Re: Bug#524787: ITP: unicorn -- Drivers and applications for the Bewan ADSL PCI ST and USB modems
On Mon, Apr 20, 2009 at 01:10:26AM +0200, Cyril Brulebois wrote:
> Nick Leverton <firstname.lastname@example.org> (19/04/2009):
> > This is really an ITA for the existing unicorn and unicorn-source
> > packages which were somewhat precipitately removed from Debian two
> > weeks ago.
> Well, I don't call that ?precipitately?:
Thanks for your interest in my IT(re)P and your comments.
> RoQA was end of january, fixed 2 months later. I don't call that
> ?precipitated?. And those reasons look quite good to me?
Of the stated reasons for removal:
> | Please remove unicorn:
> | - mostly unused (2 in popcon for the binary package unicorn)
The unicorn binary package contains ancillary utils which are frankly
of little use. A better metric for the use of driver packages such
as unicorn would be the module source. Unicorn-source scores a not
completely moribund 50 users.
A better decision on the package's user base could have been gathered
by considering all the packages built from unicorn, not just one of them.
> | - unmaintained (last upload from a year ago)
As mentioned in the removal proposal it was very hasty on those grounds
alone. There are packages which haven't been uploaded since Etch,
are they unmaintained as a result ?
> | - doesn't build with Lenny kernel
I had done considerable work on this following the discussion in #394465
and was preparing an NMU even as the removal was being considered.
Just a ping on the bug would have got my attention rather than assuming
the package was not being worked on.
My NMU was already on Mentors seeking an upload when the package was
> | - not in Lenny
Again, not of itself a reason for removal IMO, only if there were no
action on it and it was hence unlikely to be in squeeze. Myself and
others were working on updating it as seen in #394465 but didn't have
time before the freeze.
> | - depends on legacy libs (GTK 1.2), which will be removed soon
Trivial to fix, took me about 2 hours once pointed out. No bug was raised
on this issue beforehand; it's a reason for raising a fresh bug with a
warning of removal, perhaps, but still not a reason for removal IMO.
> | - lacks support for important archs like amd64 (#306322)
This one is problematical to fix but not a reason for removal IMO as long
as there are i386 users who need it (50 according to popcon, placing it
almost 10,000 packages from the bottom ranking)
My biggest beef with this removal is that no bug was filed against
unicorn itself. I have been monitoring the package to see what bugs I
could fix in my NMU. Had there been any hint that the above causes for
removal were being considered I could have responded and dealt with them.
But I think this removal was not even justified according to the stated
grounds, and only allowing the last uploader 3 weeks to reply after a
ping is perhaps a bit precipitate before deciding they are MIA. I can't
speak for him but I certainly had email to him bounce at around that time,
apparently due to to Sourceforge mail servers.
I think that perhaps I should open a bug on the removal process, so
that at least removal notices are filed against the actual package,
and due time is given for other interested parties to respond. It is
not as if the removal of unicorn was necessary to get a new release out
or to enable some blocked transition involving hundreds of other packages.
> > * Package name : unicorn
> > Version : 0.9.3
> > Upstream Author : Frode Isaksen <email@example.com>
> > * URL : http://www.bewan.com
> > * License : GPL and Proprietary
> What the hell? Oh, that's for non-free, apparently, OK?
Yep. It's GPL interface code to a closed-source but redistributable
binary, like many other bits of non-free. I intend to have another push
at the distributor to get the closed-source bit opened, and if they won't
then I hope I have sufficient experience to reverse engineer it if the
Unicorn driver is still widely used by then. Others may disagree but
I think it's more environmentally friendly to re-use old second hand
hardware as I am doing, even if non-free when originally sold, rather
than to create still more electronic waste.
Anyway as I say, thanks for your interest and your time in responding.
I hope I've addressed your comments fairly.