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Re: Bits from the RM

On Tue, Dec 02, 2003 at 05:32:59PM +1100, Zenaan Harkness wrote:


] $ grep Harkness /var/lib/apt/lists/*_*; echo $?
] 1

> Can "requesting removal from archive" be automated, to occur say after 3
> weeks of inactivity of rc/grave/serious bug?

It could, but it shouldn't be -- requests for removal should happen after
the analysis of whether it should be removed and what effect that'll
have has been done, not before.

> What happens if say there are simply not enough people interested in
> GNOME for example, and the RC counts rise, and rise at an increasing
> rate, and we never release again?

That's not a very interesting hypothetical -- there're plenty of people
interested in getting Gnome to work on Debian. The aim is to focus
on *fixing* the bugs, not remove the packages, and while threats can
motivate sometimes (although they often do the opposite too), it's not
really where we want to focus our attention or energies.

> I feel it might be the best whip there is - to start dropping packages.
> Whip the users - turn them into developers I say!

Nice idea, but it's not really possible; our n-m process just isn't
efficient enough for that to happen.

> And this is what? an observation and nothing more. It might be useful
> for some, I don't know. (Me personally - "you naughty DD, not fixing
> your RC because you disagree with policy - shame, shame!" - just doesn't
> do anything for me. I need a whip :)

Fundamentally, as a package maintainer you need to be responsible to
yourself.  It's not anyone else's job to come along and make sure you're
doing the right thing, it's yours. If you can't do that, or don't want
to, you should give the package to someone else, and contribute as a
co-maintainer or by filing patches.

> Allow people to demonstrate that they are lazy, and they will. 

How about we let people demonstrate that they're responsible, and capable
of being left alone?

> Can't speak to the random crackpot thing :), but I feel we need to start
> kicking some serious DD butt.

In the end, that's not something we do. Everyone here's a volunteer, and
that means we get to appreciate what they provide, and accept the limits
of their contribution. We don't get to kick their butt, we don't get to
whip them into shape, we don't get to beat them until morale improves.

Certainly, there might come a point where we need to say "look, someone
else can do a better job than you're doing, please get out of their
way and let them", but most of the time that's not actually the case,
no matter how it seems, and most of the time you're not just going to
get the package maintained somewhat better, you're also going to have
the developer you're replacing quit the project in irritation and disgust.

Almost all the time, it's far better to ensure that maintainers have
access to the help they want, and let them decide who's in a position
to replace them, and who's not.

> > A similar approach is to fix things quickly -- if you get a bug about some
> > spelling mistakes, or a simple patch to apply, do them straight away.
> How can this be "encouraged"? How do you change entrenched human
> habitual behaviour?

The first step is admitting there's a problem.


Anthony Towns <aj@humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
I don't speak for anyone save myself. GPG signed mail preferred.

               Linux.conf.au 2004 -- Because we can.
           http://conf.linux.org.au/ -- Jan 12-17, 2004

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