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Re: Sponsoring questions; are sponsored NMU's allowed?

On Sun, Jun 06, 2004 at 03:38:41AM +0200, Goswin von Brederlow wrote:
> Wouter Verhelst <wouter@grep.be> writes:
> > Given both of the above conclusions, it's not hard to understand how the
> > work done for sponsoring an NMU will often take more time than preparing
> > the NMU itself, if both are done right. Therefore, a sponsored NMU is
> > generally either a waste of time, or an abuse of procedures. Instead of
> > trying to get a sponsored NMU done, a non-DD should generally try to
> > provide patches (to either the maintainer or the BTS).
> And if they have been sitting in the BTS for weeks? Month? Years?

He could poke some DD into doing an NMU, but there's not much point in
trying to get it done yourself (with *some* exceptions, but as said,
those are rare).

> >> Security wise it also makes sense to keep seperate records
> >> of who wrote the code and who OKed it for debian.
> >
> > Absolutely.
> And for me that means that the Changed-By field reflects who changed
> the source.

That doesn't necessarily require the Changed-By field. Changelogs also
appear in the .changes file...

> On the other hand if I spend hours collecting, writing, merging and
> testing patches and send a complete patch for an NMU including
> changelog to the BTS and ask a DD to sponsor just that one complete
> patch, possibly by giving him the source directly, then I have changed
> the source.

Yes; but my point was that in most cases (with a few exceptions), the
work a DD has to do on that patch once you sent it to him is about the
same amount of work you did on it in the first place.

He can't trust you to have tested it good enough, or he wouldn't be
doing his job right. That's nothing personal; it's just that it's

> My name should be in Changed-by while the DD gets his own name into
> the Maintainer field of the changes file. Thats what I would call a
> sponsored NMU.
> How would you write that into the changelog if you don't sponsor an NMU?
> foo (1.0-1) unstable; urgency=low
>   * Fix to ensure libfoo does not bar the system anymore when fork()ed.
>     Thanks, J. Random Hacker; Closes: #999990
>   * Make sure we clean up (i.e., close all open files, not just the one
>     we referenced last) after SIGHUP. Thanks, J. Random Hacker; Closes:
>     #999991.
>   * Tracked down all calls to sprintf(), and replaced them with
>     snprintf(), to avoid buffer overflows. Whew, good job! Thanks, J.
>     Random Hacker; Closes: #999992.
>   * The above patches have been merged, corrected and tested by
>     J. Helpfull Non-DD
>  -- Wouter Verhelst <wouter@debian.org>  Sat, 05 Jun 2004 23:05:53 +0200
> Like that?

Most likely, yes. Although this:

    * The above patches have been merged and corrected by J. Helpful
      Non-DD; and checked and tested by Wouter Verhelst.

would perhaps be more correct, or I wouldn't be doing my job right. Note
that I don't mean to say that J. Helpful Non-DD wouldn't be doing any
testing (he'd better :-), but as an uploader, I cannot trust that to be
good enough.

> That way you would give credit to the person doing the work. But why
> not just leave J. Helpfull Non-DD in the Changelog?

Because I have done quite a lot of work on the patch, too. I have to.
Also, when I upload stuff to the archive, the processing mails get sent
to the address in the Changed-By field; if that's someone else than
whoever is doing the upload, it's kind of a nuisance if things don't get
processed (since you get to guess instead of to read why something
doesn't get processed).

> >> So how would I source NMU for example amiga-fdisk? Or get any m68k
> >> binary-only upload into the archive?
> >
> > You should generally talk to an m68k porter (although this could be one
> > of those rare exceptions where it could indeed be appropriate to get a
> > sponsored NMU).
> >
> > That said, I don't think Steve was talking about binary-only NMU's, or
> > NMU's of architecture-specific packages.
> He didn't exclude any of them and its excatly those rare exceptions
> where a sponsored NMU would make sense that get hurt by disalowing
> them on principle.

Steve said, and I quote,

	Are sponsored NMUs allowed?  They are allowed in the sense that
	there's nothing in place to prevent them.  But I don't see any
	reason why we would want to encourage the practice.

That's not the same thing as "they're not allowed", sorry.

> All DDs I know don't sponsor or NMU lightly and sponsoring an NMU is
> even more rare.

With good reason.

> I allways found that encouraging for Debian in general even if it
> personally anoyed me at the same time by making fixing things
> harder. I want it to be hard for others so I have to live with it
> being hard too. But to disalow the option alltogether or
> discourage them even further?

No, it shouldn't be forbidden; but yes, I agree with Steve that it
should not be encouraged either.

     smog  |   bricks
 AIR  --  mud  -- FIRE
soda water |   tequila
 -- with thanks to fortune

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