04 12 | 2011

Concerning the good use of ITP

Written by Tanguy

Classified in : Homepage, Debian

When someone wants to package a piece of software for Debian, he has to file an Intent to Package, by filing a special bug report against the pseudo-package “wnpp” (work-needing and prospective packages) with a title of “ITP: software name”. This way, we can synchronize our efforts, for instance if someone else wants to package the same piece of software. I have seen two recent examples of a misunderstanding of the correct use of such reports, so perhaps this reminder may be of some help for newcomers.

While an Request for Package means that its author would like someone to package a piece of software, and ITP means that its author wants to package it himself and to have it integrated to Debian (in fact, an RFP also becomes an ITP when someone is willing to do the work).

This means that the owner of an ITP bug is responsible for the corresponding work. Given that the ITP report is meant to inform others, that implies that he should document his progress by appending messages to the bug report. In particular, when something is blocking the work (typically a failure to find a sponsor), that should be indicated in the ITP report so that it does not appear as being abandoned.

So, in a nutshell, when you have opened an ITP, do not expect someone to take it, to reply to it or whatever deus ex machina; you are now the owner of that bug, which means you are responsible of making it live and eventually closing it by sending your package to Debian. The progress of a packaging work should be documented, especially if it requires some specific help such as sponsoring, and the ITP report is the best place to do that since this is where interested people will look for status information.

5 comments

monday 05 december 2011 à 12:05 Tshepang Lekhonkhobe said : #1

One can do either an RFP or an ITP, whether or not she is the author of the software.

monday 05 december 2011 à 12:52 Tanguy said : #2

@Tshepang Lekhonkhobe : Sure. By “its author”, I meant the author of the bug report, not the author of the software.

wednesday 07 december 2011 à 11:00 Wouter Verhelst said : #3

I think "has to" is a bit strong. If you're packaging something trivial, doing an ITP seems pointless if it takes longer to wait for the BTS round trip than it takes for building, testing, and uploading (been there, done that) -- though even in that case it does still make sense to /check/ for other ITP or RFP bugs.

The ITP process is informative, not required.

friday 09 december 2011 à 20:35 Gunnar Wolf said : #4

Wouter, I have often requested my sponsorees to file an ITP (and waiting a day or two for replies) even for a package they have ready to upload, making it act as a nice request for comments. Maybe somebody else knows about the software and has a reason not to upload it, or has a suggestion of a synergy.

sunday 08 april 2012 à 23:56 agence web said : #5

The ITP is not required but it's mandatory for making programs more effective!

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