How to Get Sponsored into the Packager Group
Getting sponsored allows anyone interested to become a Fedora maintainer and get direct commit and upload access to their proposed software packages. We require people to get sponsored into the
packager group before getting this access to Fedora to ensure that they have someone that they can go to with questions. Sponsorship is not automatic and requires that you find a willing sponsor. Depending on the sponsor and how much time they have to spend with you, they may require that you demonstrate that you have the knowledge to maintain Fedora packages properly (including an understanding of the Fedora packaging guidelines) or they may be willing to take you on if you just show that you are eager and willing to learn those things from them. A sponsor will assist you with some aspects of packaging and the submission process but will expect you to read about the process and guidelines for packages for a large amount of your understanding of how things work.
There are several ways to get sponsored into the
packager group depending on your interest. In many cases doing a mixture of different things will increase your chances of being sponsored.
Until you are sponsored into the
packager group you are not able to own packages or to check in changes to packages which you own. However, you can still create an initial package and submit it for review as talked about at Joining the Package Maintainers. When you open your review request in bugzilla, you should block the FE-NEEDSPONSOR tracking bug, that way all of the sponsors will be able to see your sponsorship request. Although
FE-NEEDSPONSOR is set on the package’s review request, it is the person that needs to be sponsored into the
packager group, not the package. The package undergoes a review and approval that is separate from someone sponsoring you. Note that it is possible to have accepted packages which you cannot import because you have not been sponsored. See below.
When submitting a new package, usually a sponsor finds you, but you can take a look at the list of packager sponsors for someone you know. Sending bulk requests to the list is discouraged. If you can’t find anyone that you have a connection with, you may want to try hanging out in the #fedora-devel IRC channel to get to know some people. Also you might find a sponsor in a that fits to your submitted package.
Sponsors who work with people submitting new packages are looking to see how well you are going to be able to maintain this package which is primarily about whether you can package according to Fedora’s Packaging Guidelines but they’ll also take into account how you’ll be able to respond to bugs against the code itself. If you like, you can include other information about your involvement with the Fedora and upstream communities that you think might help the sponsors in their decision. If you are an upstream author of the package you are submitting or if you are active in the community that surrounds it, please say so. If you can line up one or more existing Fedora contributors who are willing to maintain the package along with you, even if they are not sponsors, please indicate that as well.
The sponsors that look at new package submissions often ask new packagers to do some package reviews in order to further show that they know what they’re doing. If you do some reviews ahead of time, you can show the sponsors that you’ve both read these pages and understand the guidelines. Go ahead and link to other package review requests where you’ve left comments and reviews (More on reviews below).
Basically, the more information that you make available, the quicker you will find a sponsor.
If you have accepted packages and still have not managed to find a sponsor, feel free to file a ticket in the sponsors ticketing system.
To show you familiarity with Fedora’s guidelines, perform unofficial (also called preliminary) reviews in other maintainers' package review request. Please clearly state when doing these reviews, that these are yet unofficial, and do not change the review requests status except for adding you to the CC list. To let sponsors know of your preliminary reviews, link to them in your review request. The quality of your reviews help convincing a sponsor of your knowledge. They will also help out the other reviewers, which will be much appreciated. After you got sponsored, you can finish your unofficial reviews.
Reviews follow the review guidelines. Note that it’s not strictly necessary for you to work through the entire checklist, but please do as much as you can; the more you indicate that you understand, the better your chances of being sponsored.
The Package Sources site allows you to Fork, modify, and open Pull Requests for packages even if you are not yet part of the package maintainer’s group. This is an excellent way to help other package maintainers, and demonstrate your expertise. When requesting sponsorship, you should list these PRs. In many cases, maintainers will also be happy to co-maintain the package with you, and get you sponsored. More on that in the next section.
Another way to enter the
packager group is by co-maintaining a package that is already in Fedora. To get sponsored this way you need to convince the current owner of that package to let you co-maintain the package and to act as your mentor — teaching you how to package properly in Fedora and how to use the tools available for building and distributing packages. To get an owner to agree to this, you may need to demonstrate that you have some understanding of packaging already or at least, that you are eager to learn. Submitting patches on bug reports, preparing updated packages if the maintainer is behind on creating an update, or otherwise communicating with the maintainer that you are willing to help are ways to show that you are worth the package owner’s investment to train you.
In some cases the package owner is a sponsor in the
packager group and can sponsor you themselves. If they are not a sponsor, they can get another existing sponsor to do so, either by contacting a sponsor personally and asking them to proxy the sponsorship or by opening a ticket in the packager sponsors pagure instance stating that they are a package owner who would like you to co-maintain their package. They agree to be responsible for mentoring you in how to follow the Fedora Packaging Guidelines and how to use the tools Fedora provides for building and pushing packages, but need someone to sponsor you since they are not sponsors themselves. A sponsor will add you to the
packager group once that agreement for mentorship exists.
Adopting a package that has been orphaned is a good way to become a packager.
Notifications about orphaned packages are sent to the devel mailing list. If you notice an orphaned package that you are willing to maintain, post to devel, explaining that you are not in the packager group yet, but that after you have completed the sponsoring process, you are interested in adopting or co-maintaining the package. The kind of replies you may get include:
A warning to reconsider this plan, due to serious problems with the package.
A note that the package has already been adopted, possibly with an invitation to contribute in its maintenance (which itself may lead to eventual sponsoring through the co-maintenance route.)
An offer to help with the process, perhaps from the previous maintainer or a potential sponsor.
Then do what you consider to be enough for Convincing someone to sponsor you and submit a ticket to the sponsors ticketing system. Creating a pull request on the orphaned package is a good start: Orphaned packages are commonly behind in updates, fail to build from source or have other issues, so very likely there is something to fix there, and when you become the maintainer, you have to fix the package anyhow.
Sponsors can decide to sponsor you for any other reason as well. For example, you may be upstream for a package and want to maintain that package in Fedora, or a sponsor may know your work and packaging history and deem you worthy of sponsorship with no further information. The sponsorship decision is left up to the sponsor.
Provenpackagers are members of the
provenpackager group. In addition to the rights granted to members of
packager, provenpackagers are able to commit changes to packages they do not own or maintain.
If you are looking for information on sponsoring someone, take a look at how to sponsor a new contributor.
In case you are waiting to be sponsored for longer than desirable, take a look at Sponsors page. It will help you find the right sponsor for you (based on the used programming language, domain of the project, native language of the packager, and other criteria).