How to Sponsor a New Contributor

Becoming a Fedora Package Collection Sponsor

The Fedora Package Collection has been setup so to encourage "learning by doing" and the development of cooperative relationships between Fedora packagers. Once packagers have acquired sufficient packaging knowledge to help others through the process, they may apply for sponsor status. As "sufficient knowledge" is unworkably vague, the following guidelines have been established. Prospective sponsors should:

  • Maintain at least three packages.

  • Have done five high quality, nontrivial package reviews.

  • Have been members of the packager group for at least one release cycle (generally six months) so that they have seen the process of branching for a new release.

These are still somewhat vague to allow for flexibility but should provide a reasonable idea of how much experience is required.

If you’re a packager and feel that you are ready and would like to move up to sponsor status, simply file a ticket in the packager sponsors ticket system. These tickets are automatically sent to the sponsors list. A report will be added containing information on your reviewed and owned/comaintained packages, but feel free to provide additional information that can’t easily be found such as informal reviews done or prospective packagers you would like to sponsor.

Votes will be collected in the ticket for a week. At the end of that time, if the differential between positive and negative votes stands at +3 or greater, your request will be approved and you’ll be promoted to sponsor status immediately. If not, your request will be closed. You may reapply anytime you feel you have more support. After waiting an hour or so for the new permissions to propagate through the system, you will be able to sponsor new packagers.

Sponsoring Someone for Fedora Package Collection

Sponsoring someone for access to Fedora Package Collection is relatively simple. If you are looking for someone to sponsor, take a look at the Fedora Account system for contributors who are currently searching for a sponsor. Note that they should also have submitted a package review request for a package which they are proposing to add to Fedora on Red Hat Bugzilla. In this request they should write that they need a sponsor.

Bugzilla will send a notification mail for the new review request to the fedora-package-review mailing list. Take a look at their package and review it. If it looks reasonable and it seems that the comply with the Packaging Guidelines, then they are probably a good candidate to be sponsored.

Add any comment for changes to the review request on Bugzilla which look as though they’d be needed for compliance as well as the fact that you’re volunteering to sponsor them. Once they’ve made those changes, you can approve the package and sponsor the user in the Fedora account system. Before you approve the user, please make sure that his/her email in Fedora Account system is the same as in Red Hat Bugzilla. After that, go to, log in, then add the username in the 'add user' field located to the right of the top of the "Members" section, then press enter.

A new packager cannot, at this time, make changes to packages he does not own or comaintain until he applies to become a provenpackager but you should still keep an eye on them. Generally the easiest way to do this is for them to become comaintainers of at least the initial package they review. You should be sure to review their commits to the Git repository for how they look, and consider watching their Bugzilla activity at least for a while (Preferences→Email Preferences→[User Watching]). Respond with any comments that you might have and guide them, providing assistance as they need it for any tasks. A provenpackager can step in if necessary.

So what’s the downside to sponsoring someone? Your sponsoree will likely have questions about processes; one of your responsibilities as a sponsor is to help them with the answers. A sponsor isn’t expected to be omniscient, though, so you can feel free to ask for others' advice and opinions if you get a really hard question. Sponsor responsibilities are detailed here.

Sponsoring Someone for provenpackagers

Provenpackagers have access to most packages. FESCo members should forward requests for provenpackagers to the sponsors mailing list where sponsors can give their advice on the provenpackager request. Provenpackagers may nominate themselves, but having a sponsor endorse the nomination or proposing the packager to become a provenpackager (the packager should agree) is certainly a good thing.

By granting membership into the provenpackager group for a maintainer you are confirming that (at least in your mind) they meet the criteria for that group, and that you would trust them fully with any of the packages you either maintain or even just use.

Provenpackagers are approved on at least 3 positive votes with no negative votes. In the event of negative votes, the decision will be made by FESCo at their next meeting. See the provenpackager description for more information.

Welcome Note

Once you have sponsored someone, we request that you send a note to Fedora devel mailing list welcoming the new contributor and cc the person you have sponsored. Public recognition of any contributor would help them feel appreciated and motivate them to contribute more. It would also help establish Fedora as a community of people and friends rather than merely a technical body of work.