Thought folks might be interested in these two (short-ish yet horrendously formatted html) logs: a workflow bug report from Michael Stone and a brainstorm of potential solutions with Toshio Kuratomi and Dennis Gilmore.

My paraphrased short version:

Michael Stone: Hey, I've been trying really hard to contribute a patch to a Fedora package but kept finding myself having to jump through hoops; I plunged through anyway but was ultimately stopped by lack of creds. It's frustrating and probably turning away contributors who aren't speaking up like I just did. Might want to fix that workflow.

Me: Yeeeeah.

Toshio (in another channel, completely separately): I've been thinking about organizing the packaging guidelines [to make them easier]...

Me: Toshio, you should read Michael's comments on the process.

Toshio: *reads* Yeeeeah. So, some ideas...

Dennis: *pops in* And yet more ideas on what we could do about this...

Some Time Later: proposed fixes!

  1. Everything except for the commit can be done without needing any account information at all; this isn't really documented, though. Document it and make that documentation findable. This solves everything except the "it's hard to commit" problem.
  2. Add functionality to fedora-packager so that anyone with the fedora-packager package installed can send a patch right on the command line. Imagine running something like fedora-packager-email-patch <name-of-package> <patchfile>.patch <your-email> and having it go straight through with no account creation required. This would solve the commit problem for everyone who can install fedora-packager.
  3. Create an automated account that only accepts emails with a valid package name as the subject line, and forwards any attachments that are patches to the relevant package owner via the (already existing) <packagename> email aliases. This would solve the commit problem for everyone who has email.

Thoughts? Takers? I might see if I can do #1 during spare time while hanging out with Pascal Calarco & Co. at Notre Dame this coming Monday.