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Re: libfm and pcmanfm in debian

On Sun, 2 Sep 2012 22:33:14 +0300
"Andrej N. Gritsenko" <andrej@rep.kiev.ua> wrote:

> >>The version libfm 0.1.17
> >> and pcmanfm 0.9.10 have few tens of critical bugs. Some of them are:
> >None of which appear to have been filed against the Debian packages. It
> >could be that no-one else has experienced such problems or the
> >problems do not affect Debian.
>     I suppose it's just because people submit bugreports directly into
> pcmanfm bugtracker instead of bugreporting into debian. It's may be my
> classification of bugs is wrong - as developer I classify the bug being
> critical if it hangs desktop, if application crashes, if an application
> eats all available memory, etc. All those issues were caused and proven
> to happen on debian (in fact, I fixed some of them exactly in debian
> environment - on the "testing" distro).

None of that normally matters but during a Debian release freeze, only
bugs reported within Debian are going to affect packages moving into
Debian testing during the freeze.

Different users report bugs in different places - many users would not
be comfortable setting up yet another account to use for the upstream
bug trackers of the hundreds of packages installed on their machines.
That's why we have the Debian BTS and Debian maintainers who can go to
individual upstreams where that would be useful. Only a tiny fraction
of bugs in the BTS ever get forwarded upstream.

We also have other upstreams, like me, who push code to SF and
freshmeat/freecode but use the Debian BTS as the upstream BTS. I'm
upstream and maintainer for certain packages. If some random
user/distribution comes to me and moans about a bug in an old version
which I fixed in a more recent version then it's not my problem to go
back to the old code or backport the change. I can choose to do that
but the main goal will be to get the reporter to upgrade via whatever
mechanisms are available. As upstream, I don't care what versions are
packaged for Gentoo or Fedora or Ubuntu. I care about the latest
upstream version, I don't spend time supporting previous
upstream versions. In Debian, it's different - if the same package has
a problem in stable which I've fixed in unstable, then I will see about
a backport because I'm a Debian Developer, I'm the maintainer and I know
how to do that properly (and it has nothing whatsoever to do with
upstream). I have no idea or desire to know how to do that for any
other distro - I know I couldn't do it properly.

> >Unreported bugs cannot be fixed. Bugs which are meant to affect the
> >versions of packages in a Debian stable release have to be demonstrated
> >in Debian before the package can be fixed in Debian. 
>     There are lot of bugs in the BTS already - just take a look at this:

I know there are some bugs in the BTS but none are of release-critical
severity, as determined by the maintainers. Most packages in Debian have
some bugs, many have quite a lot of bugs but only a portion of those are
considered with regard to changing the version of packages in the

> Half of them are about crashes (even on very start) despite of being put
> into Important or Normal category.

That would make me think that the bugs only affect a limited number of
users or that the number of people who actually care about LXDE is in

> big code revision made between releases. It's why upstream developers
> just cannot accept bugreports for those versions anymore. I'm sorry.

That doesn't matter either. It is up to bug submitters and the
maintainers to handle bugs which are closed by new upstream releases
being introduced into Debian. The new upstream release could go into
experimental but it's up to the maintainers to put it into unstable
once the Wheezy release is complete. From there, it can migrate into
the next version of testing (Jessie) and from there it could also go
into backports, if there is a request. If the Debian maintainers want
to talk to upstream about some bugs, it is up to the Debian maintainers
to make their questions relevant to upstream - that doesn't affect the
way that existing bugs are handled.

> version 1.0. I'm sorry but if we cannot find a solution for this problem
> then all the current bugs in Debian BTS will be there for very long time.

Possibly, possibly not. When the next release turns up in Debian, the
maintainers may choose to ping the submitters of the existing bug
reports to see if their problems are now fixed. Debian does not assume
that Debian bugs are fixed by the next upstream release unless the bug
has already been explicitly forwarded upstream and can be tracked to
an upstream bug report. Even then, the bug has to be shown to be closed
in Debian, irrespective of whether upstream think it's fixed.

> You may hate me saying this but that's sad fact. If you think it's normal
> then I'll shut up and let users ask you why their bugreports are never
> fixed. And upstream will tell them how to run 'make install'. :)

That's a complete misunderstanding of the role of upstream. Bugs in
Debian are fixed via unstable, not stable. Important fixes can be
backported after the release, if there is a request to do so but as the
existing user base have not reported any release critical issues in
these packages, there is no reason to change the release status of the
packages. Existing bugs will be handled in the normal way - once the
release process is complete.

Bug reports in Debian are fixed within Debian - in association with
upstream where the issues are relevant to both parties. Most bug fixing
in Debian has very little to do with upstream bug tracking - usually
because the problem is not the same bug in both cases.

Also, 'make install' might not work on systems running newer versions
anyway because upstreams tend to rely on latest versions of other
dependencies, some of which are probably in exactly the same situation
where version 0.2.3 is in testing and will be released but 0.3.0 is in
some random VCS / as a tarball on a random download site. Therefore,
nothing is likely to happen until all of the relevant dependencies are
updated in unstable *after* the Wheezy release.

BTW it's nothing to do with me, I have used LXDE before (gradually
moving to XFCE instead), I'm not a maintainer of LXDE and don't
really care about either package specifically. I'm just looking to get
Wheezy released without people expecting new upstream releases to be
included at this late stage.


Neil Williams

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