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Re: divergence from upstream as a bug

On 17/05/08 at 17:01 -0400, Joey Hess wrote:
> What if we just decide that changes made to upstream sources[1] qualify
> as a bug? A change might be a bug in upstream, or in the debianisation,
> or in Debian for requiring the change. But just call it a bug.
> Everything else follows from that quite naturally..

After re-reading the whole thread, I still have several concerns
about the idea of tracking each divergence from upstream as a bug in
the BTS, and I still don't think it's a good idea.

1) It duplicates information. We will already duplicate information
between the patch description and the upstream bug tracker or mailing
list where the patch was forwarded (but the patch description should
only a summary of the discussion happening upstream). I don't see any
reason to additionally duplicate information into the BTS, especially
since the discussion of the patch would have to happen both on the
upstream bug tracker and the BTS. (=> huge Cc lists, if it's even

2) It makes the BTS another place to look at for upstreams or other
distros interested in our patches.

3) BTS bugs do a poor job at providing summaries, so nobody can have a
quick glance at a patch and determine its status. Sure, a design was
posted for a "summary" feature for the BTS (and I'd like that
feature). But there's no implementation yet.

4) The bureaucracy/usefulness ratio looks very high to me. After all,
we spent 15 years not doing that, and it seems to me that many patches
are small and don't require any discussion, so the overhead would be
huge. Maybe we could try a simpler solution first?

A saner solution would be to only use the BTS when it's not possible
to discuss the patch with upstream. We could do the following:

- add pseudo-headers in the patches for:
  + URL of the bug that the patch is fixing (could be a Debian
    bug or an upstream bug, or even another distro's bug)
  + URL of the discussion (patch, ML thread) happening upstream about
    this patch

- encourage maintainers to use those pseudo-headers

- publish patches on patches.debian.org so upstreams, other distros
  and users can have an easy look at them.

- make patches.debian.org able to track upstream bugs and mark
  patches that were integrated upstream as such.

- when there's really no place to submit patches upstream, encourage
  maintainers to file a bug in the Debian BTS about the patch, so
  the discussion about it can happen there. (with all the
  infrastructure you want in the BTS about it -- see the many mails in
  the thread about technical details).

- Lucas

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