I'd like to bring the topic of defining default policy to do changes to
packages within ::gentoo that one does not maintain.

This topic goes back from time to time on #gentoo-dev, and as I was
told, it was originally sent to gentoo-dev mailing list by robbat2 (I
failed to find this in archive, so if anyone have copy of it, please share).

Current policy is to never touch ebuild that one did not claim as
maintainer unless maintainer of said package allowed you to do so.

This is a bit unhealthy, especially when some developers that maintain
packages are out of reach, or the patches to update ebuild just rot on
the bugzilla and are not taken in by maintainers.

What I'd like to end with would be to set a policy that allows any
developer with write access to ebuilds tree do changes that are small in
scope, like a minor bug fixes, adding missing flags, version bumps,
anything, that does not require complete overhaul of ebuild, with the
option to set in metadata.xml that policy for specified package is to
deny anyone but maintainers from doing changes.

The packages that would require a flag to prohibit non-maintainers from
doing changes would of course be those of toolchain, or other big in
user base packages that are in very good shape, as in gnome packages,
kde packages, X11 packages and so on.

Of course, the policy would also define, that if there are any bug
introduced by changes that non-maintainer made, it's responsibility of
those who did the change in first place to fix it and clean any mess
that it has created.

I personally am fine with others doing changes to packages I own, as
long as they won't break anything and I do know from the discussion on
#gentoo-dev, that there are others who have similar opinion about it.

Those who feel territorial and those who believe only maintainers should
maintain specified packages can just set the flag in metadata.xml and
continue with the current state of things for their packages.

The reason why I would like to get default policy to allow-all is that I
do not believe most of developers would want to go around all the
packages they own and set it manually to allow others doing changes even
if they're fine with others touching those packages.

What do you think folks?

-- Piotr.

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