Upstreams are very important to Ubuntu. Really quite very a lot of much important. So of course we would like to be very good friends with the projects responsible for so much of the awesomeness you can find on the Ubuntu LiveCD and in Ubuntu’s Software Centre. If we cannot be friends, then at the very least we want a good working relation.
You improve your relation with a project if you invest in it, and that is good for the quality of the project and Ubuntu. I would like to make you aware of a great way of being nice to upstreams: Adopt-an-Upstream. Slick name! But what is it? It is part of something a group of people from the community team lead by Jorge Castro have been working on ince the last UDS. The goal was to make it easier for upstream developers to find out how Ubuntu works and to improve the relations and synergy between up- and downstream.
At the wiki a starting point was created for upstreams where they can find an overview of the information that matters to them. Furthermore, a guide was created for upstreams that would like to get included in Ubuntu, but would like an overview of the requirements, the dos and the don’ts.
For members of the Ubuntu community there is something else: Adopt-an-Upstream is a way of taking care of a specific project that is included in Ubuntu. It’s mainly about being the communicational glue between up- and downstream. A comprehensive list of tasks:
- watch what’s going on upstream
- make sure new releases get to Ubuntu
- forward patches from Ubuntu to upstream
- communicate release schedules and announcements from Ubuntu to upstream
Summarised: act like a bridge between Ubuntu and the upstream project. Do you have an application you really like, or you really know a lot of, please consider to adopt it. Of course you don’t have to do it all on your own. Especially for large — be it in size, functionality or the number of bug reports — applications this can be a burdensome task. Those applications can be adopted by a group of people.
Next week Thursday 11 March at 17.00 UTC and on Thursday 18 March at 23.oo UTC Jorge Castro and I will be giving a one-hour session in #ubuntu-classroom at Freenode about Adopt-an-Upstream. We will explain the project more thoroughly and show how you can help out. Also, we will mention the Adopt-a-Package programme, which could be considered a part of Adopt-an-Upstream. If you consider getting involved in either one of these projects, please join one of the two sessions!
Questions? Please leave a comment!