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Re: Ubuntu and its "appropriation" of Debian maintainers

Matt Zimmerman wrote:

>On Sat, Apr 30, 2005 at 08:34:09PM -0500, Adam Majer wrote:
>>Then I also found,
>>adamm@mira:/tmp$ gpg --verify mysql-query-browser_1.1.4-1ubuntu2.dsc
>>gpg: Signature made Tue 19 Apr 2005 10:06:56 AM CDT using DSA key ID
>>gpg: please do a --check-trustdb
>>gpg: Good signature from "sh@linux-server.org <sh@linux-server.org>"
>>gpg:                 aka "shermann <sh@sourcecode.de>"
>>gpg:                 aka "Stephan Hermann <sh@sourcecode.de>"
>Neither this package, nor the site where you found it, is related to the
>Ubuntu project in any official capacity.  Someone presumably downloaded the
>source package from one of our mirrors, modified it (naively, without
>considering that Ubuntu might release a version 1.1.4-1ubuntu2) and
>published it on their website.  I don't know Stephan Hermann, but you could
>contact him about your concerns.
Fair enough. But this package is,


adamm@mira:/tmp$ gpg --verify mysql-query-browser_1.1.4-1ubuntu1.dsc
gpg: Signature made Mon 28 Mar 2005 01:03:50 PM CST using DSA key ID
gpg: please do a --check-trustdb
gpg: Good signature from "Daniel Holbach <dh@mailempfang.de>"

>>I don't understand how I could remain as the maintainer of such a package.
>>It is my belief that if the source code is changed, then the Maintainer
>>field should be changed as well.
>The question of whether modified source should have the Maintainer field
>changed is a reasonable subject for discussion, but in your particular case,
>both of the source packages listed at
>https://launchpad.ubuntu.com/people/adamm/+packages are identical to those
>in Debian.
True. But Ubuntu is a *different* distribution from Debian. If Ubuntu
was a Debian subproject, then I see no problem in keeping Maintainer
fields as is.

>>nyway, the bottom line is,
>>    1. I'm a Debian Developer and chose to be associated with Debian
>>    2. I have not chosen or gave permission to be associated with
>>modified/unmodified packages of other distributions (that may or may not
>>derive from Debian).
>In my opinion, it does not make much sense to require Debian derivatives to
>modify every source package that they share with Debian, only to change the
>maintainer field.  There is some justification for changing it if the
>package has been modified, but this, too is problematic ("<derivative> is
>taking credit for my work!").
I think all other distributions based on Debian do change the Maintainer
field. If someone wishes to be a maintainer for Ubuntu (or Kubuntu, or
Gentoo, or Linspire, or RedHat, or ...), then they can apply with a
given distribution.

If Ubuntu maintainers wish to recognize Debian maintainers for their
work, I would welcome that (see below). But the maintainer field should
only reference Ubuntu project. The problems I see is in discussions
(flamewars?) merits of Ubuntu vs. Debian. I've seen in many places
ignorant people saying,

"Most maintainers from Debian are now in Ubuntu", or "Debian is dead.
Ubuntu is the future". Or the opposites from the other side. I didn't
know where this was coming from until I found myself on Ubuntu's website
as a maintainer.

I'm the maintainer of lpr which is from OpenBSD. OpenBSD is acknowledged
in the sources and README.Debian, but I do not set the maintainer field
to point to bugs@openbsd.org or similar.

>>PS. This is not a troll against Ubuntu.
>In that case, can I ask why you addressed your concerns to debian-devel,
>rather than to the parties responsible for the web pages you found
>The result (which may or may not have been the intent) seems to have been to
>stir up emotion among Debian developers, rather than to have the Launchpad
>website changed.
It is bigger than just that one website as "Maintainer: " field in most
packages that are part of Ubuntu is left same from Debian. I sent the
email to debian-devel maybe because it affects Debian Developers.


I see many debian mailing lists... Is it right for a different
distribution to use Debian's support structures?

If Ubuntu recognizes the work of Debian developers, then that is a very
good thing. For example, if, upon conversion, the debian package is
amended to include in README.Ubuntu (or whatever Ubuntu has) something like,

"This package was autogenerated from Debian sources on ${date}. The
Debian maintainer was/is: ${deb_maintainer}"

Then change the maintainer field to: "General Ubuntu Help
<general-help@u.c>" or similar. I see no problem with that. People
wanting to have the recognition of being Ubuntu maintainers can join
Ubuntu. Am I correct to assume that Debian Maintainers are able to join
Ubuntu using a more fast-track method than someone unknown?

I just think whenever a new distribution bases itself on another, the
maintainer field must be changed. For example, when a distribution like
CentOS takes RedHat sources, they cannot keep maintainer fields pointing
back to people at RedHat (I can see the lawsuits right now!).

Again, my email is about concerns that Ubuntu seems to keep Debian
maintainer fields in their packages, thus appropriating Debian
maintainers as Ubuntu maintainers. It has little to do with anything else.

- Adam

PS. I was just going to see the maintainer fields in packages of
UserLinux but their download site seems to be dead (no BT and no mirrors).

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