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Re: Make Debian better (Re: Two Debian 3.0 reviews at Slashdot)

On Mon, Oct 21, 2002 at 12:15:16PM -0700, Michael Cardenas wrote:
> On Mon, Oct 21, 2002 at 12:49:34PM -0500, Branden Robinson wrote:
> > On Mon, Oct 21, 2002 at 09:07:48AM +0200, Eduard Bloch wrote:
> > 
> > >  - broken home/end keys in bash in xterm (even in Woody)
> > 
> > You'll have to persuade the upstream bash/libreadline cabal that
> > actually supporting DEC VT100 and later terminal emulation is a
> > worthwhile thing to do, instead of half-assing their way through it.
> Isn't it the downstream packager's job to take upstream and configure
> it in a usable way for most users? It seems that if the patches
> discussed earlier in this thread work, then whining about upstream
> attitudes is just an excuse for not applying them. 

You need to know whereof you speak before you shoot off your mouth like

* VT220+ terminal emualtion is a stateful thing.  Certain keys have a
  one meaning in application-keypad mode, and another meaning in normal
  mode.  Terminal control sequences can (and will) move the terminal in
  and out of application-keypad mode.  /etc/inputrc doesn't know how to
  express "if the terminal is in application-keypad mode, issue this
  escape sequence when the Home key is pressed; else issue this other
  escape sequence".
* It is not the downstream packager's job to fix major design flaws in
  upstream software.
* There are times when shortsightedness makes it impossible to please
  all of the users, because they have conflicting expectations.
* Sometimes Debian developers don't have the skills or knowledge
  necessary to fix a problem.  Hypothetically, it may be the case that
  Debian's bash package maintainer isn't a wizard when it comes to the
  details of DEC terminal emulation, and/or cannot think of and
  implement a clever way to track arbitrary states for arbitrary
  keygroups in libreadline so as to achieve a general solution.  Should
  we really expect so much of our package maintainers, or should we
  simply expect them to do a good job *packaging* software?  I think
  not; not unless you're willing to underwrite their educational

Whining about Debian developers whining about upstream implies that you
expect Debian developers to fix every problem.  For instance, I suppose
you expect me as XFree86 package maintainer to "configure XFree86 in a
usable way for most users" that don't even use video cards that XFree86

If that is true, perhaps you'd like to arrange to get programming
documentation from the manufacturers of such video cards, supply me with
the hardware in question, and pay me enough money that it would it be a
worthwhile use of my time to do such a thing.

If *you're* offended by the home/end issue, perhaps *you* should stop
complaining and put some of your effort to resolving the limitations of
bash/libreadline when it comes to keeping track of the terminal's
application-keypad state.

Finally, you should be careful to ensure that your words don't get
interpreted as coming from the domain identified in the From: line of
your message, or the organization identified in your .signature, if your
words aren't to be taken as position statements from that company.

G. Branden Robinson                |    I'm sorry if the following sounds
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    combative and excessively personal,
branden@debian.org                 |    but that's my general style.
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |    -- Ian Jackson

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