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backporting ipxe to squeeze

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I receive a lot of backport requests for qemu-kvm package
which has grown to version 1.0 in wheezy, with alot of
fixed bugs and new functionality.

I tried to stand against these backports for quite some
time, till it becomes difficult.  And especially after
a backport of libvirt (which was a prereq, since old
libvirt does not work with new qemu-kvm) I lost my main
reason (I didn't want to backport libvirt and maintain
it there).

But libvirt backport introduced a regression, which is
described in this email:

I already asked for permission to upload a correction
for squeeze qemu-kvm (fixing just the bug mentioned),
so hopefully the issue mentioned in the above email
will be fixed soon (if Stable Team will approve my
request, #656423).

So finally, I decided its time to go on and backport
qemu-kvm into squeeze.  And right now I've a set of
all required backports, tested and ready for upload, --
including qemu-kvm itself and a few dependent packages.

One of the dependencies is ipxe package which is used to
implement PXE network booting in qemu.  Current qemu-kvm
relies on ipxe which is not available in squeeze --
squeeze only has older etherboot which does not really
work with current qemu-kvm.

I asked Bastian Blank (Cc'ed) if he is okay with me
uploading ipxe package to bpo60.  The package does not
change often, does not have many bugreports, has no
dependencies whatsoever (it is a set of boot roms),
and nothing uses it in squeeze for obvious reason
(it does not exist there).  So I thought it should be

But Bastian objected to the backport.  Here's the
conversation which happened in #debian-devel:

17:21 < mjt> waldi: are you okay if I upload ipxe to bpo60?
18:06 < waldi> mjt: why do you want ipxe there?
18:17 < mjt> waldi: qemu-kvm backport
18:19 < mjt> waldi: it builds on squeeze just fine fwiw, and there's no
             extra dependencies.
18:27 < mjt> waldi: so, any suggestions or comments about ipxe, or maybe
             you don't want it to be there for some reason?
18:27 < waldi> mjt: sorry, i had my share of fun with backports already
               this week. so my answer is no
18:27 < mjt> i'm ready to upload, that is
18:27 < mjt> just asking if you're ok with that
18:30 < waldi> mjt: i'm not fine with it
18:31 < mjt> can you elaborate please?
18:35 < mjt> I don't really understand a "no" in this context.
18:49 < waldi> mjt: well. someone (nobse) did backports of a package of
               mine (linux*) until recently. this stopped without any
               warning and forced us to take over a maintenance burden
               that can't be automated. as long as this is no properly
               automated task, neither linux-2.6 nor ipxe actually needs
               rebuilds to work, i don't intend to have any other packages
18:50 < mjt> that's understandable
18:50 < mjt> or almost -- linux* is a very different thing than ipxe
18:51 < waldi> not really. both include no userspace binaries and no runtime
18:53 < mjt> linux is much, much more complex, has significantly larger
             effect on users system and changes alot more often. that's
             the difference.  There has been just one ipxe upload.
18:53 < mjt> do you have some suggestions for me?  I can revert back to
             etherboot which exists in squeeze, but new qemu-kvm does
             not really work with it.
18:54 < mjt> or i can embed ipxe into qemu-kvm which is obviously a bad thing
18:55 < mjt> (disabling network booting is not an option)

19:29 < mjt> waldi: btw, you never gave any comments about #628708 and #625542,
             I asked you several times.  Do you need help maintaining ipxe?
19:33 < waldi> mjt: right now i need some time to finish my thesis

So basically, he has no time right now, and does not want to see packages
he maintains, especially linux* and ipxe, in bpo.

I understand it is Free Software and such, and I have rights and so on,
but I don't really want to cross someones wishes without trying to reach
some consensus first.  And that's what I'm trying to do in this email.

I understand perfectly well that any promises to "notify waldi@ in case
I'll ever stop maintaining ipxe in squeeze-backports" (which was the main
issue as far as I can see - and yes I'm partly joking here, the issue is
not the notification but the fact that the maintenance stopped) -- any
promises to continue manitainance of ipxe in squeeze-backports will not
do any good at this stage.  So I wont promise.

But I don't really know what else can I do now.  Any suggestions?


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