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glibc and UNACCEPTs

Hi *,

Yesterday, glibc 2.3.999.2-10 was accidently uploaded to unstable instead
of experimental, and on the request of the release managers, I UNACCEPTed
it, given it was a major accidental change to a rather core library just
as that library should've been frozen.

It was lucky that was possible -- I should've been asleep at the time,
and if it had taken even an hour longer to notice, it would have been
too late. UNACCEPTs are awkward even at the best of times -- it will now
require manual intervention to fix the buildds so that they'll notice
any glibc uploads to unstable with a version less than 2.3.999.2-10,
and thus make 2.3.6-19 available for anything other than amd64. That's
time taken away from other work that would benefit the release or the
build infrastructure.

The reason I'm pointing this out at length is to emphasise that as we
improve the archive software this will become not just awkward to do,
but *impossible*. While this will make development easier and the archive
more reliable, mistakes like the above -- introducing an experimental
version of glibc into unstable in a careless upload just as the RMs are
trying to freeze base -- will need to be caught by maintainers before
doing an upload.

Seriously: that was probably an historic event in that it's likely the
last UNACCEPT that'll happen. Which means we'll be relying heavily on
maintainers taking the care we're used to *all* the time, not just 99.99%
of it. We have a lot of tools in our QA arsenal, but they don't do us
any good if we do a rush job and don't use them...

The 2.3.999.2-10 upload (with signatures removed) is available on
ftp-master.debian.org/~ajt/glibc/. Would anyone like to contribute their
thoughts, so we can do an "air crash" style failure analysis to work
out how we can avoid this class of problem in future, given the safety
net that caught us this time is going away?


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