Yes. Mel Chua has also explained this idea at a recent FUDCon talk (the one about making croissants
(http://blog.melchua.com/2011/02/01/ive-followed-your-instructions-and-i-still-cant-bake-croissants/)) so I know this idea is starting to get some traction.
It's not enough to dump people at a wiki page of small text that is 10 screens long, and say, "Just follow the page." Some of the most successful adult learning I've seen follows the "tell me, show me, have me do" model, and you can't really skip that second step or everything falls apart in the learning environment.
There is possibly a built-in level of resistance, for a task like packaging, to making it "too easy," such that someone can get a package into Fedora and then fail to properly maintain its content because packaging is currently at the edge of their capability. But without building someone's confidence acting in a technical capacity, they're unlikely to ask the questions that will help them extend that edge.
Maybe one thing we need is a more definite answer to the skills you must possess to be a packager. It's got to be more than "ability to read" and "ability to type things at a prompt," of course. But it doesn't have to be as much as "deep understanding of GNU autotools" to still effectively maintain something in Fedora. We can support a range of skill levels while helping people bridge gaps that let them extend their ability to deal with technical problems. It shouldn't be a matter of each person having to individually expend the cycles to figure out the things we could easily teach -- because that stops us from scaling.
I think packagers probably only need to understand:
- Familiarity with the CLI environment
- Ability to effectively use an editor
- General understanding of the concept of compilation
- General understanding of the concept of libraries
Granted, many of our packagers know much more than this, and the more you know, the more effective you can be. The essentials for any of the additional topics could be taught fairly easily, at least to the extent that a packager needs to understand them.