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Re: Status report of Qt3 packages in Debian GNU/Linux unstable

Let me start by saying I personally have had no problems with your Qt

On Sun, 9 Feb 2003, Martin Loschwitz wrote:

> I am convinced that most people, when thinking of Debian, identify the
> project with freedom. This is an important point since the past has shown
> us that freedom is one of the key conditions that must be there in order
> to establish any kind of society.

Certainly but history has also shown us that societies need organization
in order to retain freedom and that requires giving up a little freedom.
A goal of a just society is to ensure that only the minimal amount of
freedom necessary to meets its' goals are surrendered.

> The problem I see is that most people apply the term "freedom" to software
> only but not to the persons behind the project. This ends up in people being
> harrassed all the time for not doing things that person XYZ wants to see.

If you want to make Qt packages on your own computer you may and no one
will ever harass you ever.  By volunteering to maintain packages for
Debian whose priorities are "our users and free software" you have made a
public commitment and persons other than yourself are allowed to impose
upon you.  Whether their demands are legitimate is another questions.

> Sadly many users outside there seem to think that Debian Developers are
> not allowed to have a private life besides Debian. This becomes more and
> more obvious, especially if one sees the mails a DD gets if RC-Bugs are
> not fixed within a day.

Mmm...my experience is different.  I think most people do realize we are
volunteers.  Sure there are some whiny crybabies but was that the case in
this situation?

> Nobody calls into question that Debian Maintainers have to do their work
> in a conscientious and diligent manner, but due to their granted freedom,
> they also have the right on a private life, a life which has got nothing
> to do with Debian (You could also call it 'freetime'). In my opinion,
> this applies to every person being involved in the project, no matter if
> the person is DAM, ftpmaster or packager of a 5kb big application.

I sympathize with need to maintain a real life.  Ever since my daughter
was born my time for Debian stuff has been severely cut down.  I have a
responsibility to her but also to the project.  If I can't keep up with my
Debian duties, the responsible thing is to cut down that work to a
manageable level not to just stop responding.  (And that goes for everyone
not just you.)

Qt is a key package.  hold ups in Qt affect many other developers and
users other than yourself.  If you are not up to the job in terms of time
or abilities, there is no harm in stepping aside or sharing the burden.
No one will think you are less of a man for it.

> In my opinion, to esteem this right is the duty of everybody who thinks that
> freedom is important.
> I think that if the trend described below does not die, this problem will
> in short time become one of the hardest problems debian ever had to face.
> Less and less competent people will want to join the project if they see
> that the work they do is not being appreciated and that the only feedback
> they get is harassment if there is something not correct.

Well the point expressed in the thread was that you were not competent and
didn't respond adequately.  I don't know if that is true.  Like I said
I've had no problems with your packages.  But if it is true, then how does
having such people on board help Debian achieve its' goals?  It is better
that they do not join the project.

> While considering this, another question comes to my mind: Is it really
> necessary to flock together against somebody on a public mainlinglist,
> ending in requestion him to be sacked? Is it necessary to show the whole
> world how harsh one can be? Is this the way a project which has to have
> a social structure can work?

Do you get "The Osbournes" on TV in Germany?  Debian is that kind of
family, one that loves each other but airs its' dirty laundry in public.
("We will not hide problems from our users.")  Nobody said you were a bad
person only that you were not up to the task of maintaining Qt.  That's a
technical matter which can be solved with facts.

> As last point, I want to call the benefit of flamewars like the one against
> me in question. Just have a look at the tree of the thread Ralf started
> some days ago. What did it bring to us? We got some new packages finally,
> but we would also have had those if the flamewar never existed at all since
> it was beyond any question for me to fix the packages like Ralf suggested.

Then you should have said so as quickly as possible.  We are hundreds of
people spread out all over the world and good communication is key.  The
last thing we need is more silent unresponsive people in key places.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar@debian.org>
La Salle Debain - http://www.braincells.com/debian/

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