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Bug#573745: Please decide on Python interpreter packages maintainership

On Sat, 13 Mar 2010 17:24:51 +0100, Sandro Tosi <morph@debian.org> wrote:
> Package: tech-ctte
> Severity: normal
> Hello Technical Committee,
> we'd like you to decide about how the Python interpreter packages
> should be maintained in Debian.

I've spent several hours since my last message communicating with the
current Python maintainer, reading various mailing list threads and bug
logs, and generally trying to understand the situation as best I can.

It bothers me that what you've brought to the TC is a rant about your
frustrations culminating in a request to remove someone else from their
role, rather than a crisper articulation of what's wrong and a plan that
explains how we should move forward.  In my reading and discussion with
others, there are hints about different agreements at different times
between different people about how to handle various transitions, but as
someone not party to the various discussions over time, I wish I could
find a single, well articulated policy for Python in Debian.  There are
more people I want to talk to, and perhaps one or more of them will make
everything clear to me... but I do not want to delay things further.

I realize this may not be what you had in mind when you asked the TC to
"decide about how the Python interpreter packages should be maintained
in Debian", but now that you've opened Pandora's box, I believe we have
a responsibility to understand the underlying problems that apparently
have plagued Python policy for years, so that whatever decision we take
will ensure the most positive outcome for Python handling in Debian in
the future.

I'm adding the DPL to this reply because it seems possible that the only
way to achieve this objective might be an in-person Debian Python Summit
meeting, moderated by members of the TC, where we can work through all
the issues and come to consensus.  Perhaps we can resolve our problems
by email and/or IRC, but the mere existence of this petition to the TC
and what it implies about communication disconnects makes me doubt that. 

Before I'll be willing to support any Technical Committee action on this
petition, I believe we need a detailed and competent plan articulated,
that explains how we get from where we are today to a single policy for
Python in Debian, and that covers at least: 

1) our philosophy for handling multiple Python interpreter versions
2) the supported approach(es) to packaging Python modules
3) an analysis of the effort involved and who needs to do what
4) a tentative schedule of milestones to completion, including what
can and should be done before squeeze freeze
5) explicit commitment by involved parties to do the required work

> transitions to force some controversial, unrelated technical
> changes to be implemented before these transitions happen.

I think this is a key part of the problem.  The Python maintainer does
not seem to believe that these are unrelated technical issues.  And the
controversy that does exist seems now to be more fueled by a combination
of emotion and inertia than technical concerns.  We need to get past
that, and focus our attentions squarely on a good Python technical
policy and associated implementation plan.  I think everything else will
flow fairly easily if we can accomplish that.


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