Re: Debian Maintainers GR Proposal
Le Thu, Jun 21, 2007 at 02:50:59PM +0100, Anthony Towns:
> So here's a proposal for the Debian Maintainers idea that's been floating
> around for some time now . I've drafted it while lying in bed in
> the Budget Backpackers before wandering up to debconf, so it's just my
> take on things, and could probably do with some improvements. As nobody
> else has seen it 'til now, it shouldn't be taken as implicitly having
> anyone's support.
Raphael did kindly give me a pointer to your running discussions, which
is of interest for me, since I'm one of the potential "DM" in a near
future, and I wanted to give my point of view on that topic, and to give
a few comments on the text.
My point on that topic: I'm a TeX user, and a TeX developper. A long
time ago, I switched to use a free Unix (was Linux, but it may have been
any other one) since it was the good way to have TeX running at home at
a cost affordable for the student I was.
Via TeX and Linux, I became quite involved in free software and things
around: president of a non for profit french Internet Service Provider,
vice-president of the "Libre Software Meeting" team for 2007
(http://www.rmll.info), involves in various other associations,
contributor on softwares and documentations around TeX, maintainer of
the French FAQ on TeX and LaTeX, etc, etc.
I choosed to use Debian, because it is quite nicely done. Fro time to
time (and in fact quite regularly) I find problems on the way TeX is
integrated in Debian. Some times, it is handled properly by the TeX team,
after bug report. Some times, it is not (no maintainer any more on the
package, or things like that).
As a good TeX user, I know how to fix the bug. Often, I give the right
patch in my bug report.
As a free software user/developper, I want to fix my system, since I'm
able to do that. As a nice man, I'd like to provide the fix.
But I have no time to become a whatever developper, or regular
contributor, and to involve in a long and time consuming process. I
know points to be improved in Debian, in the aspect which is of interest
for me. There are two ways to do that:
- I make my own custom package that fix the bug (or add required
software), I use it, I make it available to my friends on my web
site, and that's all;
- I try to make it available in Debian.
I've discussed that with quite some DD and NM: I do not want to be a NM,
since I do not want to become a DD. There is no DD available to work on
the packages I need. I am ready to contribute the technical stuff needed
in Debian, no more, no less. I am ready to learn better the rules on
"how to package", but I'm not ready to spend time on the Debian project
by itself. It is interesting, but I already have my own crusades, I
cannot assume one more heavy involvement.
During my discussions with DDs, I found there is currently no solution
for me to help: I can send the bud report, with the patch, then it will
keep sleeping in BTS for years, and the package will be dropped...
because I reported the bug and those were not fixed!
Have a look at bug 231275 on dvidvi:
- I posted the patch in Feb 2004, fixing a severe problem on the soft
- it was fixed in May 2005
15 months, while with DM, it would have been only few days...
So, right now, when I have troubles with Debian/TeX stuff, I tend to
solve it on my computer, and just report nothing, since reporting is
> ==== Debian Maintainers Proposal ====
> 3) The initial policy for removals for the keyring will be under any of the
> following circumstances:
> * the individual has become a Debian developer
> * the individual has not annually reconfirmed their interest
Sounds like useless, in my opinion.
Out of that, the rest of the text sounds like extremly interesting, it
gives an opportunity to help Debian improve, without dedicating a large
lot of time to that.