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Dev Week -- MOTU Processes -- Daniel Holbach -- Tue, Feb 19

see also Wednesday session.

(12:01:21 PM) dholbach: Next up is "MOTU Processes"
(12:01:27 PM) mzungu: thanks, soren
(12:01:28 PM) mruiz: \0/
(12:01:50 PM) shujin: thanks!
(12:01:58 PM) shujin: +1 even!
(12:02:01 PM) dholbach: first of all I'd like to apologize, we had to change the schedule a bit yesterday, so for those of you interested in Virtualisation: the log will be available tomorrow on the page
(12:02:12 PM) dholbach: also as I said before there's always #ubuntu-virt
(12:02:18 PM) dholbach: and soren is happy to answer questions all day :)
(12:02:22 PM) dholbach: soren: right? :)
(12:02:49 PM) dholbach: OK... here we go - MOTU Processes
(12:02:50 PM) soren: Sure thing.
(12:03:16 PM) dholbach: if you have questions, please ask in #ubuntu-classroom-chat and prefix with QUESTION: - I'm happy to answer everything related to MOTU, Ubuntu Development and Drum'n'Bass music
(12:03:37 PM) dholbach: first of all: What do MOTUs do and why should you care? :-)
(12:03:54 PM) dholbach: MOTUs are the Masters of the Universe and take care of ~15000 packages in Universe and Multiverse
(12:04:23 PM) dholbach: it's the first stepping stone for developing Ubuntu and MOTUs are a really friendly bunch of people
(12:04:44 PM) dholbach: <Riddell> QUESTION: what's the difference between ~motu and ~ubuntu-dev on launchpad?
(12:05:03 PM) dholbach: Riddell: ~ubuntu-dev includes ~motu plus ~ubuntu-core-dev
(12:05:25 PM) dholbach: members of ~ubuntu-core-dev are allowed to upload to all parts of Ubuntu (main and restricted included)
(12:05:36 PM) dholbach: the process for joining MOTU is relatively straight-forward
(12:05:52 PM) dholbach: 1. you contribute and get patches and packages uploaded by sponsors
(12:06:17 PM) dholbach: 2. you go back to 1. until your sponsors think you do a very good job and are tired of uploading them for you
(12:06:25 PM) dholbach: 3. you apply for MOTU membership at the MOTU Council
(12:06:27 PM) dholbach: done :)
(12:06:34 PM) dholbach: <shiv_> QUESTION: how many MOTUs doesn't ubuntu have?
(12:06:55 PM) dholbach: shiv_: Ubuntu could always do with more MOTUs :-)
(12:07:08 PM) dholbach: ~ubuntu-dev lists 110 active members
(12:07:17 PM) dholbach: <jetsaredim> QUESTION: how do you get people to sponsor you?
(12:07:18 PM) dholbach: and
(12:07:23 PM) dholbach: <eddyMul> QUESTION: I have a patch in an LP bug report somewhere. How do I get it sponsored?
(12:07:28 PM) dholbach: that's what I wanted to get to next
(12:07:53 PM) dholbach: this process we call sponsoring:
(12:08:19 PM) dholbach: basically you attach your patch to a bug report and subscribe the ubuntu-universe-sponsors (or for main/restricted the ubuntu-main-sponsors team)
(12:08:50 PM) dholbach: they will review your work, test it, then use the patch, sign the source package with their GPG key, then upload to the build daemon
(12:09:08 PM) Ju left the room ("Plop").
(12:09:26 PM) dholbach: has an overview of the bugs that are currently sitting in the queue
(12:09:36 PM) dholbach: but we dealt with lots lots lots more already :)
(12:09:56 PM) dholbach: the process I just described just works for packages that are in Ubuntu already
(12:10:07 PM) dholbach: what about NEW packages? completely new, never packaged software
(12:10:39 PM) dholbach: explains how to upload your fresh and new package to a site we call REVU
(12:11:10 PM) dholbach: it will have to be reviewed and acknowledged by 2 members of ubuntu-dev, then uploaded to the build daemons, then reviewed by the archive admins who have the final say
(12:11:33 PM) dholbach: as we are in Feature Freeze right now, no NEW packages are accepted any more (only if they get a Freeze exception granted)
(12:11:49 PM) dholbach: so it's probably better to fix bugs to make Hardy rock :-)
(12:11:58 PM) dholbach: <mirrado> QUESTION: I want to help packaging games. Are there especific sponsors for especific topics or I can ask for help to any MOTU?
(12:12:13 PM) dholbach: mirrado: the ubuntu-*-sponsors team take care of everything
(12:12:43 PM) dholbach: mirrado: of course some teams do it differently and you can just tell somebody on the team to upload a patch you mailed them, but the generic process is preferrable since it does not block on certain people
(12:12:53 PM) dholbach: <juliank> QUESTION: If there is a new Debian release of a package, containing only bugfixes, can it be merged during FF without a special exception?
(12:13:24 PM) dholbach: juliank: The process for that is explained at
(12:13:41 PM) dholbach: main/restricted freeze exception are granted by the ubuntu-release team
(12:13:42 PM) sistpoty|work: short answer: yes
(12:13:51 PM) dholbach: universe/multiverse freeze exception are granted by the motu-release team
(12:14:21 PM) dholbach: sistpoty|work: was my answer wrong?
(12:15:11 PM) sistpoty|work: dholbach: nope... but that allowing bugfix only releases (at least for motu) was decided just an hour ago (unless motu-meeting should decide otherwise)
(12:15:15 PM) sistpoty|work: ;)
(12:15:32 PM) dholbach: sistpoty|work: ah interesting - thanks for letting us know
(12:16:04 PM) dholbach: as you can see: our processes change every now and then, because we aim to make working in Ubuntu even more straight-forward :)
(12:16:06 PM) dholbach: <InsClusoe> QUESTION: OFFTOPIC: Do MOTUs have a life outside contributing to ubuntu? Is there enough time to do a day job and a MOTU's tasks?
(12:16:20 PM) dholbach: InsClusoe: absolutely
(12:16:30 PM) dholbach: the MOTUs who are here maybe can comment on that :)
(12:16:41 PM) dholbach: <eddyMul> QUESTION: if I have a patch for git-core, and if apt-cache says git-core belongs to "main", should I subscribe ubuntu-main-sponsors to my bug? (#188218)
(12:16:51 PM) dholbach: eddyMul: exactly
(12:17:42 PM) dholbach: are there any other questions about "Joining MOTU" and "Sponsorship Process"?
(12:18:10 PM) dholbach: I'm happy if it all seems straight-forward to you too :)
(12:18:42 PM) dholbach: the question I usually get most is: "Do I need to know a lot of programming languages to become a MOTU?"
(12:19:17 PM) dholbach: I gave the answer so many times, that I added it to - let me quote :)
(12:19:23 PM) dholbach: Much more important than having a lot of progamming experience is
(12:19:23 PM) dholbach:  * being a good team player
(12:19:23 PM) dholbach:  * learning by reading documentation, trying things out and not being afraid to ask questions
(12:19:23 PM) dholbach:  * being highly motivated
(12:19:23 PM) dholbach:  * having a knack for trying to make things work
(12:19:24 PM) dholbach:  * having some detective skills
(12:19:37 PM) dholbach: I hope you feel encouraged :-)
(12:20:21 PM) dholbach: let's go back to Feature Freeze exceptions as that's the stage of the release schedule we're in right now
(12:20:31 PM) dholbach:
(12:21:08 PM) dholbach: they are generally necessary for packages that contain a new upstream version and for completely NEW packages
(12:21:30 PM) dholbach: later down the road to the release the upload queue will be frozen and all changes have to be ACKed
(12:21:37 PM) dholbach: <eddyMul> QUESTION: I'm a selfish jerk who likes to work on stuff I care only. Being a MOTU seemed to involve doing stuff for other people, which, while noble, might be hard for me to do. Am I fit to be a MOTU?
(12:22:00 PM) dholbach: eddyMul: absolutely - we have people who work on their pet bugs and have a very narrow interest
(12:22:06 PM) dholbach: that's completely fine
(12:22:29 PM) dholbach: if people excel in a certain area I'm happy for them to create sub-teams and deal with things perfectly
(12:23:04 PM) dholbach: of course when you become a MOTU you need to demonstrate that you 1) are technically apt and 2) you know how to work in the Ubuntu lanscape and 3) are a good team player
(12:23:37 PM) dholbach: :)
(12:23:50 PM) dholbach: <eddyMul> QUESTION: OFFTOPIC: is there a good example for making "live svn/cvs/git" packages? is there a better way other than repetitively taking a snapshot.tar.gz from the repo?
(12:24:44 PM) dholbach: eddyMul: at the moment I only know of which needs to get some love
(12:25:09 PM) dholbach: the basic idea is to use helper tools like   bzr-builddeb  from your revision control tree
(12:25:24 PM) dholbach: <shiv_> QUESTION: Are the 15,000+ packages managed exclusively by MOTUs. Daunting number for ~100 people to manage.
(12:25:34 PM) dholbach: shiv_: that's one of the other favourite questions we get
(12:25:57 PM) dholbach: shiv_: we could always do with more people, but we also get a LOT of help
(12:26:39 PM) dholbach: a lot of contributors aren't MOTUs yet or just want to fix their favourite bug, we have upstream people reporting us to apply patches or update to a newer upstream version, we have debian developers who care about their package in ubuntu, etc
(12:26:52 PM) dholbach: the role as an Ubuntu Developer is often to be the match-maker
(12:27:22 PM) dholbach: you interact with your peers, with users, with upstream authors and people from different distros which is the number one reason for me to love working in the MOTU team: the people
(12:27:43 PM) dholbach: <shiv_> QUESTION: Does software package submission also require submission of test suites to demonstrate verification?
(12:28:06 PM) dholbach: shiv_: test suites are great and the future :-)
(12:28:23 PM) dholbach: check out "Writing Scripts For Automated Desktop Testing" by Lars Wirzenius on thursday for more info on that
(12:28:45 PM) dholbach: but it's not a strict requirement, that's more of an upstream author job
(12:28:58 PM) dholbach: <juliank> QUESTION: How about introducing something similar to Dm-Upload-Allowed in Debian? -
(12:29:56 PM) dholbach: juliank: I don't know of any plans using it and currently are not sure which problem would be solved by that
(12:30:27 PM) dholbach: juliank: at the moment we do very well maintaining packages in the team, we all respect somebody else's expertise in a certain area and collaborate, also we don't block on certain people - maybe I've misunderstood your question though
(12:30:36 PM) dholbach: <shiv_> QUESTION: If a MOTU is interested in managing a set of packages, what kind of support is available via mailing lists, forums, etc to get notifications related to information related to these specific packages.
(12:31:00 PM) dholbach: shiv_: can you elaborate? which kind of support are you talking to?
(12:31:34 PM) dholbach: s/to/about :)
(12:32:09 PM) dholbach: once you upload a package to the archive you can use the Launchpad bug tracker and answers tracker for it - that kind of support?
(12:32:36 PM) dholbach: <shiv_> QUESTION: Notifications on uploads, changes to versions, original author putting a flag on LP so that interested ppl get to know....
(12:33:10 PM) dholbach: ahh, I see - well support for mailing lists is planned in LP, so you could form a ubuntu-frobnicator team and have a mailing list for it - does that help? :)
(12:33:20 PM) dholbach: <shiv_> QUESTION: I would like to know if for ex: gedit changed in debian, gedit bug got fixed in gentoo, or new sources of gedit got released on
(12:33:40 PM) dholbach: shiv_: ahhh ok, that's a nice idea
(12:34:16 PM) dholbach: for new upstream versions we use debian/watch files (see for more info)
(12:34:28 PM) dholbach: for all bug and fix related discussion we try to use Launchpad
(12:34:53 PM) dholbach: so if a user discovers a bug in gedit, we can link it to the equivalent upstream or debian bug and get notified if the status of it changes
(12:35:24 PM) dholbach: is an example of that
(12:35:40 PM) dholbach: <shiv_> QUESTION (continued) is there any tooling support  or I collate the info actively and help percolate.
(12:36:08 PM) dholbach: shiv_: I'm sure that if you can come up with a list of requirements you see for that, the Launchpad developers would love to hear - LP is definitely the place for that information
(12:36:19 PM) dholbach: #launchpad on and
(12:36:28 PM) dholbach: <eddyMul> QUESTION: way.... off-topic: what's frobnicator? This is the 2nd/3rd time I saw it mentioned by dholbach.  (me trying to get the cult references....)
(12:36:52 PM) dholbach: eddyMul: I'm sorry - I'm not sure where I read it first but I know I read it in some book :-)
(12:37:00 PM) dholbach: <TuxCrafter> dholbach: do you now if it will be possible to get device specific kernels supported in universe if i create a tested debian package for this device (eeepc
(12:37:20 PM) TuxCrafter: dholbach: im here
(12:37:22 PM) dholbach: TuxCrafter: so that would be just about a module you build?
(12:37:30 PM) Solarion:
(12:37:45 PM) dholbach: thanks Solarion :)
(12:38:04 PM) TuxCrafter: dholbach: nope the hole kernel i want to take the ubuntu kernel source and use my own config file and build a optimised kernel for the device
(12:38:11 PM) TuxCrafter: and get it in universe
(12:38:20 PM) dholbach: I'm not sure the archive admins would be happy with that
(12:38:36 PM) dholbach: imagine a security hole in the kernel: you'd have to patch it two times
(12:39:00 PM) TuxCrafter: indeed
(12:39:01 PM) dholbach: best to discuss with the kernel folks in #ubuntu-kernel to see how they deal with kernel flavours
(12:39:08 PM) dholbach: to be honest I don't know their processes too well
(12:39:14 PM) dholbach: I haven't built a kernel in ages :-)
(12:39:28 PM) dholbach: <buks> QUESTION: how do I highlight an already reported bug in hardy as being of high priority imo. or do i just leave it and hope someone fixes it?
(12:40:06 PM) dholbach: hum... buks is not around in here?
(12:40:56 PM) dholbach: buks: you can always talk to the specific team in their respective team channel or on their mailing list and ask how serious they think the issue is - also asking in #ubuntu-bugs does not hurt if you really think it has been overlooked
(12:41:28 PM) dholbach: there are usually a few indicators for HIGH importance bugs like number of duplicates, number of subscribers and I think we our QA team does a good job tracking them :)
(12:42:22 PM) dholbach: these three pages are really important and should be your first idea when you can't figure something out:
(12:42:23 PM) dholbach:
(12:42:23 PM) dholbach:
(12:42:23 PM) dholbach:
(12:42:41 PM) dholbach: One process I want to talk about is the Sync Request Process
(12:43:14 PM) dholbach: syncing means: copy a source package unmodified from debian to ubuntu, overwrite our current source package and build it
(12:43:52 PM) dholbach: this means that if we did local ubuntu changes, they will be overwritten
(12:44:22 PM) dholbach: so syncing gedit 2.21.92-2 from debian if we have 2.21.92-1ubuntu1 is something we need to check carefully
(12:45:01 PM) dholbach: if we are able to sync (and the current timing in the release schedule allows it), it's good to be in sync
(12:45:19 PM) dholbach: so how do we request a sync?
(12:45:43 PM) dholbach: explains it, in a nut shell:
(12:46:05 PM) dholbach:  - you file a bug report, mention the changes in debian that have happened since the current ubuntu version
(12:46:14 PM) dholbach:  - state that no ubuntu changes will be overwritten (else we can't sync)
(12:46:26 PM) dholbach:  - state that you have built it locally and it works nicely
(12:46:30 PM) dholbach: in addition to that:
(12:47:00 PM) dholbach:  - if you're not a MOTU yet, subscribe ubuntu-universe-sponsors or ubuntu-main-sponsors respectively and let them ACK the sync bug
(12:47:13 PM) dholbach: the ~ubuntu-archive team then will deal with it
(12:47:48 PM) dholbach: of course this depends on the current timing of the release, if we're in feature freeze you need to get an exception for a new upstream version and so on
(12:48:05 PM) dholbach: also things like bigger transitions two weeks away from release is probably a bad idea :)
(12:48:11 PM) dholbach: <polopolo> QUESTION: I don't know of this is the right time/place, but, If I join MOTU, I can choose to be a part of a motu team, but can I choose to be not a part of these teams or not?
(12:48:12 PM) juliank: dholbach: There's also requestsync in ubuntu-dev-tools
(12:48:22 PM) dholbach: juliank: good point! ubuntu-dev-tools is good stuff! :-)
(12:48:58 PM) dholbach: polopolo: I'm not sure I understand: first you start contributing (in whatever area you like), then once your sponsors are happy with you you can apply for motu membership
(12:49:18 PM) dholbach: polopolo: if in addition to that you want to join say the server team or the dekstop team or anything else, that's completely fine
(12:49:24 PM) dholbach: MOTU is your onramp to ubuntu development
(12:49:36 PM) dholbach: <InsClusoe> QUESTION: Is there any page where MOTUs maintain a list of active maintainers of a package and is there any way to find if more contributors are needed?
(12:49:59 PM) polopolo: dholbach: but if I am a MOTU, can I choose to be NOT a part if these teams?
(12:50:22 PM) dholbach: polopolo: if you wish to leave a team, that's fine - it's your call
(12:50:44 PM) dholbach: InsClusoe: found it:
(12:51:25 PM) dholbach: it's a bit incomplete, but usually the maintainer field or the last uploaders in debian/changelog or the X-VCS-* header in debian/control will give you an idea who has a major interest in the package and who you can talk to about it
(12:52:02 PM) dholbach: InsClusoe: there are lots of packages that need love: and should give you a good idea of what you can help out with
(12:52:05 PM) juliank: dholbach: VCS- is supported now, no X* prefix needed
(12:52:27 PM) dholbach: juliank: right... seems I'm a bit behind the times :-)
(12:52:30 PM) dholbach: thanks juliank
(12:52:33 PM) dholbach: <shiv_> QUESTION: Slightly off-topic. While syncing with debian, how does one ensure history of changes done in the ubuntu line is not lost?
(12:52:57 PM) dholbach: shiv_: if there are no changes in ubuntu worth keeping, we decide to drop changes to debian/changelog
(12:53:15 PM) dholbach: shiv_: Launchpad (<srcpkg name>) will store it though
(12:53:23 PM) dholbach: <juliank> QUESTION: What to do if the sponsor says to you that he will advocate you for MOTU, but then does not (without any explanation)?
(12:54:03 PM) dholbach: juliank: best to talk to your sponsor about it again - if that fails you could ping a MOTU Council about it and let them mediate
(12:54:11 PM) dholbach: <polopolo> QUESTION: is there a minium age to be a MOTU?
(12:54:27 PM) dholbach: polopolo: no, not at all - I don't know who our youngest MOTU is
(12:54:33 PM) dholbach: I'd suspect 16-17?
(12:54:43 PM) dholbach: If we have a younger MOTU than that in here, please speak up! :-)
(12:54:53 PM) dholbach: the only things we really require are:
(12:54:59 PM) dholbach:  1. good track record of good contributions
(12:55:17 PM) dholbach:  2. good track record of actively collaborating with team mates
(12:55:17 PM) Tm_T: dholbach: IIRC 15 is youngest, though could be corrupted memory
(12:55:26 PM) dholbach: Tm_T: who? :)
(12:55:38 PM) dholbach:  3. showing that you know about Ubuntu processes
(12:55:40 PM) Tm_T: dholbach: sorry, there's the corruption mostly =)
(12:55:40 PM) dholbach: that's it
(12:55:48 PM) polopolo: dolbach: well, i'm very younger then that, but I wanna help ubuntu
(12:56:09 PM) Tm_T: polopolo: it's an advantage then, you have most years to help us ;)
(12:56:17 PM) dholbach: polopolo: that's excellent - I hope to see you in #ubuntu-motu on the mailing list and requesting reviews for patches of yours soon :)
(12:56:58 PM) dholbach: and that goes for you all of you - let me know how your MOTU journey goes if you're interested:
(12:57:14 PM) dholbach: no more questions? :-)
(12:57:46 PM) polopolo: dholbach: I am thinking
(12:57:47 PM) dholbach: excellent - thanks a lot for attending and thanks for all the good questions
(12:58:06 PM) Tm_T: dholbach: big thank you :)