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Re: [gnu.misc.discuss,gnu.emacs.gnus] Free software: Packagers vs Developers

>>>>> "Gunnar" == Gunnar Evermann <ge204@eng.cam.ac.uk> writes:

    Gunnar> Concerning the relationship between the XEmacs developers
    Gunnar> and the packager for Debian -- it's non-existent as far as
    Gunnar> I know. I have never seen a single post on any of the
    Gunnar> XEmacs development mailing list or a bug report from said
    Gunnar> maintainer. So either the packaging is so brilliant that
    Gunnar> users of XEmacs on Debian never have problems or the
    Gunnar> touted Debian process of filtering bug reports from users
    Gunnar> and forwarding helpful info "upstream" didn't work in this
    Gunnar> case.

 I think that James LewisMoss was too busy otherwise (home life, job,
 school, whatever) to spend that amount of time on it.  I've got
 several hours a day for it through the summer...  Hopefully it'll be
 fairly squared away by fall term.  The current state of things is
 pretty good, as handed me by James.

 We can't read email all day long.

    Gunnar> I think there was even a case where one of the XEmacs
    Gunnar> developers has dug a helpful patch from a user out of the
    Gunnar> Debian BTS, this was AFAIK not prompted by any hints from
    Gunnar> the Debian people.

 echo '.' | mail -s 'index packages emacs' request@bugs.debian.org

 There are quite a few, and many ought to be merged.  It will take
 several hours for me, I think.  I will learn something in the
 process, and perhaps think of how to make a minor-mode extension for
 Gnus or something to ease our labor.

 If there are patches, I'll find them (at some point), and if they are
 still valid and not already in the devel branch of XEmacs, I'll
 submit them to the XEmacs patch review board for review.

    Gunnar> I am not really complaining about all this [1], we do have
    Gunnar> lots of bug reports directly from our users, but you
    Gunnar> should realise that the process of actually maintaining a
    Gunnar> Debian package involves far more than the initial
    Gunnar> packaging -- I am sure this is discussed in the Policy
    Gunnar> Manual, but I suspect that many Debian developers
    Gunnar> underestimate the amount of time and effort it takes to
    Gunnar> _maintain_ their package after uploading it and therefore
    Gunnar> the quality of the Distribution (and Free Software in
    Gunnar> general) suffers. This is maybe not as bad as having the
    Gunnar> packager and the author flaming each other but still a
    Gunnar> problem.

 I expect to spend at least 4 to 6 hours a day all summer long on the
 XEmacs package and keeping up with mail...  (too much mail.  I HAVE
 to burn it and get on with the package building and my READING.)

 `apt-get source pkgname'
 `zless pkgname.diff.gz'

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