Proper way of closing *old* bugs
I've written an email to Cyril Bouthors that started as,
"In your 4.0.0-3 upload of gluplot, you've said in the changelog
* This upload is aimed to take over the package and fix the easiest bugs
first. I'll upload another version shortly that will take care of the
oh-so-many opened bugs that look almost all fixed upstream and/or
obsolete to me. One of them is 5 years and 160 days old! "Release
early, release often".
The rest of the email and his response follows,
Cyril Bouthors wrote:
> On 3 Apr 2006, Adam Majer wrote:
>> But the correct method of closing bugs is to send a message to
>> email@example.com with the explanation of the fix and not in
>> the changelog. Well, at least not in the way you seem to intend. The
>> bugs closed in changelogs are suppose to be bugs closed due to the
>> changes from the previous version to the current version. If you only
>> mean to do,
>> * Close bugs that were fixed VERY long time ago (closes:
>> then I don't think that is appropriate use of the changelog.
> Closing bugs through the changelog is an officially supported method
> and most DDs close bugs that way. Submitters receive a detailed
> notification by email as soon as the package is uploaded.
> I have no special mean to close bugs without informing the submitters
> with a clear and detailed explanation as I always did with all my
My question is, is it now appropriate to use the changelog as a crutch
to close bugs that have nothing to do with the upload? I was always
under impression that *old* bugs should be closed by sending an email to
firstname.lastname@example.org saying that you are closing it because it was
fixed some time ago, etc.. etc..
The policy  states,
"If this upload resolves bugs recorded in the Bug Tracking System
(BTS), they may be automatically closed on the inclusion of this package
into the Debian archive by including the string: closes: Bug#nnnnn in
the change details."
Therefore, by my reading of the policy the changelog is not an
appropriate method of closing *old* bugs because they were not resolved
by the upload. They were resolved some time ago and should be closed by
a mail to the BTS.