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Re: Re: MIA, Incompetent and holiday-loving maintainers (was: Request for NMUs.)

* Nathanael Nerode <neroden@twcny.rr.com> [2003-12-31 15:41]:
> I guess nobody else feels comfortable doing this sort of thing
> though.  It really shouldn't be just you alone,

Yes, definitely.  I asked for help many times, but nobody was
interested in helping.  One problem is that few people are interested
in QA work in general, and in addition to that, work with inactive
maintainers is extremely frustrating.

As I said before, I fully appreciate what you're doing and your mails
are in my -qa folder waiting to be looked at.  The problem is that I
was extremely busy - finished a Masters degree at the end of November,
then had some pseudo holidays (beach during the afternoon, Debian for
the rest) and then I moved from Australia to Europe, first to Austria
over Christmas and now to the UK.  And DPL work has higher priority
than the rest, but I'll get to that again soon.

> I'm a little too aggressive in some of those; probably because I'm 
> spending all my time looking at the busted packages. :-P

Yes, it's so frustrating - you see all the bad packages, all the
people not doing their work.  Also, in my opinion, you don't
differentiate enough between inactive and busy maintainers.  (In fact,
busy maintainers are harder to deal with than truly inactive ones.)

> There's a nasty pattern which seems to show up occasionally where a 
> maintainer only uploads to say "new upstream version", and never fixes 
> any bugs (never even reports them upstream).  I will not name names 
> Yeah, there's some types of substandard work that are really worse than 
> no work at all.  With no work at all, it's *clear* that it's not being 
> maintained -- it can be assigned to QA and pretty much any developer can 

Right, exactly.  A big problem are those doing _some_ work but not
enough to maintain their packages adequately.

> What *should* be the standard for NMUs?  I see from this that it's a
> definite question.

It's a big question.  And NMU policy has changed over the years.  NMUs
were normal in the beginning, and then, gradually, people started
seeing NMUs as messages saying they don't do their work properly
(which isn't necessarily the case).  Now, I think there's a trend
towards accepting NMUs more again, which I think is good.

By the way, you might find this paper of interest:

Martin Michlmayr

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