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Re: Orphaning php-codesniffer, then take it over by the PHP PEAR team

On Thu, May 31, 2012 at 06:15:47PM +0200, Bernd Zeimetz wrote:

> Especially do I fail to understand why a member of the TC, who took part
> in such discussions before
> (https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2006/05/msg00457.html to name an
> example), and encouraged people to do so (that is how I understand the
> mentioned mail),

So to be clear, no, I was not endorsing a hijacking of that package.  My
mail there was a response to an ill-considered defense of the current bacula
maintainer at that time.

I think I'm allowed to believe both that a package is not well-maintained,
and that developers shouldn't take matters into their own hands to resolve
such problems.

The bacula package *was* in bad shape at that time, and something needed to
be done.  That doesn't mean the particular "something" that was done -
starting a painful flamewar on debian-devel that led to the previous
maintainer deciding to walk away from the package (i.e., voluntarily
orphaning it after being demotivated) was the right thing to do.  However,
since the maintainer did walk away voluntarily, the TC didn't really have
grounds to intervene... and probably wouldn't have sided with him anyway, so
probably wouldn't have been less painful.

Many of the earlier "hijack" mails on debian-devel also followed a very
different process than the one described in the present thread (e.g.,
allowing an indeterminate amount of "time", resulting in the original
maintainer resuming maintenance of the package -
https://lists.debian.org/debian-doc/2006/09/msg00071.html); or resulted
in amicable resolutions, with the previous maintainer explicitly approving
the hijacking (https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2001/05/msg00183.html);
or were intercepted by someone in the know, who diverted the hijack to an
NMU (https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2006/07/msg00568.html).

Unfortunately, it seems this has served as precedent, and the message people
have taken away is that it's perfectly ok to hijack packages... when almost
none of the "hijacking" statements have ever resulted in anything of the

> is now on a killing spree.  All he is doing is to encourage people to give
> up their idea to improve Debian.

From hijacks to killing sprees...  yes, I definitely think there's a
language barrier of some kind here. ;)

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

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