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Notify Rolling Maintainers They've Been Automatically Enrolled

In the discussion here in navigation_msgs, it became clear there might be a gap in knowledge about Rolling we should make sure to fill.

REP 2002 uses foxy as the basis of rolling, however maintainers of Foxy packages were not notified that their packages are added to rolling. There are a certain proportion of ROS developers that are active on Discourse and a smaller minority of them that read REP proposals. I think we’ve likely missed notifying a big chunk of the community that their packages have been automatically enrolled and what that means for them.

For instance, I maintain a few different repositories, but in all honesty, I have absolutely no idea which of them are in rolling and which aren’t. I was surprised to learn that any of them were included in it.

I propose that all the maintainers of repositories that were automatically released to rolling should be notified via an issue ticket filed on their projects to let them know this has happened and what that means (release to rolling automatically in new distros, here’s how you can opt out, here’s a link to the REP, etc). Else, what may happen is that those maintainers continue to release to new distributions not knowing that they have binaries being deployed based on potentially years-old branches they haven’t been releasing or updating causing some feature-whip-lash on the binaries of new distributions. Then one day when they break, they’ll get emails about something they know nothing about.

Ref: Rolling release? · Issue #25 · ros-planning/navigation_msgs · GitHub
CC @wjwwood


I believe that was explained back when Rolling was created:

That lists a sentence in the REP that not everyone is or will be aware of. It also doesn’t give an actual concrete list of what packages are included in that June 2020 roll over.

To me, that does not count as a notification to maintainers. Even folks paying attention to the REP proposals wouldn’t explicitly know what of their work might be counted. My initial post mentioned:

Which I think encapsulates my issue. Just making a standard doesn’t mean anyone is aware of it beyond the authors and top 1% of active developers.


As much as there are likely some people who have not kept up with this. We do expect maintainers to be active on Discourse.

Although you may have been surprised by this, I believe that most maintainers are aware of this. The list of maintainers whom had previously made a release into Foxy prior to Rolling being forked and who have not contributed directly to a rolling release since then is just 11 people. Off the top of my head I know that 2 of them have moved onto new projects and handed off their release responsibilities which is why they’re not on the newer list. And one is active but the release manager for the project has changed hands. And of those remaining 8 only 4 have made releases into Foxy since the fork but not equivalent to rolling. And 4 have not made releases into either since the fork:

Bulk actions like open tickets on all repos seems like a large response. I’ll @ mention the remainder of the list to make sure that they’re aware.

@smac @hadiTab @preed and @wxm
@croesmann , @rhaschke @sharronliu @theseankelly


Wow, ok, that’s much smaller than I would have thought. Nevermind then! I think for just 4 people this CCing here is sufficient.

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