Following my recent recruitment performance post, here comes the second part of my Gentoo Miniconf 2012 presentation. The following two graphs aim to demonstrate the performance of proxy-maintainers aka, how Gentoo users help us improve and push new ebuilds to the portage tree
One can notice the increased number of maintainer-needed@ packages but this is because we “retired” a lot of inactive developers in the last 2 months. I expect this number to not increase further in the near future.
I would like to thank all of you who are actively participating in this team. Keep up the good work!
Yes, another post about proxy-maintainers. We already maintain 76 packages (listed below)) but we have a lot of work to do as the total number of unmaintained packages is 688 . If you spot a package, listed in the maintainer-needed list that you use regularly, get in touch with us and we will try to help you push your patches to Gentoo portage.
 pquery –repo gentoo -n –herd proxy-maintainers
As I promised, one of my goals this year is to create a more efficient ebuild maintenance channel between users and developers. The outcome is a new project called “Proxy maintainers“. This is basically an e-mail alias including all developers who want to act as proxy maintainers. If you are a user, grab your favorite orphaned package and contact us to review it and commit it on your behalf. This project has the potential to expand even further, e.g. have a single overlay were we can work together on maintainer-needed@ ebuilds before we push them on portage tree. This is a fresh shiny project so ideas are more than welcomed ;). If you haven’t heard before about ‘proxy-maintainers’ have a look on my previous blog posts
Orphaned ( aka maintainer-needed ) packages, are those that nobody, neither a maintainer nor a herd, is looking after them. Such packages oftet get removed from portage because either they don’t work anymore or there are just too many open bugs and nobody really cares about them.
Recently the TreeCleaner Project, as a decent way to inform everybody ( both devs and users ) about packages that are candidates for removal, introduced a new package to track them.
If you want to proxy maintain one of them, just send an e-mail to gentoo-dev mailing list and who knows, maybe a dev will pop up and work with you :-). If you haven’t heard about proxy maintainers before just take a look here and here.
This poped up recently @ -dev ML . It turns out that is little ( or not at all ) documentation about this, which is quite unfortunate since it is one of the most easy and important ways a user can use to assist us on development. A couple of months ago I blogged about Sunrise Overlay as a good way for users to extend their knowledge on ebuild writting and contribute their own ebuilds on an official gentoo overlay. This of course requires a significant amount of time and effort which is hard to find nowadays.
There is another way for you to help us put your shiny ebuilds on portage. You can become proxy-maintainer of any package you like as long as it doesn’t have a Gentoo developer as maintainer.
How does this work?
Since there are no official documentation available, these are the rules you should follow to become proxy-maintainer:
1) Open a bug for your package
2) Attach your ebuild and state that you want to be proxy maintainer for this
3) Assing or CC the bug to the more appropriate herd
4) Wait for a developer to pop up and accept your offer
As proxy-maintainer you should do all the required work to ensure your package is fully working and up2date. This may requires to follow upstream changes and mailing lists and visit occasionally the bugzilla to find out if there are open bugs for your package. This is an excellent opportunity to become an active member of Gentoo developer community and a big step for improving this great distro. Furthermore, you can always jump the gap and become developer if you think you are willing to contribute in regular basis :)
I really hope this post will clarify this “unknown” term and motivate you to become proxy-maintainer :)