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Re: Re: Proxy compliance and assistance.

On Thu, Sep 22, 2011 at 12:23:34PM -0500, Mike Mestnik wrote:
> There is no point in fighting about the better way if the person
> advocating the better way is not willing or able to do anything more
> then put pen to paper.  Either write a better patch or get out of
> the way of progress.

It's important to understand the role of a Debian package maintainer.  They
maintain packages of pre-existing software.  That software sometimes requires
modifying to integrate properly with the Debian system.  Maintaining such a
patch set is a burden.  It is highly desirable that patches are integrated
upstream, where appropriate, to reduce this burden, but also to share the
benefits of the patch with other distributions.

Maintainers are for the most part volunteers and may only have a limited amount
of time that they can devote to Debian.  I think that maintainers should be
applauded for recognising their limits  rather than biting off more than they
can chew.  In my opinion, it is far more damaging for a maintainer to have too
much on their shoulders and to be ineffective at maintaining a package than to
refuse patches that they do not believe they have the time to adequately

Proxy support is a laudable goal and when discussing a specific patch, rather
than the general possible cases,  you may well find that individual maintainers
welcome a patch, especially if it is trivial as you characterize.  For a long
time I've worked in a proxy-mandating environment and I can appreciate the
problem. Proxy support should really be implemented upstream and you may find
greater success tackling the problem from that end.

If, when discussing a specific patch, a maintainer is not prepared to apply the
patch, then there are options, it is not necessarily a stalemate situation. One
option might be to add co-maintainers.

Jon Dowland

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