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Re: For those who care about their packages in Ubuntu

On Fri, Jan 20, 2006 at 09:20:33AM -0800, Matt Zimmerman wrote:
> On Fri, Jan 20, 2006 at 07:08:38PM +1100, Matthew Palmer wrote:
> > I keep hearing this, but I really don't believe it.  In Debian, "Maintainer"
> > means "An individual or group of people primarily responsible for the
> > on-going well being of a package".  As I understand it, in Ubuntu, the MOTUs
> > have responsibility for all of the packages in Universe.
> In practice, it doesn't work out to mean the same thing, however.  Most of
> the packages in universe are maintained only by the Debian maintainer, and
> propagated unmodified into Ubuntu.  It is only when there is a specific
> motive to change the package in Ubuntu that anyone on that team will touch
> it.

But if a problem in a package in Ubuntu universe does appear, whose
responsibility[1][2] is it to fix it?  Whatever the answer to that question,
also answers the question "what should go in the Maintainer: field?".

> By way of example, the Debian maintainer is equipped to answer questions
> like "why is the package set up this way?", "what are your plans for it?",
> etc., while the MOTU team are not.

What the?  By that logic, the upstream author should be in the Maint: field,
since they're in the *best* position to answer those questions for the
majority content of the package.  At any rate, in most cases the answer,
from the Debian maintainer, to the first question would either be "Dunno,
can't remember" or "the previous maintainer was a known crack addict", while
the answer to the second would be "<shrug> make sure it doesn't break, I
suppose" -- none of whick are particularly more interesting answers than
what you'd get from the MOTUs.

- Matt

[1] Subject to the usual "we're all volunteers, yada yada" proviso.

[2] Remember also that with responsibility should come authority, so the
Debian maintainer is usually an immediate non-candidate in Ubuntu.

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