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Re: Water and Fire (was: MIA, Incompetent and holiday-loving maintainers)

On Thu, Jan 01, 2004 at 04:15:49AM +0100, Frank Lichtenheld wrote:
> a) making good software together ...  pissing of people is seldom the
> best way to do things

From the packages I've seen which I'd class as badly maintained, the
maintainers are not making software together. They are working on their
own, not responding to other developers or bug reports. 

Our DPL has responded that he's orphaned packages of some maintainers,
but they are still debian developers since they upload other packages
occasionally. Some did not respond to him, yet they are still debian
developers. IMH uninformed opinion, by not responding they are clearly
not following the Debian social contract...  at the moment nothing seems
to be being done about this - the MIA checks we have read about in
responses seem to be automated a little too much - we don't seem to be
looking for maintainers who only make occasional uploads to fix rc
issues, ignore (or just close) non-rc bugs and never interact with the
rest of the Debian community.

> 3) If you try to judge one thousand different people from
> different countries, backgrounds, motivations with some simple
> guidelines you will make faults.
That's why we need a group of respected Debian developers looking at
individual cases rather than 'simple guidelines'. Debian developers are
nice people. You should not be worried about faults or people checking
up on quality of your work - most of us will have packages in a bad
state at some point. The task of a group looking for mia and incompetent
maintainers would primarily be to offer support to maintainers who need
it - get them to ask for co-maintainers if they are overloaded, etc.

> b) Only a maintainer (or a group of maintainers) can maintain a
I agree. 
If an NMU fixes an rc issue in a poorly maintained package, it could in
make the issue that that package is poorly maintained less visible. 
.. This would lead me to suggest that perhaps mia checks should look at
packages which get nmu's. Unfortunately that would make lots of
maintainers think of nmus as very insulting and get aggressive whenever
anyone nmus their packages.

  .''`. Mark Howard
 : :' :
 `. `'  http://www.tildemh.com 
   `-   mh@debian.org | mh@tildemh.com | mh344@cam.ac.uk 

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