Gentoo Archives: gentoo-user

From: hasufell <hasufell@g.o>
To: gentoo-user@l.g.o
Subject: [gentoo-user] on overlays and contributing to gentoo
Date: Thu, 12 Sep 2013 13:56:06
2 Hash: SHA1
4 I sometimes have the feeling the number of people directly
5 contributing to gentoo is decreasing and the number of people with
6 their own overlays is increasing.
8 Q: "Why contribute? I have my own overlay."
9 A: That is bad. There are several reasons:
10 * most overlays don't get any reviews from any other person/dev and
11 hence the quality is usually a lot lower than in the official tree
12 (not necessarily because we are smarter, but because of more eyes)
13 * overlays decentralize packaging which is a very bad thing and can
14 cause so many problems that I cannot name them all here (most
15 importantly overlay maintainers have no access to the trees profiles/
16 folder, cannot limit breakage that happened and cannot coordinate any
17 delicate bumps of crucial system libs)
18 * some overlay maintainers overwrite system libraries with their own
19 versions, causing unnecessary bugs for users
20 * user experience does not improve if he has to add a whole overlay
21 for a single package
22 * most overlays don't do pgp signing or even have thin manifests
23 * many overlay maintainers do not even bother to communicate in bug
24 reports about ebuild requests, so developers might not even notice
25 that someone has already worked on an ebuild
27 There is probably more. In the end the important thing is that an
28 overlay is not a direct contribution to gentoo. Of course, direct
29 contribution requires more work and more patience, but will solve all
30 of the above problems.
32 Q: What is direct contribution?
33 A: There are many ways:
34 * file a bug report with an ebuild request giving useful information
35 about the package (I sometimes give up on working on an ebuild,
36 because I don't use the software and have little knowledge about what
37 users will expect from an ebuild)
38 * file a bug report with an ebuild proposal, preferably after getting
39 a review in #gentoo-dev-help or #gentoo-sunrise
40 * communicate to devs that you are interested in becoming a proxy
41 maintainer [1]
42 * contribute to sunrise [2] the official user overlay (yes, also an
43 overlay, but with very strict policy to ensure compatibility with the
44 tree); here you also get a review in #gentoo-sunrise and we have
45 mirrors on github and bitbucket to accept pull requests
46 * start bothering the gentoo herds/projects directly, either in their
47 IRC channel or in their official overlays (oh, an overlay again,
48 yes... but most of the time the work done there flows directly into
49 the tree with some delay); some are hosted on github etc
50 * become a dev [3]
52 Only do your own overlay if more than one of the contribution channels
53 failed. As an example: if you propose binary ebuilds for software that
54 is opensource, then devs will probably not like that.
56 It is also fine to have your own overlay, e.g. for testing or for
57 packages that are really alpha, but contributing directly is more
58 awesome and benefits more users.
61 - --
62 [1]
63 [2]
64 [3]
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