[aur-general] On TU application, TU participation and community/ package quality

Baptiste Jonglez baptiste at bitsofnetworks.org
Sun Nov 11 23:54:44 UTC 2018

On 11-11-18, Santiago Torres-Arias via aur-general wrote:
> On TU applications, TU participation and package quality:
> =========
> Many Trusted Users have brought up their concerns regarding the lack
> of proper vetting of packages put forward by new TU's, the small
> participation of TUs in their duties* and the declining quality of
> packages in the community/ repository. As a consequence, we've decided
> to bring forward proposals to tackle the following issues:

Before diving in on the proposed solutions, let's make sure we all agree
on whether there is a problem and what is the problem exactly:

> ## Issues
> * Existing Trusted Users are not followed closely in their actions

Well, that's why it's called *Trusted* Users, right?  Most of the issues
you mention are actually issues about trust.

I've made some packaging mistakes in the past, and there was always
somebody to yell at me.  I wasn't happy at the time and maybe I didn't
react appropriately, but most of the time the "yeller" was right, and I
learned from these mistakes so as not to repeat them.

If we want to increase the level of trust in terms of packaging quality, I
like the suggestion of a "probation" period in which new TUs have all
their changes reviewed by their sponsor and/or another TU.

This seems much more productive and reasonable than a "council of trusted
Trusted Users" that either acts as a gatekeeper or assesses the
"performance" of their fellow TUs, whatever that means...

> * New applications are not carefully reviewed, and a several TUs seem to
>   just vote “Yes” by default.

Do you have any data backing up this claim about voting "Yes" by default?
Do you mean that some TUs vote "Yes" without reading the TU application thread?

I find this unlikely, we even rejected some TU applications in the past
(one in 2014, one in 2016 and another in 2017).

The most likely explanation for the successful applications is that they
just didn't raise any serious issue worth a rejection.

> * The implication of some TUs in the distribution is very limited
>   outside of packaging.

You can't expect everybody to dedicate all their time to Arch: we all live
different lives and are already involved in various projects.  Let's just
accept that there are several ways of contributing and that's fine.

On a more practical note: when some people are so active that they reply
to any question on [aur-general] almost immediately, you just can't be
faster unless you watch your Arch emails all day long.  So maybe some TUs
need to participate more, but conversely some TUs might also need to leave
a bit of room for the others!

One area where more contributions would be welcome is handling AUR requests [1].
But as far as I can tell, we currently don't even advertise this to new TUs [2].


[1] https://aur.archlinux.org/requests/
[2] https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/AUR_Trusted_User_Guidelines
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