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Re: Canonical's business model

On Wed, Jan 11, 2006 at 06:09:25PM -0800, Thomas Bushnell BSG wrote:
> Matt Zimmerman <mdz@ubuntu.com> writes:
> > As you know, most bugs are reported by users, not discovered by developers
> > We direct users to report those bugs to us, rather than Debian, for obvious
> > reasons.
> Really?  I get not infrequent mail from Ubuntu users, about Debian
> packages I maintain, in the Ubuntu distribution.  Problems with, say,
> installation, and whatnot, sometimes caused *by Ubuntu*.  And yet, the
> poor users look at the unmodified Maintainer: field, and conclude I
> must be the maintainer of what they are looking at, even though, in
> fact, I am not.

Yes, we do.  The Ubuntu version of reportbug, for example, submits bugs to
an Ubuntu address rather than the Debian BTS, and all of our documentation
instructs users to report bugs to us.

I know that sometimes users do the wrong thing in spite of this, and that's
unfortunate.  However, given that I've never received an inappropriate
message from an Ubuntu user about one of my packages in Debian at my
Maintainer: email address, it seems to me that the volume is probably low
enough to be no more than an occasional nuisance.

Additionally, if the issue is not Ubuntu-specific (and Debian and Ubuntu
have far more in common than they do uniquely), contacting the Debian
maintainer is not an unreasonable thing for a user to do.  The fact that the
user happens to be using a Debian derivative, and not Debian directly, does
not mean that they cannot meaningfully interact with the Debian maintainer.
I have received messages at debian.org from Ubuntu users which were equally
applicable to Debian, and I don't consider those to be inappropriate.

> > I don't see the connection between these two behaviors.  Ubuntu
> > developers do triage a huge volume of bugs from our user community, and
> > the maintainer field issue was thoroughly discussed in an older thread.
> Thoroughly?  To whose satisfaction?  Not mine.  You still think
> mislabeling the package is a great thing.


I outlined the existing situation, the problems with it, based on prior
discussion in the thread.  I asked two questions that I thought went to the
heart of the issue, which would help to decide the most appropriate course of
action.  I closed the mail with "I am interested in responses to these two
questions from the Debian community."

I received *zero* responses to those questions.

You didn't bother to respond then, or ever, and now eight months later, you
tell me that I don't recognize the problems, and that it wasn't discussed to
your satisfaction?  As soon as these concerns were raised, I was there,
participating in the discussion, trying to find the best way to address
them.  I spend a lot of time doing this, both as part of my job and in my
free time, on mailing lists and on IRC and in person, and frankly I find it
very discouraging when people like yourself ignore that effort and pretend
that Ubuntu doesn't care.  The fact that we're having this conversation at
all means that we *do* care, and that *I* care, so please do Ubuntu (and me)
the courtesy of acknowledging that.

 - mdz

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