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Re: Is Ubuntu a debian derivative or is it a fork?

[Daniel Holbach]
> Hi Petter,


> But the atmosphere in the thread is tense and full of
> misunderstandings.  With every mail it becomes clearer that we're
> all miles away from actually making plans and discussing concrete
> specifications of what's to happen.

I'm not that pessimistic.  Perhaps I lack a clear understanding of the
current concensus.  I do not know.

> So can we try to get back to the topic?

Yes, lets do that.

> What are we precisely discussing at the moment?

I believe we are discussing how to keep the packages in Debian and
Ubuntu as synchronized as possible, to hopefully reduce the
maintainence cost and improve the package quality in Ubuntu, and
hopefully improve the package quality and reduce the maintenence cost
in Debian.

And more specificly, we are discussing how to make sure (new/not in
debian) packages in Ubuntu also make it into Debian.  I suspect we are
under the assumtion that packages are placed in Ubuntu because they
are useful, and thus would be useful in Debian as well.

>       * The handling of NEW packages and in which cases to file an ITP.
>       * How to retrieve patches in the easiest way.
>       * How to start group maintenance.
> Maybe there are other issues, I missed in the thread. 
> Can you believe it? Just those three bullet points? 

There is also the issue on how to handle lack of communication and
lack of interest on one side or the other of working together with the
other side, but I guess we could ignore that for now.

To start with your list.

 - Handling NEW packages (in Ubuntu, I guess, or do anyone want
   something changed in how Debian handle new packages?)

   I believe it would be best if Canonical encouraged the people
   maintaining packages in Ubuntu to also submit an RFP/ITP into
   Debian as well, and also encourage people to try to find a DD
   sponsor to upload the packages both into Debian and into Ubuntu.

 - Exchanging patches

   Not sure how to best handle this.  If Ubuntu accept the Debian
   packages as "upstream", all relevant patches should be submitted
   into Debian BTS, and followed up there to reduce the diff between
   the packages in Debian and Ubuntu.  This might be a bit work
   intense (it is/was for debian-edu at least), so it might not be the
   best way to spend the limited time available.

 - Group maintenance

   Good idea.  I suspect the ideal situation for packages available
   both in Debian and Ubuntu would be if there is a group consisting
   of both the Debian and Ubuntu package maintainers co-maintaining
   the package together.  But it is a bit hard to get this going, when
   I see efforts in Ubuntu (UbuntuGIS, UbuntuJava) where the effort
   start without first coordinating with the already existing and
   relevant Debian efforts (Debian GIS, Debian Java).  This seem to
   improve, but we are not there yet.  I'm not sure how we can improve
   this, as the priorities of the two efforts might be different, and
   the deadlines not aligned either.

I would be willing to co-maintain my packages with the maintainer in
Ubuntu, and hope more people in Debian would consider this as well.  I
also check out interesting Ubuntu packages at random times, and try to
get them included into Debian as well.  But it would be better if this
wasn't left to random people looking at random packages, but instead
was more organized and consistent.

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