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Re: Unsupported Debian [was: Re: [New maintainer] Working for De

On Fri, 6 Aug 1999, Alex Shnitman wrote:

> If you're not a developer and create packages, add them to Stephane's
> list. But don't make it look like it's endorsed by the project.

Where on the Debian site is it advertised where you can get gnome packages
for slink? Where on there is it made clear that you can get security
updates on slink boxes by adding a line to your sources.list? Where is an
obvious pointer to the list of what you need to upgrade in slink to use a
2.2 kernel? How about a sources.list entry that gives you upgrades for
those packages?

Let's face it, Debian has been very bad at making information like this
available. I had to find out these things by paying careful attention to
the mailing lists and the noticing the odd nugget of useful fact in the
weekly news. I shouldn't have to do this, as much as I would anyway.

This whole thing, the seemingly impenetrable bureaucracy that's formed
here, is so frustrating for me because I would like to help, but I have no
power. I haven't been "blessed" by the Debian royalty.

Broken packages like imagemagick-nonfree can be fixed, but I can't do
anything because the new-maintainers team hasn't even graced me with a
response to my application that I put in 2 months ago. I can't do anything
about the nntpcache bugs, even though I have local patches...the installer
is still the same thing it was in slink, with the same UI bugs...there's
all this talk now about building a whole new dpkgv2, seemingly because
nobody wants to bother fixing what's broken in dpkg (to make things worse,
this project is being started by the Debian Project Leader). I understand
that this is a volunteer effort, and packages and projects can languish,
but I have seen no interest in proactive leadership and policies, and
requiring people who take on projects to do the job they agreed to do or
get the hell out.

Now, there's a new policy to not allow new blood in. Much of the old blood
is very old indeed, and many of the developers have lost interest.
Probably most of the packages I use are kept up to date, but some
(imagemagick, dpkg, etc.) are just left to rot. The new-maintainers team
is guilty of the same thing. Refusing to place pressure on people to live
up to their agreements, while at the same time not allowing new blood in
because the new-maintainers don't feel like doing their job, is exactly
the opposite of what should be happening.

This is bureaucracy, plain and simple. The core utilities don't seem to be
going anywhere, there's little quality introductory or administration
documentation available on the web site, and you're coming out here and
*sanctioning* an *official* unwillingness to present information to the
user??? Jeez. Tell the user about the packages, tell them they're not
official, and they use them at their own risk. The users are not idiots.

I realize this is a big rant that's only in part directly related to your
post, but this rampant bureaucracy is extremely frustrating for me, and
all of these complaints fall under the header of "Bureaucracy Is Bad".  I
see a whole lot of bickering and very few real results. I can't help in a
way that's meaningful to me because I haven't been allowed to help, and
now this lack of free time in the new-maintainers team, which is a
transient state, is being turned into a policy.

I'm with Leon Breedt. Where can I find a quality dist with an open
communication policy? One that doesn't have a -private list, one that
doesn't put huge barriers in front of one's ability to contribute, then
put huge barriers around kicking people out? Probably nowhere.

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