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Re: [gnu.misc.discuss,gnu.emacs.gnus] Free software: Packagers vs Developers

[Sorry if this email is wierd -- I'm being forced to use mutt and
I'm not very good at it yet.]

On Sat, Jul 03, 1999 at 01:06:17PM +0200, Per Abrahamsen wrote:
> No getting patching that I can _understand_ are useful.  Understanding
> the patches usually involves either being involved in their creation
> (i.e. discussions beforehand) or talking to the author afterwards, and
> are in most cases an iterative process.

I completely sympathized with your request that you be contacted
and coordinated with before major changes are made to the code base
by a "third party".  This is just common sense etiquette, and it 
applies to any hacker who's looking at hacking on someone else code,
but who is also altruistic enough to desire that any improvements,
if they are deemed as such, be folded in upstream and shared with all.

This is just good coordination, and it's no different if the hacker in
question is a debian developer or not.   We all want to make sure that
we're not doing reduntant work, or work which is overriden or ill-
conceived due to other plans or things that are going on with the source.

So you can perhaps see why some people on debian-devel get upset when
you single them out and don't accord them the privledges of any 
interested hacker who is looking to improve the software.

Moreover, your blanket statement that Debian developers never coordinate,
never send stuff upstream, etc. is unfair.  Although admittedly, it 
*has* happened before! 

Its striking to me that really the problem is one of misunderstanding
and discoordination.  I have independantly started asking about this
question, and have had discussions with Ian Lance Taylor and Ted T'so.
Emerging from their "war stories" and suggestions is the idea to make
a FAQ for free software developers who have to deal with Debian maintainers.
This FAQ could lay out guidelines, setting etiquette for how
Debian maintainers and upstream developers should interact.

I welcome your desire to resolve this question.  I suggest, if you wish,
that we set about actually writing this faq, and thus improve the 
mutual comprehension and coordination between Debian and the free
software community at large.  If you would like to help, I invite you
to email me directly, or else perhaps we could take up this discussion
on the more "intimate" <debian-doc@lists.debian.org> public mailing
list (see www.debian.org on how to subscribe).

.....Adam Di Carlo....adam@onShore.com.....<URL:http://www.onShore.com/>

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