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Re: what to do is maintainer is lacking? (was: wine-unstable in Debian)



On Wed, 18 Apr 2012 11:05:38 +0100
Moray Allan <moray@sermisy.org> wrote:

> On Wed, 2012-04-18 at 10:16 +0100, Jon Dowland wrote:
> > We have hijacks, we have the tech committee: weapons of last resort.
> 
> I was thinking about the same issue before this thread.  My feeling is
> that over the same time period in which we've moved towards team
> maintenance, and moved to a lower threshold for NMUs, people have become
> much less ready to hijack packages.  

We saw a very interesting mechanism for this at the Cambridge BSP.

Someone got fed up of the brokenness of the package (multiple RC bugs
open for months etc.) and filed an RM request. Ftpmaster had a lot of RM
requests that day (can't think why) and was acting on the removals
quickly, so the package got removed within an hour of the RM request.

Someone further down the table got upset but then realised that
actually, the packaging really was awful and would best be
re-written anyway, so filed an ITP.

The broken package got removed, the replacement (fixed) package got
uploaded and there was no hijack. The new package got through the queue
and into testing in considerably less time than the old version had been
waiting to migrate into testing.

From memory, this happened twice at the same BSP....
;-)

It's quicker than a hijack, far less controversial than Tech Committee,
the real problem is that it relies on waiting until the package is in
such a bad state that it can be easily removed.

However, as the freeze approaches, I can see it as a common enough
mechanism for fixing persistent RC bugs in an appreciable number of leaf
packages.

We should be more aggressive on removals - if someone cares enough
about the package it can be reintroduced with none of the baggage of
the old version.

It's more important to stop wasting the time (at BSP's, by the release
team, by QA team, by ftpmaster) of more active teams/maintainers on
rubbish which does not deserve the *privilege* of being in Debian. 

Maintain your packages or they will be removed in order to maintain the
quality of Debian overall. 

Equally, take a care about which packages your packages depend upon
because if there are optional components which bring in dependencies on
shoddy code, you may need to quickly back away from those dependencies
or face your own package being removed.

-- 


Neil Williams
=============
http://www.linux.codehelp.co.uk/

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