Re: Co-maintaining Kaffe
Ean Schuessler wrote:
The only reason that my mail went to -devel was your request to remove Kaffe
from seven architectures without consulting me. You made that request to
-devel and that request required this response. If you feel foolish then lay
the blame closer to the source.
He consulted the upstream, at least, the issue was discussed during
FOSDEM, as well as being raised every few weeks on debian-java without
much/any input from you, the official maintainer, except when people
ocassionally threatened to hijack the package. I'm a Kaffe developer,
who's working closely with Arnaud and other debian-java member on making
some progress on Kaffe's state in Debian, fixing and tracking down the
bugs that come up, as you can see in the bug database.
I must say that I am very pleased to have found some responsive,
proactive debian developers, who talk to the upstream and work with us
on solving the problems as they occurr. I've rarely had any e-mail
exchange with the official Kaffe maintainer in Debian, and unfortunately
he was not seen very often on the project's mailing lists in the last
two years, at least, despite Kaffe having numerous RC bugs that required
cooperation with the upstream. Instead, we had an unpleasant duplication
of work on fixing kaffe 1.1.x on several platforms due to gcc no longer
accepting some broken C code a few months ago. The official Kaffe
maintainer didn't contact the upstream to see if any work was already in
progress, and didn't forward the work done in Debian to upstream.
So I'm quite disappointed by attempts to make Arnaud look bad on
debian-devel for trying to work around the official maintainer's current
lack of time to commit to working on the package, and the lack of
communication with the upstream.
The last significant change to Kaffe from a *packaging* perspective was
migrating it to DBS and that was my work. Your recent NMUs (which have been
insanely numerous) disabled DBS by simply renaming the patches directory to
"no-patches". That isn't adding value and was done without a byte of email
He moved patches that didn't apply anymore to their own directory,
AFAIK, after consulting with me (i.e. an upstream developer) which
patches still were relevant. That was hard to figure out ocassionally,
since the debian ChangeLogs for the patches are very limited in
describing what was changed and why that was done. If he made a mistake
there, blame me for not being able to figure out what a patch was good
for, despite being an upstream developer.
Without sarcasm I will tell you again that I appreciate your enthusiasm and
want to work with you. Simply be aware that I will not be ignored and will
not tolerate haphazard changes that are not cleared with me first. There is
nothing unreasonable about that attitude and nothing that is out of line with
I appreciate your willingness to cooperate. Maybe we can finally see
that kaffe-strike-force truly take shape.
But I don't appreciate the 'Do as I say, or else' attitude. If you think
Arnaud's packages are inferior, please fix them and work with him on
making better ones in the future, instead of wasting everyone's time
dragging him through the mud of a debian-devel flamewar in order to show
that you're still 'in control'. That's childish: either you have enough
time to work on improving the kaffe package, then go for it, or you
don't, but then please don't waste other people's time whining on
debian-devel how you've been treated wrong by people actually trying to
do the work.
So if you don't want to be ignored, please try to be more proactively
helpful instead. Get that kaffe-strike-force thing going, accept
Arnaud's excuse, and excuse yourself for your tone, so that we can make
some real progress on getting Kaffe into testing. Let's look ahead, not
If you don't want that, you can still drop the package, or wait till
you're officialy removed, this time with the protocol being followed to
For the time being I will leave you as an Uploader on the condition that you
communicate your intended changes with me first and only upload when I am
grossly unresponsive (ie. more than a week). My preference is to receive
changes in the form of a DBS patch.
The whole point is that you were grossly unresponsive. I realize that
you have other commitments beside maintaining Kaffe, and I don't blame
you for that. I just think that maintaining a package that's supposed to
be one of the basic building blocks for getting more java applications
into main, is maybe a little too much for a single person alone now. It
seems that most of debian-java developers agree with me  on that.
ps. Developers with platform specific experience who would like to see Kaffe
remain on sparc, os390, alpha and so forth should please try to get Kaffe to
build from source. Even if the JIT won't compile on your platform there may
be hope for the interpreter. Drop me a line if you have interest or success
And they can also hop on our mailing list on email@example.com, and on the
IRC channel #kaffe on irc.freenode.org for some hands-on introduction to
the code base. Fixing the compiler warnings should be an easy excercise
to get you started.
 I'm not a debian developer. I work closely with some of them,
though. I'm also one of the people behinds a few efforts to make
packaging java applications in debian easier, and to foster cooperation
with other packaging efforts.