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Re: usefulness of ITPs (Re: mosh ITP not done, just package name taken over)

+++ Neil Williams [2012-03-26 09:17 +0100]:
> Therefore packaging takes no time at all, it is always fully complete
> before the code itself is even worth evaluating as useful to Debian.
> The packaging is part of my test harness.

You are only looking at this from the upstream's point of view. Most
packaging is someone else's software. And getting it into a
decently-package state can take a _long_ time. I've got one here I've
been working on from time to time for over a year: (first waiting for
upstream to provide a licence, then finding out how to package ocaml
stuff, then waiting for some promised docs - which I eventually wrote
myself after nothing happened for months, and now it's stalled because
something changed in ocaml worlkd and it doesn't build). That's been
about 18 months so far. It _will_ be uploaded very soon. (misery).

I have about 6 other packages here which get attention from time to
time and should eventually reach an uploadable state.

Yes. I should file more ITP bugs and keep them updated, and mostly I
don't bother and may find I wasted my or someone else's time as a
result, but I'm just pointing out why your argument is wrong, due to
taking a narrow, and unrepresentative, viewpoint.

> > > The appropriate thing to do when confronted with a months-old ITP
> > > for a package with the same content or name as your package is almost
> > > certianly to ignore old "intent" and get on with it.
> > 
> > Absolutely disagree. Hijacking the ITP and/or package name without
> > saying a single word about that to the ITP bug thread is just plain
> > rude.
> If an ITP remains open without comment for
> more than a month, the chances that there will ever be an upload to
> close it are close to zero. 

That may be true in an 'averages' sense, but there are old open ITPs
with a lot of work behind them and uploads will eventually arise, if
only because someone takes over that work to finish it off. 

> ITP bugs must not be allowed to block actual work. It's equivalent to
> domain-squatting and just as distasteful.

Yes, sometimes the claim of ownership they imply is too strong, but
it's not domain-squatting, and nor is it distateful. That's a silly
thing to say.

I've found ITPs very useful to find other people who have worked on
stuff, and then used or updated their work (OWFS is a good example,
where I made updated packages and arm packages available for a year or
two before it finally hit the archive).

Principal hats:  Linaro, Emdebian, Wookware, Balloonboard, ARM

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