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Re: Debian derivatives and the Maintainer: field (again)

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Anthony Towns wrote:
> On Tue, Jan 17, 2006 at 04:38:29PM -0800, Matt Zimmerman wrote:
>> On Tue, Jan 17, 2006 at 04:09:50PM -0800, Thomas Bushnell BSG wrote:
>> > Since you are rebuilding the package, you *must* change the version number
>> > *anyway*.  It is not correct to recompile, and leave the version number
>> > alone.
>> I don't agree.  This isn't even the case within Debian.  Binary-only NMUs
>> don't modify the source package, even though the binaries are recompiled.
> However if a binNMU screws up a maintainer's package, the maintainer can
> easily fix it, and doing so is just part of contributing to Debian. The
> same thing applies when an autobuild on another architecture happens.
> That's not the case if an Ubuntu rebuild screws things up.

Let me make it clear that this is not only a hypothetical worry, it's
actually happened.  (Sorry to people who already saw my similar email
sent to -project, but I thought the point was worth repeating.)  One of
my packages (binary package paw, from source package cernlib) has
seriously broken functionality in Breezy because it was compiled with a
buggy version of gcc.  The breakage did not appear in Debian until later
[1], since Ubuntu switched to gcc-3.4 before Debian switched from 3.3 to
4.0.  Once the breakage occurred in Debian I promptly uploaded a
workaround and filed a bug on gcc [2].

Since paw is not very widely used, no one was bitten by the bug in
Ubuntu until recently.  An Ubuntu user emailed me about it [3] upon
finding my name in the package maintainer field (and also asked upstream
about it).  If the Maintainer field included something like
ubuntu-motu@lists.ubuntu.com, instead of keeping my name and email, I
imagine the question would have worked its way to me eventually, but
without first making it look like I must be clueless not to have fixed
such an obvious bug.

[1] the Debian bug report on paw: http://bugs.debian.org/324902
[2] the Debian bug report I filed on gcc: http://bugs.debian.org/325050
[3] the Ubuntu bug report on paw:
(the user who filed the bug was nice enough to add my emailed response
to him as the second reply in the Launchpad entry)


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Kevin B. McCarty <kmccarty@princeton.edu>   Physics Department
WWW: http://www.princeton.edu/~kmccarty/    Princeton University
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