flashcache - call for resolution / seeking for a mentor
Dear Debian community,
Please let me start from expressing my appreciation to your collective
work and effort.
I am very grateful to the very existence of Debian which brought years
of sanity and ethics to my everyday work.
I am indebted to you for the the great system so wonderfully and
For years I've been using Debian thinking that one day I might be
joining the family and have a chance to contribute.
So perhaps like many people before me I picked a software which I need
as a matter of urgency and packaged it for Debian
only to find unhappy maintainer who was doing similar work but
(arguably) didn't yet made as much progress.
My bad, I should have find him and coordinate the effort but as a
newcomer I'm lacking some understanding of how things suppose to be
and hence I missed the chance to reduce our efforts.
At this point my package is ready for review and as I'm been told, I'm
neither suppose to close someone else's ITP nor submit a duplicate
No doubts in the end there should be only one package left.
It is indeed possible that something can be merged between those two packages.
(As a matter of fact, maintainer who first logged an ITP already
integrated some pieces of my work into his unfinished package)
By the maintainer of the unfinished package (Arno Töll) I have been
told that my only option is to merge with him but not the other way.
However there are a few reasons why I don't like the idea of merging
with unfinished package at the moment:
* Because I'm using the software I packaged, I will have to
maintain a working package until a suitable alternative will be
available in Debian.
* Because it might be feasible to merge the other way and having
my package a primary one. (In this case there might be less work to
* Because there are some technical differences, notably in
version numbering etc.
* Because we disagree on "Release early, release often" practice,
which may be considered a reasonable approach for the packages in
especially when someone like myself need it "right away".
* Because I'm using fossil http://fossil-scm.org/ (git may be an
overkill just for several files) and merging to git will require a
substantial effort for me.
* Because it seems wrong to made a decision about who should
merge with who merely by the ITP announcement date and not by the
And hence here are my questions:
* Is it true that whoever happen to create an ITP first gets the
monopoly for packaging?
* What if he is not doing the best job?
* Can we call for a resolution based on technical examination
rather than on who submitted an ITP first?
* What if maintainer responsible for ITP failed to deliver a
solution (for whatever reason) when working alternative is available?
* Would it be reasonable to reject the work purely because
another ITP is already there?
* If ITP always have priority, aren't we sending a wrong message
for ambitious maintainers who might be tempted to create ITP early in
to secure the rights for packaging, disregarding of how close
they are to providing a usable package?
There must be a similar situations in the past so it will be nice to
know about resolution.
Maybe one day I will become a Debian Maintainer, but for a moment I'm
just doing my first steps to this direction.
I'm doing my best with this packaging work (and so does the other guy,
I'm highly motivated because I'm using the software I packaged myself.
I submitted a minor patch to upstream and it have been merged into master tree.
I am nobody and I have neither reputation nor experience, but It
appears to me that I'm doing a slightly better job with my packaging
of "Flashcache" which is a write-back block device cache (made as
device-mapper pass-through device) for accelerating disks with
intermediate cache located on faster block device such as SSD.
So here am I asking for a favor:
Could someone please kindly have a look at the package I've made
(and provide comments)?
As a future maintainer I need to understand the best practice and
technical issues of my package disregarding of the possible merge.
I'm not asking to upload because of the politics involved,
yet it would be nice to hear a respected developer's comment about
It would also be nice to have a quick unbiased comparison between mine
and Arno's work.
The package I need someone to look at is "flashcache" uploaded to
If interested you can read our gory discussion with honorable Arno
Töll in ITP #635504
You can find Arno's work on flashcache here:
Please excuse me for the troubles.
(I don't have any understanding of co-maintainer's rights and duties yet.)
I hope some answers will help me to clarify the confusion and get the
better understanding of best practices.
Thanks and Regards,