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Re: Proposal for removal of mICQ package

Manoj Srivastava wrote:
>> At the risk of sounding resoundingly stupid, why not try to work out 
>> the differences between you and upstream?
> Because upstream kinda burned his bridges when he hit our users with a 
> denial of service poison pill?

I disagree with you on this point. At least for me it seems quite obvious
that the bad behaviour was first on "our" side, namely in the person of
'madkiss' who seem to have done a really bad job on maintaining micq. 
At least in my eyes it is an absolutely inacceptable behaviour of any of
our maintainers to ignore reasonable wishes by the upstream authors. 

I'm with you and others who said, that the action taken by the upstream
author is childish, but as an programmer of some software which is in
debian (in my case i'm the upstream author and maintainer in one person)
i just asked myself what i would do, if someone would package my software
poorly for some distribution. Ask yourself: What would you do?

For many programmers their software is like their "baby", and they are
spending many time to improve and develop the software. And now some 
ignorant package maintainer for some distribution comes along and does
a hell of a bad job packaging my software. He ignores my thoughful ideas
and wishes and makes a package which i can't accept. After all the good
name of me and my software is on stake.

So what would i do? I'm not sure, but after realising that arguing with
the maintainer doesn't help i would surely do something. Unfortunately 
there is no documented way to sort out differences with debian maintainers
and no contact inside debian which clearly is responsible for sorting
out such a mess.

After all to stop the damage done to my software it may seem like a good
idea to break the software on the distribution in question (here debian)
on purpose. If the maintainer does not play by the rules all i can do is
prevent him from continuing his wrongful doing. As was pointed out, the
upstream maintainer did give notice before doing this, and madkiss just
ignored the warning.

Sorry, but after all i'm conviced, that the upstream author may have
acted somewhat childish, but i wouldn't blame him for the mess. It seems
that he have tried to sort out the problems but failed. So he had to do
something about it.

I think we should continue to include micq in debian. It is a valuable
software and we shouldn't lose it. As madkiss requested the removal, it
is clear that he just stated, that he do not want to further maintain
the package at all, so the way is free for a takeover by another
maintainer who can try to sort things out. Only if this fails too (which
i doubt), we should consider removal of the software.

And to all of us: I think we all should think about the way we treat 
upstream authors. It is no good to have fights with upstream authors. Try
to see and understand the point of the upstream developer. And to the
person who suggested, that we as debian should stand together and do not
let us influence by upstream authors: Sorry, but i think you are totally
wrong on this. There is a saying in german "Eine Kraehe hackt der anderen
kein Auge aus", meaning that one person will not do any harm to some other 
of the same group. I think this is totally wrong thinking. Just because
the other is another debian maintainer does not free him from the need to
do his work in a proper way. We shouldn't accept bad behaviour and bad
package maintenance in our own rows.

The fact that debian is one of the biggest and most important linux
distributions in the world does not free us from having to accept qualified
criticism on our doing. Sometimes i have the feeling that some maintainers
think  that they are some kind of better person and more important than 
others, just because they are maintainers for debian. Don't do this mistake.


Michael Holzt, kju@fqdn.org, kju@debian.org, kju@IRCNet

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