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Re: [SUMMARY/PROPOSAL] Orphaning another maintainer's packages

Michael Gilbert <mgilbert@debian.org> writes:

> As I've said many times now, the liberal NMU would not be a license for
> packaging style changes.  In fact, no NMU is allowed to make those
> changes (the fact that people are doing it is apparently a social issue,
> and solutions to those are hard).  It is instead more of a license to go
> ahead and fix real issues with the package including new upstreams.

I don't think adoption via liberal NMUs will work in the volume that we'd
like because they invert the natural workflow involved in improving a
package.  When I take over an unmaintained or undermaintained package, the
*last* thing I'm going to start with is upgrading it to a new upstream
release.  Usually there are stray patches that have to be analyzed,
usually the workflow is unclear, the tools used are out of date, and the
package structure isn't efficient, all of which will make the process of
updating to a new upstream release tedious, complex, and unnecessarily
difficult and make it even more of a hairball than it usually already is.

The first thing I want to do when adopting is to clean up the package,
modernize the packaging, sort through the patches and figure out which
ones are unnecessary or already merged, and get the package into a
maintainable state.  *Then* I'd update to the latest upstream.

Of course, people's mileage varies, and I have no objection to people
working the way that you describe instead.  But I think it's quite a high
bar to ask of people adopting effectively orphaned packages, so I don't
think it's the right approach to use as our default process.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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