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Re: Some doubts about patching

On Sat, 28 Jul 2012 09:48:25 +0000
Bart Martens <bartm@debian.org> wrote:

> On Sat, Jul 28, 2012 at 11:41:24AM +0200, Jose Antonio wrote:
> > * Imagine that I start to create a patch: How do I know that there is any
> > maintainer developping a patch for the same bug?
> I don't know how you could know that.

There are established protocols for that, well used in BSP's for a long

0: Join #debian-bugs in IRC irc.oftc.net

1: claim the bug number on that channel, describing what you are doing.
Ask if anyone else wants to help or is interested in that package.

2: You can also claim the bug using the bts program from devscripts.

3: Write a reply to the bug, mentioning that you think you have some
idea of what might be going on and that you're working on it. (i.e. by
the time you think you know enough about the problem to create a patch,
you should document the basic premise on the bug report so that
everyone else knows that something might happen to help fix it.) Even
if the patch isn't complete, *write something on the bug report* with
as many details as you can provide. You don't have to solve every
problem with the package. It's quite common for a package which fails
to build from source to have one initial problem which then hides
subsequent failures further in the build. If you can't fix the
subsequent ones, just get the patch for the first one in the bug
report. It will at least help someone else. For RC bugs during a
freeze, as now, you really only want to fix the problem(s) directly
related to the bug - it's not about making a complete tidy-up or fixing
all lintian issues or anything except the bug. Keep the patch small and
clean of generated output like autoconf changes and other noise.

Overall, there are so many bugs and so few people working on them at
any one time that if the bug report doesn't show someone already has
some ideas for the fix, it's likely that nobody is actively working on
it. Even if they are, your patch may show a different approach and is
still worthwhile.

> > * If I create a bug: Do I have to sign it before sending it to the DM or DD
> > that maintain the package? And if so, my key is not in keyring.debian.org,
> > is there a problem?
> Anyone can report a bug without signature.

Signatures and keyring.debian.org only relate to uploads. Creating the
patch is a large part of the work - don't stress if you can't upload,
just create the patch and feed it back to the bug report. There are
separate mechanisms for sponsoring the upload or you can just let
someone else turn your patch into an upload. That can only happen if
you put the patch into the bug report, so concentrate on that step.


Neil Williams

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