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Bug#752400: marked as done (tech-ctte: Please advice on util-linux situation)

Your message dated Tue, 22 Jul 2014 16:30:35 +0200
with message-id <20140722143035.GA5124@fatal.se>
and subject line Received advice from others....
has caused the Debian Bug report #752400,
regarding tech-ctte: Please advice on util-linux situation
to be marked as done.

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752400: http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=752400
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--- Begin Message ---
Package: tech-ctte
Severity: normal


Over the past year I've followed a bit of the discussion on the
technical committee mailing list and it seems like people on the
committee are much more willing to turn to it for advice then other
people. Maybe I should not be so shy and try to ask for your guidance
more often myself? Lets try it...

According to Debian constitution chapter 6.1 §3 I'm seeking your
advice on how to best handle the util-linux situation.

In a very brief background statement, my impression is that the
current util-linux maintenance leaves alot to be desired. Bugs are not
being dealt with, patches are ignored, upstream releases are not

I've tried both giving the current maintainers time (as the little
public communication that exists has included repeated promises that
work is being done on the package), and more recently to actively help
out and offer a solution (see
https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=678446#62 and the
followup). Communications have not been very successful as it seems
like current maintainers do not like to communicate publicly. The
little information I have is from what has been leaked from private
discussions. The advice I've received from other Debian Developers is
that I should not expect any replies from current maintainers and
general support for just going ahead and uploading an updated version
of the package without maintainer concent. (If you're interested in
my work on the package itself see
http://people.debian.org/~ah/util-linux-2.24/ where I've aimed for
creating an updated and more easily maintainable package which
functionality wise is "on par" with current package -- paving the way
for actually fixing reported packaging bugs while being able to easily
update to new upstream releases when they appear.)

Basically, informed users are frustrated that they do not get to enjoy
the bugfixes and new features of upstream releases and Debian
Developers working on related packages are frustrated that they can
not get even the most trivial integration fixes included in the
util-linux package.

I've recently done some basic bug triaging and (amond other things)
added the "fixed-upstream" tag to more bugs which I could easily
identified as being resolved by newer upstream releases.  I think the
list of bugs speaks pretty much for itself that having a newer
upstream release in debian would be a welcome improvement:

Apart from that, the package is basically always release critically
buggy and since the last maintainer upload (over 2 years ago) there
has been 8 NMUs. The current situation is that there are still 3 open
RC-bugs. Of these 1 would be resolved by a newer upstream release, the
other 2 are pure packaging bugs which upstream can not do anything
about but an active maintainer should be able to deal with quickly.

Hopefully my bug triaging has been helpful and just identifying which
bugs can be closed with a new upstream release in the archive
should save someone alot of time, but I'd like to go further and
actually see bugs *fixed*. I hope I've shown that I'm willing and
capable to do the work myself, but I'm unsure on how to best proceed
given that my help is not accepted in addition to Debians strong
ownership principles. So what is your advice? How do I best proceed?
If someone has secret back channels to maintainers, could you please
use them to see if we can find a way forward? Should I continue to
respect the wishes of the people listed as maintainer/uploaders of the
package despite they haven't produced any improvements in over 2 years
time and the package still needs attention to be in a shape acceptable
for release? Should I give up on trying to integrate my improvements
and instead continue to maintain my package outside of the archive and
ask people to use my version instead of the official package?

Andreas Henriksson

PS. While forwarding a few patches upstream I was happy to see we already
have hurd porters working actively with upstream on their new releases! :)

--- End Message ---
--- Begin Message ---
Hello again!

I'm going to close this bug report for multiple reasons....

You've all been too busy during the last month since this bug report
was opened to give any advice. Fortunately several prominent debian
developers have contacted me in private and given me advice on several
different issues and from different angles, so I feel like the goal was
atleast partially fulfilled - albeit not officially.

Another reason is to be found in this update which I just sent to
the "new upstream release" bug report for util-linux:

It feels like there's now some light in this dark tunnel and I
hope it's enough to get the job done.

If anyone still feels like sharing some thoughts or advice I'm more
then happy to hear it... Please just email them to me.

Andreas Henriksson

--- End Message ---

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