Today I happened to read about lazr.enum in a mailing list. I went to the PyPI page and saw raw ReStructuredText markup instead of a nicely formatted page. Now I know from prior experience that this happens when the package's description has an error in the markup. I thought I'd report a bug and provide a patch.
Leap of knowledge: since I know lazr.enum was created by the Launchpad.net team I could safely assume they were keeping the sources in Launchpad. Therefore I was pretty sure I could get them with
$ bzr branch lp:lazr.enum
so I ran that command and it worked.
Next I looked at setup.py to see how it produces the long_description field. It was reading the contents of a couple of text files, one of them being src/lazr/enum/README.txt. I looked at that and saw a .. toc-tree: directive that does not exists in plain docutils (it's a Sphinx extension).
I added up a couple of lines to setup.py to strip that out, tested it (with setup.py --long-description > test.rst; restview test.rst) committed to my local branch, and created a bug report in Launchpad. Then I was a bit lost, since I didn't know how to make my fix available. Attach a patch? Maybe, but I wanted to see if this distributed version control thing is good for anything else.
I thought that first I'd make that branch public, and then see if there was a way to link it to the bug report. I ran
$ bzr push lp:~mgedmin/lazr.enum/pypi-fix
which took a few seconds to create a new public branch on Launchpad with my fix in it (it would be nice if I didn't have to explicitly specify my Launchpad username and the project name—both of which bzr already knows—and just specify the name of the branch). Then I went back to my bug report and saw an option to link it to a branch. There was a search field in the popup that found my "~mgedmin/lazr.enum/pypi-fix" easily enough when I pasted it into the search box.
After clicking on the branch, I saw a "propose a merge" option. I did that and Launchpad sent an email to the developers asking them to merge my fix.
I made one mistake, I think: I should've created the bug report first, and then mentioned the bug number in my commit message (with bzr commit --fixes=NNN, although here I'm suddenly not sure if the bug number should be left bare, or prefixed with something like "lp" to indicate it was a Launchpad bug number?).
Other than that it was a pretty smooth experience. When will I be able to do that for Ubuntu packages?