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Re: Removing packages perhaps too aggressively?

On Sat, Feb 03, 2018 at 02:01:38AM -0500, Scott Kitterman wrote:
> On Saturday, February 03, 2018 08:20:02 AM Adrian Bunk wrote:
> > Do you have any suggestion better than "ITP immediately followed by
> > orphaning" for packages I consider useful but don't want to maintain
> > myself long-time?
> Yes.  Don't introduce them into Debian.  Every package introduced causes work 
> for volunteers.  If you  don't think it's worth having in stable eventually, 
> then I don't think it belongs in Debian.  If you know you aren't going to take 
> care of it, it's an imposition on the rest of the project that's impolite at 
> best.

I am not talking about introducing packages to Debian, I am talking
about keeping packages that Debian is already providing to users as 
part of the current stable.

> > Note that as sad as it is, the QA maintainance of orphaned packages
> > is better than the (non)maintainance of a huge part of our packages
> > that officially have a maintainer - keeping my name in the maintainer
> > field would be worse than having the QA team there.
> Could be.  I've seen plenty of packages that are really maintained by NMU, but 
> I don't think that's germane.

QA-maintained orphaned packages are *a lot* better maintained than 
NMU-maintained packages that have a "maintainer".

E.g. when I find an easy to fix FTBFS in an orphaned package I can
just make a QA upload right away instead of submitting a bug report.

For any other issue no matter how important or trivial anyone
can also make a QA upload of an orphaned package immediately.

And there are plenty of people reading the bug emails for orphaned 
packages, fixing many reported issues quickly.

For an NMU there has to be a good reason for doing an NMU,
and NMUs should contain only necessary changes.

> > A human problem is that it is quick and painless to submit
> > a zero-reason RM request.
> > 
> > It is much harder for many people to orphan a package,
> > part of the reason is that this feels like admitting
> > that she/he has not done a proper job.
> > 
> > Making RM requests as visible as orphaned packages
> > (e.g. in a weekly debian-devel post) would help here.
> So your in favor of shaming DDs to improve their behavior?

I am just pointing out the problem that we are currently forcing
a maintainer to shame herself/himself when orphaning a package,
while executing zero-reason RM requests quickly and silent.

> > Only a tiny fraction of our users are using unstable.
> > In this specific case it was DSA, and they were using the package
> > from unstable. That's a rare exception.
> If their metapackage were in the archive, it would have shown up as 
> problematic.

All is solvable for DSA as user.

A normal user doesn't have any chance to have such own metapackages
included in Debian.

> > If users notice that a package important for them is no longer
> > in Debian, they will typically notice when it is no longer in
> > a new stable release.
> > 
> > At that point there should be a removal reason better than
> > "maintainer who hadn't maintained the package for years
> >  suddenly decided to have it removed".
> I agree (and already said), that would be better and anyone who cares is 
> welcome to ask the maintainer why they thought it should be removed and 
> document it.

Chances are this will either result in no answer,
public maintainer shaming, or both.

Like in the case at hand of a zero-reason RM, where it would be 
appropriate to Cc the mailing list of the affected port when
asking the maintainer.

> Scott K



       "Is there not promise of rain?" Ling Tan asked suddenly out
        of the darkness. There had been need of rain for many days.
       "Only a promise," Lao Er said.
                                       Pearl S. Buck - Dragon Seed

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