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Re: fetchmail: blatantly violates RFC's and corrupts PGP/MIME ma

On Wed, Feb 10, 1999 at 01:47:37PM -0500, ijr@po.cwru.edu wrote:
> I ask that the debian X maintainer begin showing some responsibility with regard
> to releases.  How many of your say, past 10 releases have been horribly,
> horribly broken?  6? 7?  How many of these broken releases are because you
> didn't even install the packages before installing them?
> X is used by virtually everyone.  Moreso, I would say, than a "great number".
> Fix your own crap before knocking someone else's.

I have yet to release a version of X so broken that it corrupts people's

I posted messages to the mailing lists warning of potential instability in
the X packages after the reorgranization, and advised people to put their X
packages on hold if they didn't want to be part of the testing effort.
When I released -8, I announced that the most horrible bugs should be gone.
And so they have been.  Some of the bugs that have cropped up since then
have been horrible nuiscances, but they have not been of the type that wipe
out user data, or cannot be recovered from with a downgrade.

Need I remind you that the only acknowledged "stable" Debian X packages
have had none of the problems to which your refer?  I groused bitterly
about fetchmail because it seems to have two development forks -- "stable"
and "more stable".  All of my X builds since the reorganization have been
to "unstable" and/or "frozen", which imply that testing is still ongoing.
Furthermore, I have said again and again on the mailing lists (and at the X
Strike Force page), that I am not yet satisfied with slink X.  There are
bugs still to be fixed.  In other words, I have not yet decreed it

Regardless of what the upstream fetchmail guys may think of my rant
(should they ever see it), I raised a suggestion (among others)
to the Debian maintainer in my bug report; maybe we should start
sticking to the "gold" releases, even in our unstable branch.  A dpkg
--force-downgrade won't recover lost or corrupted mail.  Hopefully this
point can be discussed on the lists, and a consensus on some course of
action reached.  The main point of my bug report was to call attention
to a serious problem.  If we start idly disregarding bad PGP signatures
then we might as well stop using PGP altogether.

I agree that my maintenance of X could be better.  My only defense is that
I am doing the best that I can with my limited resource.  There is the X
Strike Force page; more volunteers are always welcome.

Perhaps I did not say it clearly enough last March when I took over X.  I
have never pretended to be the best possible person to maintain X for
Debian.  I am almost uniquely qualified, however, in the sense that I am
just about the only person willing to do it.  If you'd like to
constructively contribute, I have a task list you may want to look at.

Ultimately, however, how well or poorly I maintain the Debian X packages is
completely orthogonal to how well or poorly the upstream fetchmail authors
do their job.  Your argument is not logical, and it does nothing to fix
bugs in either X or fetchmail.

I've been able to count on fetchmail to do the right thing with my mail for
well over a year; all of a sudden weird new misfeatures seem to be creeping
in and I'm starting to wonder who's manning the fort.

Perhaps I can take some small comfort in the fact that no matter how strong
I let my rhetoric get when I am ablaze with righteous indignation, someone
always manages to come along and act like even more of a jerk than I do.

G. Branden Robinson              |    The first thing the communists do when
Debian GNU/Linux                 |    they take over a country is to outlaw
branden@ecn.purdue.edu           |    cockfighting.
cartoon.ecn.purdue.edu/~branden/ |    -- Oklahoma State Senator John Monks

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