[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: [ad-hominem construct deleted]

On Sun, Jan 15, 2006 at 02:59:58AM +0100, Gerfried Fuchs wrote:
>  It's not about succeeding. It's about false statements all the time,
> like "Every Debian developer is also an Ubuntu developer."  If I were I
> would know. And they are recompiling all my packages, so you can't even
> say that they are using my packages directly.

Is the meaning of this statement truly unclear to you, or is this purely a
rhetorical point?  Under the assumption that you read it differently than I
do, I'll attempt to explain.

Ubuntu is a Debian derivative.  The work that Debian developers do is merged
into Ubuntu as well.  Most of the source packages in Ubuntu are identical to
the ones in Debian.  The statement that you quoted is an expression of
gratitude and camaraderie.  I believe it was Mark who originally said it,
but I agree with it.  I would also say that Debian's upstreams are, in the
same sense, Debian developers.  This is part of what makes free software so
special, that one's contributions travel far and wide to benefit others,
even if one has no direct involvement with them.

>  It's also about false statements like "We sync our packages to Debian
> regularly," because that simply doesn't happen for quite a lot of us,
> otherwise all these heated discussions wouldn't happen.

Given that you saw this on a wiki page, a disclaimer about wiki contents
should be implicit.  However, regardless of whether it's an accurate quote,
it's quite clear to me from context that your interpretation doesn't match
the text.

The full quote is "We sync our packages to Debian regularly, because that
introduces the latest work, the latest upstream code, and the newest
packaging efforts from a huge and competent open source community. Without
Debian, Ubuntu would not be possible."  It should be obvious from the
remainder of the sentence that it is talking about propagation of changes
*from* Debian *to* Ubuntu.

>  I can only speak for myself (like everyone anyway, but it seems to be
> mentioned), I haven't noticed anyone reaching me, so I hadn't had any
> chance to burn anyone. The only contact with respect to Ubuntu was a
> user disappointed that one of my packages in Debian had a fix that the
> one in Ubuntu hadn't... for several weeks. All I could do is thank him
> for appreciating my work but that it's out of my hands to fix it for
> Ubuntu because I never was notified about that it's included there, and
> wouldn't know at all who to contact therefore.

It was inappropriate for this user to raise this issue with you, rather than
with Ubuntu, but that's been discussed elsewhere in this thread already.
What I find interesting about your statement is that you seem to imply that
the situation would have been better if you had been notified that your
package was a part of Ubuntu.

This would be technically simple to implement, but I'm not convinced that
it's possible to do it in a socially acceptable way.  Emailing every Debian
maintainer to notify them that their package is present in Ubuntu sounds
like spam to me, and posting Ubuntu-related announcements to Debian mailing
lists has been deemed inappropriate by many in Debian as well.

The creation of Ubuntu was *very* widely publicized, as was the fact that it
was based on Debian, and this fact has been mentioned countless times since,
both in the press and on Debian mailing lists.  Clearly you were informed,
one way or another.  What was problematic about the way it happened, and how
could it have been improved?

> > They are really investing time on the co-operation,
> If they were, why would there be so much fuss about it?

Well, yes, I think so.  It's a complicated issue, and the fact that there
are discussions about it doesn't imply that either party isn't making an

> Again, speaking for myself, I haven't noticed such a thing for myself

I find this type of disclaimer very frustrating.  I see a number of opinions
expressed about the Ubuntu community by persons with no first-hand
experience with it.  Most Debian maintainers have probably never interacted
with Ubuntu, and there's no reason that most of them should expect to.
Setting aside the debate about patch submission for a moment, in the case of
most packages, there are no patches in Ubuntu relative to Debian.

In fact, I just looked, and I found only one package with maintainer
alfie@debian.org which has a delta in Ubuntu: libmetakit2.4.9.3.  I read the
patch just now; here's what's in it:

- Transition to python2.4 as the default Python version in Ubuntu.  You
  don't want this patch for Debian yet.

- Packaging transition for the gcc4 C++ ABI.  Debian developers were
  notified about the availability of these patches in Ubuntu when the
  transition began in Debian, though it looks like you chose not to
  use it, and rebuilt the package instead.

- autoconf has been re-run.

In other words, I don't see what it is that you're dissatisfied about, in
your role as maintainer of these packages.  Are you speaking for yourself or
on behalf of someone else?

> , and there wouldn't be the need for utnubu if there were, don't you think
> so?

No, I don't agree.  I see the organization of that team as a positive sign.

 - mdz

Reply to: