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Re: Two theses regarding packages

T.Pospisek's MailLists wrote:
> That would mean that reporting a bug would be very highly estimated, but
> the idea would be: "if there's a problem you [the user] find, then
> fix it yourself". Under such a perspective the maintainer could
> content himself with maintainership and not be "obliged" to debuging and
> development

I think it's fair to assume that Debian users who are capable of fixing
a bug, and have the time, will try to do so. I see plenty of bug reports
with patches, after all.

But: I can find bugs in the linux kernel. I am not technically capable
to fix them. But I can provide good clear bug reports, that help the
maintainer of the kernel reproduce and fix these bugs. Thus I make my
small contribution to kernel stability, within my means. If I were
brushed off with a "fix it yorself", it would remain unfixed.

We can't expect developers to be supermen who can fix every bug in their
packages, every time. But we _can_ expect them to develop a familiarity
with the source they maintain, that lets them fix a lot of the bugs. And
we can expect them to develop a relationship with upstream so they can
make sure upstream gets good bug reports, and is able to fix issues users
file bugs on.

> This perspective does have practical implications. There are plenty of
> packages that do have a pro-forma maintainer, which aparently uploaded the
> package in question to scratch his personal itch (he needed a certain
> functionality that was missing in Debian) but who does not have the
> required ressources afterwards to resolve major issues with it once it is
> in.

Frankly, I would prefer that Debian developers consist soly of people
whose "itch" is making Debian be of the highest possibile quality.

Someone who creates a Debian package to satisfy a personal need, and is
then done, their itch scratched, should *not* upload it to Debian. By
placing a package in Debian, you *must* make a committment to maintain
it. Uploading an effectively pre-orphaned package is, in my opinion, an
act of extreme ill-will toward the Debian project. No-one makes Debian
better by doing that.

see shy jo

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