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Re: Bug#340428: octave2.9 - lists mailing list as uploader in changelog

I am moving this discussion to debian-devel, since I am not sure we are
really violating the Policy.  Feel free to move it further to
debian-policy, if you think it is appropriate.

* Bastian Blank <bastian@waldi.eu.org> [2005-11-23 13:18]:

> Package: octave2.9
> Version: 2.9.4-6
> Severity: serious
> > octave2.9_2.9.4-6_s390.changes:
> > Format: 1.7
> > Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2005 14:48:51 +0100
> > Source: octave2.9
> > Binary: octave2.9-headers octave2.9-info octave2.9-htmldoc octave2.9 octave2.9-emacsen octave2.9-doc
> > Architecture: s390
> > Version: 2.9.4-6
> > Distribution: unstable
> > Urgency: low
> > Maintainer: s390 Build Daemon <buildd@debian-31.osdl.marist.edu.bblank.thinkmo.de>
> > Changed-By: Debian Octave Group <pkg-octave-devel@lists.alioth.debian.org>
> [...]
> octave2.9 lists a mailing list as uploader in the changelog. The policy
> specifies:
> | 4.4 Debian changelog: debian/changelog
> [...]
> | The maintainer name and email address used in the changelog should be
> | the details of the person uploading this version. They are not
> | necessarily those of the usual package maintainer. The information here
> | will be copied to the Changed-By field in the .changes file (see
> | Changed-By, Section 5.6.4), and then later used to send an
> | acknowledgement when the upload has been installed.

In the debian/changelog for octave2.9 (and all other packages maintained
collectively by the Debian Octave Group, the DOG), we do add details
about who made the changes, like this:

 octave2.9 (2.9.3-1) experimental; urgency=low

    +++ Changes by Colin Ingram
   * New upstream release
    +++ Changes by Rafael Laboissiere
   * The patches applied by dpatch are now done selectively according to
     the version of Octave.  For that, the debian/patches/00list file is
     now generated when running "./debian/rules maintainer-scripts" from
     the files debian/in/$(PACKAGE)-00list.

 -- Debian Octave Group <pkg-octave-devel@lists.alioth.debian.org>  Fri, 4 Nov 2005 10:30:54 +0100

I think this should be enough.

As regards the copy of this information into the Changed-By field of the
changes file, we are already requiring that the developers of the DOG 
use the -e option of debuild (cf the DOG Guidelines, at

> and
> | 5.6.4 Changed-By
> |=20
> | The name and email address of the person who changed the said package.
> | Usually the name of the maintainer. All the rules for the Maintainer
> | field apply here, too.
> A mailing list is no person which can do uploads.

This is why there is the Changed-By filed in the changes file.

At any rate, it seems that using mailing lists in changelog entries is
common practice, like:


I am not claiming that since others have mailing lists in changelog
entries we have also the right to do it.  I only want to know how we
should address the issue.


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