the huge list of 'needs-packaging' bugs, where users request new software to finally get packaged

effie_jayx dholbach, aha... that I didn't know Big Grin :)

dholbach effie_jayx: also ask norsetto about the mentor process he's currently trying to improve - it's not set in stone yet, but we're trying to work out mentoring

  • it's a tough one because we have limited resources

effie_jayx dholbach, yes... and lot's to do... MOTUS have lots to do

dholbach your best bets are #ubuntu-motu, ubuntu-motu-mentors@lists.ubuntu.com for general questions

proppy what about #ubuntu-mentors ?

dholbach and if you want to get your package or patch reviewed: http://wiki.ubuntu.com/SponsorshipProcess and http://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuDevelopment/NewPackages

  • proppy: I wouldn't like to open yet another IRC channel, but if you think it makes sense, you could discuss the idea on ubuntu-motu@lists.ubuntu.com

norsetto proppy: well, the idea is that we should really not separate mentoring from the normal process flow

dholbach good point norsetto

  • we want people to go through the regular process as quickly as possible... if they need help to get started, that's fine, but things like the sponsorship process (getting packages reviewed and uploaded by somebody who's in the MOTU team already) are a must of everybody to go through

* Hobbsee is also going to have a whole stack of bitesize bugs, soon, too.

dholbach Hobbsee: file / tag those bugs? or fix them yourself?

* norsetto knows that Hobbsee is very good at bitesizing

Hobbsee file

dholbach NICE

* dholbach hugs Hobbsee

Hobbsee they'll be good for new people to fix Smile :)

dholbach everybody give Hobbsee a hug Smile :)

Hobbsee but that will be after the merge season

  • (after the autosync stops)

dholbach MOTU is also a lot about hugging... Smile :)

* proppy nugs Hobbsee

proppy oups

* Hobbsee hugs proppy back Smile :)

dholbach Smile :-)

* effie_jayx hugs Hobbsee

Hobbsee Smile :)

dholbach referenced from http://wiki.ubuntu.com/MOTU/GettingStarted

effie_jayx dholbach, a note on the debdiff wiki would be good

dholbach can we solve a practical problem today? Smile :)

effie_jayx dholbach, let me give you link

* txwikinge2 hugs Hobbsee

dholbach effie_jayx: ok Smile :)

effie_jayx I was drowning on papercup

Hobbsee yeah. everyone can do a problem of my optoelectronics paper tomorrow. thanks for offering Smile :)

* dholbach sees the new MOTU motto already: "MOTU - we solve ALL your problems!"

Hobbsee Big Grin :)

dholbach Smile :)

effie_jayx dholbach, https://wiki.ubuntu.com/MOTU/Recipes/Debdiff <--- after I generate the debdiff there is a very scary message saying the public key cannot be berified

Hobbsee dholbach: "what's the difference bewteen all the build systems, and all the patch systems? do i care? which one should i use? which one is "better"?"

effie_jayx so I thought there must be something wrong with my gpg key

Hobbsee dholbach: how's that for a question? Smile :)

dholbach effie_jayx: did you add a changelog entry?

effie_jayx dholbach, I did... one that matches my key

dholbach effie_jayx: is exactly that name and email address on your gpg key?

norsetto dholbach: no, thats becuase of the key used to sign the original .dsc

effie_jayx dholbach, yes

dholbach norsetto: ahhh, right

effie_jayx norsetto, right

dholbach good point

effie_jayx so that was the problem

Hobbsee effie_jayx: you dont sign debdiffs Smile :)

effie_jayx Hobbsee, for one ... that's true

Hobbsee they'd never apply, if you did. they're just special forms of patches.

dholbach effie_jayx: ok, we can add a note explaining to ignore that message

  • Hobbsee: good question

effie_jayx Hobbsee, but mee as a MOTU-noob... It scared me...

Hobbsee effie_jayx: fair enough Smile :)

dholbach in Debian and Ubuntu packaging there's a variety of build and patch systems

Hobbsee dholbach: oh, and how do i tell the different build systems apart? why are some debian/rules files so much shorter than others?

dholbach most packages make use of debhelper in debian/rules

dholbach debhelper contains a bunch of scripts to make a maintainer's life easier

  • a simple example is dh_desktop , which will add a postinst and prerm to the package that will update the desktop file database it safes a lot of hassle and copy/paste-ing existing code CDBS is used quite heavily by GNOME and KDE packages for example which simplifies debian/rules (which is the Makefile to build the package) even further

proppy dholbach: do I need to understand dh_* call when working on a package, or should I just blind copying them form dh_make, and read the man when needed ?

dholbach CDBS contains Makefile snippets, that are 'controlled' by variables you can set

  • proppy: it's in your interest to know them - in most cases copy/paste-ing might work for you or might not, you'll be only able to fix issues, if you know what the tools are for I generally encourage to work on existing packages and do only small modifications which brings me to Hobbsee's other question: "do I need to care?"

dholbach the answer is: it depends

  • if you only package your own software and package it "your way", you don't need to care

proppy dholbach: what about the order of dh_* call is it documented somewhere, or should I trust and copy that from existing package ?

dholbach but if work on a variety of packages and fix a variety of bugs, as most MOTUs do, you will need to learn the individual patch/build systems that are used by the packages

Hobbsee and if you ever have to install yada, RUN AWAY!!!

dholbach proppy: the debian policy should contain information about that

Hobbsee death to all yada!

effie_jayx hehehe

dholbach we have pretty good documentation of all patch systems in the packaging guide

  • any more questions?

Hobbsee dholbach: please add that to the faq, btw

dholbach Hobbsee: it is already there: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuDevelopment/FAQ

  • "I need to fix a bug in the upstream provided source, modify the source or add a patch?"

Hobbsee that's different.

dholbach . o O { I'm the wiki slave... Smile :-) }

  • Hobbsee: what do you think should be in the FAQ then?

Hobbsee dholbach: the stuff about what the differences are betwen the build systems, and patch systems, and if you ened to care.

* Hobbsee queries

dholbach Hobbsee: OK, added a note in my todo list

Hobbsee dholbach: (both groups of questions need to be there)

dholbach right, thanks for the suggestion

  • any more questions? who of you is going to get started with the MOTU process next? any ideas what you'll be working on or get started with?

txwikinge2 dholbach: I have uploaded two new pacakges to revu.. .what do I do now?

dholbach txwikinge2: NEW packages?

txwikinge2 well.. packages not existing in ubuntu yet

Hobbsee (where NEW == new to ubuntu)

  • as opposed to packages already there, but an older version

* norsetto notes that we have regular REVU days on every monday now

dholbach txwikinge2: does the package in Ubuntu exist already?

txwikinge2 no

dholbach right

  • what you can do is: other than that, as norsetto noted we have weekly REVU days

txwikinge2 ok

dholbach great

  • txwikinge2: let me know if you should still get no review of it

txwikinge2 ok

dholbach for those of you interested in becoming a MOTU: any ideas what you'll be working on or get started with?

  • jono: ^ Smile :-)

    anybody else? Smile :)

proppy dholbach: working on NEW package as well, have working on existing bugs when I find some

jono I think I am going to continue to learn how to package existing stuff and then pick something

dholbach I always like to plug seb128's and lool's team: if you're interested in Desktop Stuff: http://wiki.ubuntu.com/DesktopTeam/TODO has a LOT of stuff to get involved with

norsetto txwikinge2: having a new package in ubuntu can be a very frustrating experience, don't be discouraged easily

txwikinge2 I think I will look at some of the bitesize stuff next

proppy dholbach: and when norsetto ask me too

jono would be fun to contribute to a team

Hobbsee dholbach: am i better off to put new packages into ubuntu, or fix bugs in current packages? does it make any difference, in getting MOTU?

jono the main thing I need to learn right now is how packaging works :P

txwikinge2 norsetto: Don't worry.. I won't .. I just don't want to get on peep's nerves either Smile :)

dholbach Hobbsee: to become a MOTU it's important that we see so many good contributions (in whatever form) to Ubuntu, that we trust you and see that you do good work

  • the rest is your decision and your interest sky's the limit

jono could I package audio files for ubuntu?

Hobbsee dholbach: so the suggestion would be to go with bugfixes, as the new packages take so long?

jono like another example-content

txwikinge2 for the login sound?

dholbach Hobbsee: if you want some new package included in ubuntu really badly, you will have to do that Smile :)

Hobbsee dholbach: yes, but if i dont care, i just want to contribute somewhere?

dholbach jono: sure, only the licensing and size is important

Hobbsee: I personally learnt a lot by fixing/modifying existing packages

jono dholbach: right

Hobbsee ok

dholbach I would not discourage people from packaging new stuff Smile :)

  • we're close to the end of the session one thing I'd like to encourage you all to do is:
    • - please drop me mail with your MOTU experience: complaints, praise, suggestions, etc - I'll try to help and make things better - spread the word about MOTU: blog about it, let people know

dholbach - make Universe ROCK Smile :-)

* txwikinge2 doesn't have a blog yet

dholbach any final words? Smile :-)

dholbach ok... have a great day then!

Hobbsee I'd like to also point out that the MOTU are almost all volunteers - so it would be unwise to demand your stuff gets done immediately, etc. we have queues for a reason, and we don't take kindly to someone filing 50 bugs, then complaining when they arent all uploaded the next day. we have stuff to implement too.

txwikinge2 thanks dholbach

Hobbsee (which also applies to reviews, etc)

dholbach we'll have another Q&A session next week - I'll announce the details ~mid next week

Hobbsee i'd also like to point out that you dont need to be a super-l33t coder to be a MOTU

  • if you want to do it, you'll be able to. sky is the limit, and all.

dholbach but we do our best to keep queues as short as possible Smile :)

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