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Bug#436093: Please decide on the "ownership" of the developers reference

Hi dear tech-ctte,

I'm sorry Andreas decided to escalate this so quickly instead of trying
to get things solved smoothly. However since he decided so, let me reply
and give my point of view.

On Sun, 05 Aug 2007, Andreas Barth wrote:
> I started to take care of the developers reference in September 2004,
> and have committed changes and uploaded the package regularly since
> then, please see
> http://cvs.debian.org/ddp/manuals.sgml/developers-reference/debian/changelog?rev=1.251&root=debian-doc&view=log

I'm glad Andreas decided to take care of the document as it definitely
needed someone. However in that process he also removed all previous
contributors from any official role without consulting anyone (at least
not me). Here's the commit where he removes me from the Uploaders:

So with a simple CVS commit with a log "tweaked" and he took over the
ownership of the document... at that time I wasn't following closely and
didn't notice the change until way after. Once I discovered the change, I
didn't say anything. The document had always been collaboratively
maintained and I never expected any trouble for me if I decided to invest
again some time in this document.

For reference (ignoring my commits of yesterday), here are the number of
lines that each person checked in:
$ cvs annotate -D "2 days ago" 1.246 developers-reference.sgml | awk '{print $2}' | sort| uniq -c

Annotations for developers-reference.sgml
   2169 (aba
      6 (ahulin
   1911 (aph
    483 (hertzog
   1506 (joy
      3 (jseidel
     88 (mdz
      4 (osamu

I've been very active working on this document a few years ago (2002-2003) and
despite the updates, the fixes and the rewrites, I am still the direct author of
a sizable chunk of the document.

I already wanted to commit something sometime last year and aba asked me not to
because he was in the process of converting the document to docbook. Thus I
refrained. Yesterday I had some documentation fixes concerning the PTS and
Alioth that I wanted to checking and took the opportunity to also do some other

Note that most of the current work is to apply patches sent by others, so while
Andreas owns 2169 lines according ot the stats above, a fair number have been
written by others.

I informed Andreas on IRC of my commits and he got completely mad at me because
he apparently wants control over everything happening to this document as he

> I asked other people to not commit directly to the cvs, but to send
> patches in to allow other people to review their proposal, so that we
> end in high quality.

I replied to him that the purpose of a VCS was precisely to be able to
review what others are doing and that I'll gladly discuss with him any
of my commits when he has concerns. The burden to go through a patch
and waiting that someone else applies it is not worth it in that case.
In particular when I am one of the co-authors!

BTW I'm French, Andreas is German, none of us are native english speaker.
So as far as "quality" goes, I suppose he speaks of content rather than
formulation. And here I have a problem with him having full control over
the content.

This is not a package of third-party software. It's a basic Debian document
that has always been co-authored by Debian developers. I want this to remain
that way and I refuse any "take over" by a single person. I had no problems
with Adam Di Carlo (the original author) having dictatorial control on the
package, but I have one when Andreas wants that same control while the package
is supposedly co-maintained by the debian-doc group.

I'm happy to let Andreas check in any changes as he see fit, but I want him
to accept that the same goes for me (and as far as I'm concerned with any other
member of the cvs_doc Unix group that cares about this document).

> However, Raphael Hertzog decided to ignore this request, and continues
> to commit changes directly, and now even hijacked the package by adding
> himself as uploader without even considering to speak with me beforehand.

I didn't remove you from the Uploaders field. I just added myself back.
And if someone hijacked the package in the first place, it's you.

So, to sum up, I ask the tech-ctte to rule in favor of co-maintenance of the
package, exactly like it has always been done with this package in the
"pre-aba" times.

Raphaël Hertzog

Premier livre français sur Debian GNU/Linux :

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