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Re: Need for launchpad

On Sun, Jan 15, 2006 at 01:08:41AM +1100, Hamish Moffatt wrote:
> On Fri, Jan 13, 2006 at 12:34:51PM -0800, Matt Zimmerman wrote:
> > can easily spot the holes in it.  Likewise, a proposal that Ubuntu
> > developers should put their changes into Debian instead sounds simple, but
> > to an Ubuntu developer is obviously impractical.
> Could you elaborate on this? It's not obvious to me at all why more
> changes couldn't be pushed through Debian and automatically into Ubuntu.

Only Debian developers can push changes into Debian, and indeed only
particular Debian developers can push particular changes into Debian.
Routing patches through this mesh involves a lot of overhead, especially in
the form of latency.  It's commonplace in Debian to wait weeks for a
response from a maintainer, for example, and there's no one covering for
them during that time.  Just as some aspects of Ubuntu's operation are not
visible to the Debian community, Ubuntu MOTUs for example cannot be
reasonably expected to know who is responsive, who is MIA, whether a
particular maintainer doesn't want to receive email with the word "Ubuntu"
in it, etc.

This is another instance of the long-standing "Debian has no face" issue.
Organizations external to Debian need genuine, responsive, personal,
persistent contacts to interface with.

I think that a more practical approach is to have someone (or a team)
working within Debian as a liaison, who will manage the queue and ensure
that the right people are contacted and that the changes eventually get
uploaded to Debian.  This is more or less what I hope the "utnubu" project
will do.

> On a related note, it seems to me that the existence of the "MOTU" team,
> as non-core Ubuntu developers who are also not Debian developers,
> encourages more packages to be forked. Those developers can't make
> direct Debian uploads even if they want to; at worst they have no interest 
> in contributing to Debian at all.

There are also Ubuntu core developers who are not also Debian developers,
and their number will continue to grow.  Joining Debian cannot be a
prerequisite for working on Ubuntu; that would be entirely impractical.

 - mdz

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