Re: Removing Michael Alan Dorman <firstname.lastname@example.org) from the project.
First, let me say this: many people, including you, have mis-stated my
opinion on the issue of maintainer removal.
Let me point this out:
* I do not consider having old bugs or having lots of bugs to be
sufficient cause for criticism. However, when these bugs are
woefully ignored to the point where Debian looks bad and the
progress of the Project is interfered with, it becomes serious.
* I do not consider a pre-announced vacation (with permission
to NMU if necessary) to be cause for criticism even if it causes
some bugs to go unanswered while that person is on vacation.
* When e-mails regarding this are routinely ignored, and attempts to
help are either ignored or greeted with condemnation, this is
also a point of criticism with me.
* I contact Michael via private e-mail many times about this.
Today was the first time he replied to one of my messages.
I am not singling out Michael here. As you recall, I recently posted to
-devel after Guy had ignored some old bugs I've reported in lists-archives
and the discovery that its Y2K problems are quite serious. There have been
other developers that have been in this situation, too, although when
contacted by private mail, they have often been glad to help remedy the
problem or ask for help. You have not, and in fact, criticized me for
On Tue, Feb 05, 2019 at 12:14:24PM -0500, Michael Alan Dorman wrote:
> out on a rail, now that I've had to think about this---whether I do
> that any better than packaging is anybody's guess---I am glad you
> caused me do so.
Good; this is half the battle :-)
> John Goerzen <email@example.com> writes:
> > Since you are now active,
> This implies, to my reading, that you feel I was inactive for quite
> some period of time---say, two months or more.
Indeed, I think that the numerous e-mails I sent you which were ignored
served to create this impression in addition to the BTS logs, which
currently fail to show any significant effort to even acknowledge the
existance of them.
> That is not, though, the case, since I have released updates to
> various packages---including ones that close bugs!---in that time, and
> even more recently..
Yes, I notice something was uploaded today. Thanks!
But, that is not nearly all that needs to be done.
> Yet I did not close all bugs. I dare to say I will never be able to
> close all bugs---I simply do not have the time. I may never get to
> the oldest ones.
Again, there is nothing wrong with leaving bugs open IF THERE IS A VALID
REASON for doing so. I do not perceive not even taking the time to look at
them as a valid reason. If you have not been able to find the time after
800 days to even reply to the original bug report, then perhaps at this
point in your life, you're too busy to be maintaining Debian packages.
> Furthermore, what do we do about the *other* packages that are in this
> situation. bash, for instance---arguably more important than anything
There is a difference there -- many of the bugs against bash have received
replies. Some have not after hundreds of days, which is indeed a serious
trouble. The bash maintainer also has not yet addressed some Y2K issues I
reported in one of his other packages, and has ignored some other bug
reports in them. I posted to -devel about this issue the other day.
You are by no means the only person in this situation; at least one or two
other names come to mind at the moment.
> For better or worse, this happens. I'm not proud that it happens, and
> I'm not proud that it happens to me, but it happens, and I don't think
> this organization can relieve people of their duties unwillingly.
What about when people fail to live up to their duties? When they fail to
even acknowledge an e-mail asking if their packages should be orphaned?
Fail to even acknowledge release-critical bugs?
> Our new leader has 65 bugs, two thirds mine, some of them two and a
> half years old, many of those concerning modutils---an required base
> package. Do we unelect him?
There is a valid criticism about extremely old unreplied-to bugs, but the
extent of such for him is significantly less than for you, and there is
substantial evidence that he has been working lately for fix them.
> So what can we require, where do we write it down, and how can we
> possibly grandfather in dpkg?
There have been numerous proposals in -policy, some of which were quite
applicable to you; I am unsure why you think we need rehash them here, now.
> Or maybe I should say "you", since the only response I've heard is
> netgod, who feels that my status in tbe BTS abrogates anything I might
Although perhaps you were useful to the project in the past, if the age of
your packages prevents the project from moving forward, then certainly the
current status is the most relevant, even if you did make an ELF library.
This is precisely the state of things. Every time a new Apache comes out,
someone has to NMU libapache-mod-put because you don't update it, for
instance. libwww-perl was causing trouble for several people before I NMU'd
Again, let me repeat that if you are willing to become active once again in
the maintenance of your packages, that is great and I would be satisfied.
> I hope that's not the case, but if that's the way people feel---if
> your worth is inverse proportion to the number of bugs in the BTS,
> then so be it.
That is not the case at all. Simply having a lot of bugs could mean that
you maintain a large and complex package, such as X.
However, your bugs are of a different type. They have been completely
ignored by you. One bug that's over 800 days old came with a diff -- a
change to a single line of code -- and you completely ignored it. You
ignored many bugs over 700 days old. Not even trying to fix it is a problem
here. Not even responding to the submittor is a problem here -- perhaps
worse, because it hurts our image with the gracious public that is kind
enough to report problems in Debian. You have made, apparently*, zero
effort to fix those reports or to keep your packages up-to-date.
Worse, you got mad at me because I NMU'd libwww-perl -- a package which you
appeared to have abandoned since August.
* Thanks for your upload today to start reversing that trend.
> I wouldn't have done so, had you not said:
> > > If you intend to trivialize ignoring bugs for hundreds of days, we
> > > can always take the thread to -devel. I have been writing you
> > > privately because I am hoping to get some positive response this way
> > > without causing any undue embarassment in public.
> This implied to me that you were interested in seeing this happen.
> Sorry for my misunderstanding.
That was only after you said that you wouldn't read or reply to my e-mail
because I was using a "condescening tone". I viewed -devel as a last
resort, and would certainly not have taken things here in such a
confrontational manner. It was only to be used, in my mind, if you would
indeed refuse to acknowledge that there is a serious problem, and further
action may have been needed.
Incidentally, I'm sure I was not using the friendliest tone. I'm sure
everyone here can understand my frustration after having numerous e-mails
ignored, bugs ignored for 400+ days, etc. I assure you, though, that I have
remained civil at all times, despite how badly I feel you have mistreated or
abused the trust placed in you by Debian.