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Re: this bug .. bugs me

On Tue, Jun 05, 2012 at 11:52:52AM -0400, Joey Hess wrote:
> This bug is a textbook example of making the perfect the enemy of the
> good.  It's disconcerting that we, or our users, are willing to put up
> with this.

I see what you mean and I absolutely agree with the general principle.
We have a tradition of being "perfectionists" in Debian, which is great,
but that couldn't be at stake with actually getting something (decently)
working to our users.

But in this specific case, in which I've been involved a bit encouraging
the recent course of action, I think that was not the only issue.
Rather, the "problem" seemed to be a mixture of what you mentioned + the
usual difficulty in acknowledging we are busy and the willingness of
letting it go our control a bit, so that others could chime in. It is
human, understandable, to some extent normal, and very well-known in

The problem seems now on good track to be properly solved for Wheezy,
thanks to the work of Michael, Stephen, and Ove. But if there is some
sort of a take away message on this, I think it should rather be that
opening up package maintenance when we're busy and others are willing to
contribute is often the right way to go. There is very little to lose,
very little that cannot be undone, and often a lot to gain for our

Even better, maintainers can prevent this kind of things from happening
by opening up *by default*, allowing commit to package maintenance Vcs
to all DDs, and documenting that commits there are welcome as long as
they follow some house rules.

Stefano Zacchiroli     zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} . o .
Maître de conférences   ......   http://upsilon.cc/zack   ......   . . o
Debian Project Leader    .......   @zack on identi.ca   .......    o o o
« the first rule of tautology club is the first rule of tautology club »

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