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Re: bug#61894: [PATCH RFC] Team approval for patches

From: Maxim Cournoyer
Subject: Re: bug#61894: [PATCH RFC] Team approval for patches
Date: Sun, 12 Mar 2023 20:08:05 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/28.2 (gnu/linux)

Hi Andreas,

Andreas Enge <> writes:

> Hello,
> Am Sat, Mar 11, 2023 at 10:26:18PM -0500 schrieb Maxim Cournoyer:
>> Ludovic Courtès <> writes:
>> > I hope the maintainer team can help make teams “more functional”,
>> > whatever that teams.  It’s really what maintainership is about in Guix;
>> > it’s not about writing code.
>> I'm happy to help with the effort, but I don't think it's particularly
>> relevant to Guix co-maintainers more than anyone else interested in
>> advancing/contributing to Guix, and I find it great that it's this way
>> (not out of laziness, but because the talent pool of the whole Guix
>> community is much larger that that of us 4 co-maintainers).  Per what we
>> co-maintainers signed up for in [1], the co-maintainers three primary
>> duties are:
> but there is also
> "Looking after people: making sure to promote people who are very involved
> in leadership position; dubbing new committers, new maintainers, new
> members of the spending committee. Supporting new initiatives. Generally
> trying to make sure everyone’s happy. :-)"

Yes, I've only quoted the core duties of the maintainers, because we
struggle to do much of anything else; thankfully, many individuals in
the our community mostly fill in the gaps (thanks!).  I'm aware that
ideally we would do more: if you are interested in giving a hand, let
guix-maintainers know -- we're currently 4 and could do with a 5th
person onboard to smooth out operations).

> As for all "management positions" (even if we may not like the term here
> as it often evokes a hierarchy; maybe "board members of a non-profit"
> captures the idea better), I think the maintainers' role is more about
> moderating ("animer" in French, which I think is more to the point),
> keeping the overview, overseeing and facilitating initiatives, making sure
> the project moves on, etc., than day to day work on details, or the three
> technical points you mention (and which probably hardly ever require
> action).

Past maintainers will probably smile at the "hardly ever require
actions" :-). But you are right, the occurrences of things like CoC
complaints or other requests sent over email are not constant in time
(but it doesn't mean they are easy or quick to resolve).  That said, I
agree with the general idea about maintainers having a role to play in
smoothing out interactions (which I believe we are doing) and
shepherding efforts toward a common goal (which I don't think we are
doing much at all).

> Maybe it would be time to move on to something like the Debian Social
> Contract and concrete rules how membership, commit rights, maintainer
> roles in the Guix project are bestowed and what is expected from
> people fulfilling such roles.

I'm not sure how something like the Debian Social Contract would help
here, and I do not know that "membership" has a meaning in our
community.  As I mentioned before, I feel like our problems are mostly
social rather than organizational (such as the question about how to
motivate people to review more), so I'd rather focusing on that more
than adding organizational layers.

I'll now leave the discussion space to other participants, as I feel
like I've already used too much of it :-).


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