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Re: Bug#88588: libpam-modules: pam-limits.so is broken

On Wednesday 07 March 2001 13:09, John Galt wrote:
> >The question of whether you have maintained any Open Source software is
> > very relevant.  People who are involved in Open Source software
> > development know what it's like to work hard without pay and then get
> > flamed by lamers who haven't got the ability to contribute.
> Who the hell paid the users to rebuild their systems after your lilo
> screwup thrashed them?  That's the big problem with the "DD as martyr"
> idea: NOBODY in the chain is getting treated any better.

Who is paying users to track the latest unstable development code on a 
day-by-day basis?

I get paid to run stable machines.  Solaris 2.6 and Debian Potato.  Sometimes 
work takes longer (and therefore costs more) because of the need to back-port 
code that is needed but isn't in old versions of the OS, but that is 
worth-while for serious machines that need to be reliable.

Think about things for a few minutes, if you track unstable on a daily basis 
for a month then you will be upgrading maybe 30+ packages a day (of course it 
depends on which packages you have installed) which means perhaps 100 
upgrades for the month.  If there was a 1% chance of an "unstable" release of 
software containing a "serious" bug, then there would be a 63% chance that 
you would get hit by a serious bug.

Most people who have experience in software development would probably regard 
the 1% figure as low (unless they work for a telephone company - the only 
companies that seem able to produce reliable systems).

> >Recently I have been flamed in bug reports by a lamer who's email server
> >refused responses (it was an anonymous user - it may even have been one of
> >your aliases for all I know).
> Why would I file bugs under two addresses?

Why would the lamer in question file bug reports using a non-replyable 
address and a false name?

> >I have been flamed by a lamer from debian-user for asking questions there
> >without being subscribed (I was told that I should contribute to Debian by
> As well you should.  Why should you get the benefits of -user without the
> implicit costs?  What good is a mailinglist to deal with problems if
> others can't see what the solutions are?  So who pays the -user people to
> answer your questions to the exclusion of people who actually appreciate
> their help and try to help others?

When replies are sent to both me and to the list then everyone on the list 
sees the answers.
As for answering questions on lists, people on debian-isp and debian-laptop 
have a reasonable chance of having their questions answered by me, I think I 
answer more questions on those lists than most people.

I don't think that it is an efficient use of my time to read debian-user when 
I can spend the time working on my own packages or answering questions on 
debian-isp and debian-laptop.  Having owned 3 laptops in 3 years and having 
worked for 5 ISPs in that time period I feel that I am best qualified to 
answer questions on the debian-isp and debian-laptop lists.

> >and that IMHO people who don't do Open Source programming are not
> > qualified to judge my contributions to Debian).
> Now you're just being hypocritical.  You make an entire post full of
> judgements and yet say that others may not judge you.  Well, tough.

I'm saying that you shouldn't judge someone's ability to do something that 
you are unable to do.  I am quite able to answer questions in mailing lists 
and have answered many thousands of questions on mailing lists (my average is 
probably about 10 per day).  I have been using quite a number of operating 
systems for more than 10 years and have reported bugs in all of them except 
for MS products (MS usually already know about the bugs and generally don't 
care - also they want me to pay to report bugs).

> >offensive to people who actually do things.  They are stupid because this
> >sort of shit is what drives developers to spend more time working for
> > money and less time doing free work.
> I find it highly offensive that you disparage the users to the point of
> ignoring them, yet expect goodwill in return.  You mentioned previously in

When do I ignore users?  Most people who use the software I write seem happy 
with my response to bug reports.  I have ported my software to operating 
systems that I have never used on the basis of bug reports.  There have been 
occasions when I have sent more than 10 versions of a program to a user in a 
day to try and solve a bug they experienced.
There are over 20 people I have spoken to who have written their own version 
of Bonnie.  There are about 6 people who have in some way released their own 
Bonnie-derived benchmark program.  My Bonnie++ program is (AFAIK) the only 
Bonnie-derived benchmark which is being constantly updated in response to bug 
reports and feature requests, which has updated documentation to match, and 
which has been ported to almost every common OS (as soon as I am satisfied 
with the NT version I'll port it to the Macintosh).

I don't disparage people who use software and report bugs in it.  I 
appreciate bug reports and often thank people for the bug reports they send 
me.  The people I disparage are stupid children who send abuse and consider 
it to be bug reports.  A message saying "your program broke - fuck you" does 
no good at all.
There has not been a single case of an abusive bug report doing any good, in 
every case that there has been an abusive bug report there has been a polite 
one written by a more intelligent person that had a better description of the 
problem, how to reproduce it, and possible ways of solving it.

> this thread that you regretted being the cause of one of my rants.  I do
> as well, for it somehow must've given you the impression that I actually
> care what you think.  Frankly, I really wonder how you could've become a
> DD with such an obvious disregard for the users.  I bandied about SC 4 and
> said that my rant on Ben had relevance to his election as DPL because of
> his forgetting where his priorities lay.  Compared to you, he's a piker.
> You see, Ben maintains a little package called glibc, yet STILL finds time
> to answer questions on -user every so often.

I am a Debian developer because no-one else wants to maintain the packages I 
maintain.  I volunteered to take over LILO because the previous maintainer 
did not address bug reports that I had submitted and appeared to not have the 
time to maintain the package.  They agreed and volunteered to let me do it.  
Since then I have fixed a number of bugs in LILO which had been outstanding 
for more than a year.  Please note that I am not blaming the previous 
maintainer for this, I had to spend significant amounts of time fixing bugs 
in the upstream source and submitting patches to the maintainer, having the 
time and ability to fix bugs in upstream source is not a pre-requisite for 
being a DD.
For logtools, maildir-bulletin, bonnie++, and postal I wrote the upstream 
source.  I believe that it is an unwritten convention in Debian that if an 
upstream maintainer wants to maintain the Debian package (and meets all the 
criteria) then they will be allowed to do so.  When I am considering 
packaging a new program for Debian I ask the upstream maintainer for 
permission to do so as a matter of courtesy, just in case they want to do it 
For portslave I am one of the people maintaining one of the many forked 
versions of the upstream source, and the only one who has wanted to Debianize 
it (for reference I had to use the date as the version number for Portslave 
to avoid confusion with the competing version-number schemes of other people 
who maintain forks of the code).
For postmark I was the first person to want to Debianize it so I did so.  
Hmm, it seems that there has never been a bug report or a new upstream, so 
this one hasn't changed in over a year.

So now let's turn the discussion back to you.  Do you plan to contribute to 
Debian by becoming a maintainer?  If not then I still think that you are not 
qualified to judge people who are.  Also you are not qualified to vote in the 
DPL elections so your opinion of Ben doesn't count for much.

http://www.coker.com.au/bonnie++/     Bonnie++ hard drive benchmark
http://www.coker.com.au/postal/       Postal SMTP/POP benchmark
http://www.coker.com.au/projects.html Projects I am working on
http://www.coker.com.au/~russell/     My home page

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