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[aj@azure.humbug.org.au: debian-installer, powerpc issues]

For reference, here's the mail I sent to Sven regarding his complaints
on the way d-i has been handled. I think it's been referred to indirectly
enough that nothing's served by not having it available for public review.

----- Forwarded message from Anthony Towns <aj@azure.humbug.org.au> -----
From: Anthony Towns <aj@azure.humbug.org.au>
Subject: debian-installer, powerpc issues
Date: Wed, 10 May 2006 16:38:26 +1000
To: Sven Luther <luther@debian.org>
Cc: Steve McIntyre <steve@einval.com>, leader@debian.org
Organisation: Lacking

Hi Sven,

On 27th April, just under two weeks ago, you wrote regarding your concerns
about debian-installer's support of powerpc, and related organisational
and personality issues.

Having spoken to you, Frans and Colin, and watched your interaction on
the mailing lists and IRC since, I don't think having you rejoin the
debian-installer team at this point will be an effective way for either
yourself or the current members of that team to work, and as such, I won't
be asking Frans or the other d-i hackers to reinstate your commit access.

That said, Frans was very quick to acknowledge that finding some way for
you to keep working with the d-i team is important and a high priority,
and I think it's clear that the powerpc architecture benefits markedly
from your contributions. 

My understanding is that your focus is primarily on ensuring the powerpc
port is working effectively rather than ongoing feature development in
broader areas of d-i and other projects, and thus that your contributions
tend to be in the form of immediate fixes for small problems, where it's
valuable to be able to push the fix straight out to users. Since you are
unable to do that via directly committing your patches, I'm thus going
to recommend that you make use of the regular NMU procedure instead to get
those fixes out, with the following notes:

    1. At the same time as you upload an NMU, you file a bug completely
       documenting the problem you're fixing, why it occurs, how it can
       be reproduced, and what your fix is, including the patch.

    2. When preparing the NMU, you make minimal changes -- that is you
       don't change any design decisions the d-i team have made, and
       don't do anything that causes breakage on other architectures,
       or on systems that work in other ways.

    3. You make best efforts to keep your changes compatible with ongoing
       d-i development -- ideally providing patches that apply both to the
       current debs in the archive and current CVS, should they differ.

    4. After uploading your NMU, you monitor any problems it may cause and
       assist in fixing them, and do your best to assist with any queries
       the d-i team have in regards to integrating your fix into CVS,
       which may involve generalising it, or other considerations you
       haven't taken into account.

Roughly concurrent with this mail, I'll be contacting Frans and the d-i
team in regards to this, recommending that they take any NMUs you do
seriously and do their best to ensure that they don't follow up with
a maintainer upload that doesn't also include your fixes. Frans has
indicated both he and Colin will be available to apply your patches in
a timely manner, and I hope he's correct in that estimation.

Should you both be successful at following that procedure, I think it
will provide a reasonably effective way for you to work together to
maintain the powerpc port, and I hope that it might form the basis of
a better working relationship in future.

On the other hand, if either or both of you fail at that procedure,
then the BTS should provide a documented record of what was going on,
at which point we can review this issue and institute other procedures as
we see fit. If your changes are getting reverted by maintainer uploads,
that might involve overriding the d-i team's preference to not have you
as a member with commit rights; if you're doing NMUs without providing
explanations or helping the d-i team integrate your fixes with the latest
development, that may involve further limiting your contributions.

I don't believe that asking you to moderate either your language or
the number of posts you make in a day is an essential part of resolving
this issue, so haven't mentioned it above. I do think that your method
of arguing for your beliefs works against you, though; and if Steve's
willing, I'd suggest you continue to talk to him about how best to make
your point the next few times you need too -- getting him to comment on
your mails before you send them, eg, or getting advice on how much more
you need to say in an ongoing thread.

If you don't feel this is an acceptable way forward, you can ask the
technical committee for advice, or to overrule the d-i team's decision
to not give you commit access, or you can propose a general resolution
for either of these issues.

I think we will also need to review who the powerpc port maintainers
actually are fairly soon; mostly because it seems to be just you at the
moment which I don't think's sufficient. I hope we'll be able to talk some
more about that soon.


Anthony Towns, Debian Project Leader
----- End forwarded message -----

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