Making Fedora a contributer friendly environment (Re: Selinux and package guidelines)

Nigel Jones dev at
Mon May 7 11:52:21 UTC 2007

Hans de Goede wrote:
> David Woodhouse wrote:
>> On Sun, 2007-05-06 at 20:55 +0200, Hans de Goede wrote:
>>> I for one have made sure all my packages work well with selinux
>>> targeted policy in enforcing mode, and I've written patches for other
>>> peoples packages too. I've even written for example textrel patches
>>> for SDL, but the maintainer doesn't want to apply them.
>> That's very commendable.
>> Are you suggesting that _everyone_ does this, and that there's no _need_
>> for us to say anything about SElinux in the review guidelines because
>> _everyone_ is already as conscientious as you?
> Quoting the first paragraph of my mail, which contains the real message:
> "I'm getting very tired of these generalism's of you. Most of us are not
> just volunteers, but even hard working volunteers. Terms like packaging
> monkeys, and dumping, are not nice descriptions of, and show no respect
> for, all the hard working people behind Fedora."
How about the impressions of a new maintainer?

Personally, I think the environment as it is, is perfect, everyone is
allowed to have a view, and people have the right to say "I don't like it".

David when making the comment "Don't be a Package Monkey" was expressing
his own views, yes I was a bit taken aback at first, but I think it's a
better term to use than saying 'lazy'...  bringing his original comment
in context:

> But the correct fix in this case is to make the use of dmidecode
> optional, and perhaps to look elsewhere for the information you wanted
> from it. Just disabling an architecture is the packagemonkey approach.
> Fedora needs _maintainers_ not packagemonkeys.

Far better in my opinion saying that than "Just disabling an
architecture is the lazy approach.  Fedora needs _maintainers_ not lazy
people.".  My only guess was David was refering to the a-typical "Monkey
see, Monkey do" approach that we see increasingly in society.

The alternative to the laid back style that encourages discussion, we
have the style where the Fedora community is so 'PC' that nobody wants
to communicate.

I think I'd perfer to be part of a community that will communicate, I
may get insulted a couple of times along the way, but at least nobody is
too scared to communicate.

> I've no problems with writing something about SELinux in the guidelines,
> although you should realise, that handling selinux requires a certain
> amount of knowledge I'm pretty sure not everyone has, so making this a
> hard requirement will exclude about 99% of our current packagers.

As David pointed out, we have people that know what they are doing when
it comes to SELinux that can help.

I can see issues with Package Reviews, the obvious solution here, is a
break from tradition where during package review SELinux is not taken
into consideration, (i.e. the package is taken for it's compliance with
general packaging rules, but it's then the job of the packager to work
with someone experienced in SELinux to make the correct adjustments to
the package, between fedora-review and fedora-cvs.

> But as I tried to already make clear by quoting the first paragraph of
> my previous mail. The SELinux guidelines is not why I responded, the
> reason I responded was the tone of the mail, and more general the tone
> of your mails in general. Please quit calling valuable volunteer
> contributers as "package monkeys", and stop accusing them of "dumping
> stuff onto other people".

Back to the original context of the package monkey quote...

David was pointing out to the volunteer that there was no bug filed
against the package saying why it can't be built on ppc64, *not* doing
this, is the package monkey approach, David was not accusing the
volunteer of been a package monkey, he was just pointing out that a bug
needed to be filed, so other people could see what was going on, and to
provide progress information on what needs to happen to get the package
up to scratch... this is the maintainer approach!

While it's even better to go out your way to fix the problem, it's hard
for some maintainers to have resources to cater for every arch that
Fedora supports, (do you want to have to have i386, x86_64, ppc and
ppc64 boxes before you can contribute?) but the filing of the bug shows
your not lazy, your taking the time to acknowledge there is a problem,
thats what counts in communication.



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