Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Re: Does the backporters team need help?

Excerpts from Iain Lane's message of 2017-04-25 09:18:31 +0100:
> On Mon, Apr 24, 2017 at 07:08:30PM -0500, Micah Gersten wrote:
> > Yes, indeed, the team could use assistance. I was on vacation and am
> > catching up on things. I would be happy to start getting more people
> > involved starting next week.
>
> I'm speaking as a member of the backporters team here.
>
> The backports process relies on the small and overworked backports team
> manually reviewing, uploading and then accepting uploads based on bug
> reports which often come from users and require any amount of cajoling
> (either back and forth with the reporter or actually doing the work) to
> be uploadable.
>
> The process is set up in such a way that there is a specific list of
> things that the requests have to contain, a specific set of meanings for
> bug statuses and a very onerous amount of testing required for
> non-trivial backports. Any or all of these things can be wrong per the
> policy, and they all make it very hard for the backporters team to
> manage. A new member might manage to triage some percentage of the bugs,
> but I suspect that very quickly they would get burned out with the
> process like the rest of us.
>
> I think it's proven to be a poor and unworkable process and it should be
> fixed to enable more developer autonomy. That said, I don't have a new
> proposal to make right now but I would be interested in trying to work
> one out.

Indeed, it feels a bit heavy weight. I wonder if we could just make it
a little easier to become a backporter if you're already a developer.

That said, I'm happy to help a little bit on the current workload until
we can revamp backports. With Canonical's refocus and staff changes,
I think it's worthwhile for folks like myself to step up and help in
areas we find important.

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