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Maintainer responsible for or only doing maintenance?

On 12-05-31 at 06:08pm, Holger Levsen wrote:
> On Donnerstag, 31. Mai 2012, Jonas Smedegaard wrote:
> > You still avoid my question: What does "Maintainer:" mean?
> why do you ask rhetoric questions? It's defined in policy and you know 
> it. So whats the point?

Context of my question is Bernd arguing that responsibility lies at the 
uploader, not only for the contents of the upload but also for its 
future maintenance.

My point is that either we are all wasting our time declaring a
meaningless "Maintainer:" control field, or Bernd is wrong and the
uploader responsibility is for the contents of the upload - which
includes stating who is then to be held responsible for the

In my interpretation, maintainer is expected to act responsibly.

Uploader is expected to act responsibly too: The act of uploading covers 
ensuring the vailidy of statements in the packaging (which is especially 
tricky for sponsoring of work outside our Web of Trust).  The act of 
uploading does *not* IMO cover ongoing maintenance of the package.

But you are right, let's simply look at Policy. I found this at §3.3:

> The maintainer is responsible for maintaining the Debian packaging 
> files, evaluating and responding appropriately to reported bugs, 
> uploading new versions of the package (either directly or through a 
> sponsor), ensuring that the package is placed in the appropriate 
> archive area and included in Debian releases as appropriate for the 
> stability and utility of the package, and requesting removal of the 
> package from the Debian distribution if it is no longer useful or 
> maintainable.

Enrico told me (discretely, possibly assuming it was common knowledge to 
the rest of the community) that "Maintainer:" is often a mailinglist 
which cannot be in our WoT and therefore cannot be held responsible.  
And that therefore the uploader really is the responsible party.

Let's see what is said about "Uploaders:" control field (again §3.3):

> If the maintainer of the package is a team of people with a shared 
> email address, the `Uploaders' control field must be present and must 
> contain at least one human with their personal email address.  See 
> Section 5.6.3, ``Uploaders'' for the syntax of that field.

Hmm. Did you see that? According to Policy, maintainer is responsible - 
even for the tasks done by uploaders - and uploaders are not defined as 
responsible.  I might be missing something, but searching all of Policy 
I found only tools, scripts, authors (of the Policy document) and 
maintainers to be described as responsible.

My point here is not to be nitpicking with Policy and claiming that 
noone but maintainers are responsible - but I do find it quite hard to 
fathom that maintainers are *not* responsible.

Did I miss something?  Did Bernd perhaps simply mean that in *addition* 
to maintainers, uploaders also have a bit of responsibility for some 
things (but not maintenance which is what this thread is about)? Could 
have helped me to understand what Bernd meant if he had simply answered 
my direct question instead of talking around it answering question with 
a counter-question,

Is my point clear now (even if is may disagree with my reasoning)?

 - Jonas

 * Jonas Smedegaard - idealist & Internet-arkitekt
 * Tlf.: +45 40843136  Website: http://dr.jones.dk/

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