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

This one time, at band camp, Thiemo Seufer said:
> Rafael Laboissiere wrote:
> > [Please, Cc: to me, I am not currently subscribed to debian-devel.]
> > 
> > * Thiemo Seufer <ths@networkno.de> [2005-11-24 02:13]:
> > 
> > > Stephen Gran wrote:
> > > > FWIW, Rafael, at first blush I have to say I agree with you.  A
> > > > maintainer address in Debian is just a way to get in touch with someone
> > > > when something goes wrong with the package.  If the mailing list is a
> > > > good way to get in touch with people when those packages break, then it
> > > > seems like a reasonable maintainer address.
> > > 
> > > AFAIU the changelog entry is supposed to bear the name of the uploader,
> > > and thus can't be a mailing list. Policy 4.4 seems to support this:
> > > 
> > >     "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."
> [snip]
> > I think that are two distinct concepts here.  The first is the maintainer
> > of the package, which should receive any e-mail messages related to the
> > package.  This name appears in the debian/changelog entry as well as in
> > the Maintainer field.  All correspondence must be directed to this entity
> > (either a person or a mailing list).
> You apparently missed the quote above, which specifically talks about
> "the person uploading".

And we are in danger of allowing policy to drive practice, rather than
vice versa.  

The problem is, there are many packages currently being group
maintained.  These groups generally have some sort of group contact
email address:
grep-dctrl -n -s Maintainer '' /var/lib/apt/lists/*Sources | grep list | wc -l

I see exactly one false positive in that rather simple minded test, so
the number of packages maintined in this way is rather high.

So, the complaint was that this:

> > 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>

Doesn't have a real person behind it.  When I look at the original,
though, I see:

Maintainer: Debian Octave Group <pkg-octave-devel@lists.alioth.debian.org>
Changed-By: Rafael Laboissiere <rafael@debian.org>

That looks fine.

It seems to me policy is lagging behind actual practice here, and the
right thing to do is add something to the effect that "the maintainer
field may also contain the contact information for the group maintaining
a package if it is group maintianed, so long as the Changed-By: field in
the original upload still contains the real name of the uploader."

Just my 2p,
|   ,''`.                                            Stephen Gran |
|  : :' :                                        sgran@debian.org |
|  `. `'                        Debian user, admin, and developer |
|    `-                                     http://www.debian.org |

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