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Re: looking for sponsor for my package "jscribble"

On 2011-07-31 10:06, Martin wrote:
> Dear mentors,


I have reviewed your package and there some issues with it. It may
appear as if I am tearing your package completely apart, but it is
intended as constructive criticism to improve your package.

The package does not close an ITP (Intend To Package) bug, the new
maintainer's guide explain how this can be done[1].  This serves a
number of purposes, such as avoiding duplicate work.

> I am looking for a sponsor for my package "jscribble".
> * Package name    : jscribble
>   Version         : 1.0
>   Upstream Author : Martin Ueding (me)
> * URL             : https://launchpad.net/jscribble
> * License         : GPL v2
>   Section         : utils
> It builds these binary packages:
> jscribble  - Infinite Notepad

I wonder if the synopsis could be extended a bit to give a clear idea of
what the application does.  Personally, "Infinite Notepad" made me think
it was a "Windows Notepad" clone or something similar.

> The package appears to be lintian clean.

The source package has a warning about the Standards-Versions being out
of date.  I can recommend using the upgrade check list (in the
debian-policy package or at [2]).  Ignore the "Unreleased" note under
3.9.2, the maintainers forgot to remove it in the last upload.

If you did not know it, lintian can be run on .dsc-, .(u)deb- and
.changes-files.  When run on .changes-files it will process all files
listed in it.  Generally lintian gives the best results if all the
packages are processed together.
  There are also a number of command line options for lintian that will
enable less severe, less tested or more pedantic tags.  These are:
  -I, --display-info
  -E, --display-experimental

Finally, if you need to know more about a tag, you can run lintian with
-i or --info.  Alternatively you can use lintian-info -t $tag.

> My motivation for maintaining this package is:
> It is my own software that a couple friends and I enjoy. I would like to 
> share it with everybody.

What about future motivation?
 - Would you be willing to support jscribble in Debian for 2 years?
   (This is the average length of a stable release)
 - Do you see yourself working on other parts of or packages in Debian?
   (i.e.: would you be interested in joining the Debian Java Team?)

It may appear a bit aggressive, but if your package is upload to the
archive you will become the primary maintainer of it.

It is perfectly okay if jscribble is the only thing in Debian you want
to work with.  In that case, you will (in time) hopefully become a
"Debian Maintainer"[3].
  That being said, I hope you will find other areas of Debian
interesting to work with and should you desire, we can most likely
direct you to the relevant teams or people.

> The package can be found on mentors.debian.net:
> - URL: http://mentors.debian.net/debian/pool/main/j/jscribble
> - Source repository: deb-src http://mentors.debian.net/debian unstable main 
> contrib non-free
> - dget 
> http://mentors.debian.net/debian/pool/main/j/jscribble/jscribble_1.0.dsc
> I would be glad if someone uploaded this package for me.
> Kind regards
>  Martin Ueding

Technical issues with the package:

d/control: (Build-)Depends on default-{jdk,jre} (>= 1.6)

This almost certainly does not do what you want.  This is because
default-jdk have an epoch.  Epochs can be used to "downgrade" an
upstream version.  This is because Debian Software uses the ordering:
  "2:1.5 > 1:1.6"

On some platforms, default-jdk has the version "2:1.5", which would give
you a 1.5 Java.  You may want to consider using
openjdk-6-{jdk,jre} | sun-java6-{jdk,jre} instead.

License: None of the files in the upstream part (that is anything not in
the debian directory) appears to have any licenses, nor does the package
carry a license.  Since you are (also) the upstream maintainer, this
should be trivial to fix.
  You should be able to remove the debian directory and still have a
distributable package/tarball, which requires it (somehow) documents the
license of the files within it.

d/watch: Missing - while you are your own upstream, it is still a good
custom to have a watch file.  Particularly, if you later step down from
either position, we will have tools to detect if the package is out of date.

tests: There are tests in the package, but they do appear to be run.
Can they be run during the build?  debhelper should be able to pick it
up if the makefile has a "test" or a "check" target.  (Remember to
update Build-Depends accordingly).

native: The package has been created as a native package, but this
package is not a "By Debian, For Debian" package.  See [4] for more

d/install: You should probably use d/manpages for the manpage (see
man dh_installmanpages).  Also, the jar package is installed into
/usr/share/java, which is generally reserved for public java libraries.
 /usr/share/jscribble/ is probably what you want (remember to update
install_files/jscribble accordingly).
  Alternatively, if the jar is a public java library, let me know and I
will dig out the relevant parts of the Java Policy for java libraries.

d/docs: Why do you install the manifest?  I do not see how any regular
user would find it useful.

d/control [pedantic]: On a more pedantic note, why the Build-Depends on
debhelper (>= 7.0.50~).  7.0.50~ is only needed if use override targets
(which you do not), so a >= 7 would work just fine.  Alternatively
debhelper 8 is out, so you can (if you like) bump the compat level (and
the Build-Depends) to 8.

I hope you find the feedback useful. :)


[1] http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/maint-guide/first.en.html#choose

[2] http://www.debian.org/doc/packaging-manuals/upgrading-checklist.txt

[3] http://wiki.debian.org/DebianMaintainer


Note for 3.0 (quilt) packages, "diff.gz" will be "debian.tar.gz"

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