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Re: Need for launchpad

On Sun, Jan 15, 2006 at 01:54:09PM -0600, Manoj Srivastava wrote:
>         Could you then take my name off as being reponsible for
>  software that this diverse group of people have modified, if the
>  modifications are more than cosmetic?  Also, I would like the bug
>  reports to be triaged and forwarded to me, so I know of problems in
>  my work.
>         On the internet all you have is your reputation. Keeping my
>  name on software that is different from what I have produced, and not
>  telling me of problems people may have found in my product, harms my
>  reputation.

While I don't disagree with this sentiment, keep in mind that Debian
itself is sometimes guilty of adding changes to packages when the
upstream may or may not approve.  Of course, we'll justify by saying
that "users want it", or that it is in "the best interests of the
users", but isn't that exactly the same excuse used by Ubuntu?

I can give a couple of examples; one is way back when, before I took
over the maintenance of the e2fsprogs package, and was merely the
upstream author.  The then maintainer of e2fsprogs attempted to add
support for filesystems > 2GB, but botched the job, and the result was
people with filesystems > 2GB would in some circumstances, get their
filesystems trashed.  Of course, those people complained directly to
me, and the reputation of e2fsprogs took a hit as a result.  I was
pissed, but I was informed there was nothing I could do; the
maintainer of the package can do whatever they want, upstream wishes
be d*mned, unless you try to go through a rather painful appeal
process via a then-relatively inactive technical committeee.

More recently, Fedora attempted to add on-line resizing, but botched
the job, so that if you attempted to use resize2fs (the off-line
resizing tool) on any filesystems created by Fedora, the result was a
corrupted filesystem.  Again, people complained directly to me, not to
Fedora, and I was upset, but there wasn't much I could do other than
clean up after the mess made by Fedora.

Of course, you can claim that the users should have complined directly
to their distribution, just as Ubuntu users should have complained to
Ubuntu, and not to the Debian maintainer --- but users are users, and
they tend not do that.  More generally, as long as distributions make
any changes to upstream code --- which is inevitable --- there is
always the risk of sullying the reputation of upstream.  We do when we
make changes to the upstream sources of our packages, so it's probably
fair to be a bit understanding when the roles are reserved and we are
the upstream and Ubuntu is the downstream.  After all, the stick in
one's own eye is always harder to see than the spec in another's....

						- Ted

P.S.  That doesn't change the fact that the I think the Ubuntu patches
are useless, and I'd generally much rather be trying to merge
distro-specific patches from Red Hat's RPM's than from Ubuntu's diff

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