Lots of problems with upstream, please help!
Hello, I hope this is the right mailing list.
I've been a Debian user for over 10 years, but due to schoolwork and
work i haven't been very involved in Debian. Mostly I have submitted
patches to upstream or helping upstream debug rather than helping
For a long time, I always end up with a dozen or so of my own custom
packages which I derive from official debian source packages with an
extra tiny bugfix patch or two I've thrown in on top and recompiled.
Sounds pretty selfish, I know.
With Wheezy coming out, I'm trying to help any way I can but I'm
having some problems.
Technically they are all problems with upstream and they're all for
different software. I really don't know how to deal with them to help
1. As a big regression from Squeeze, I had to blacklist an HP
platform driver from loading into the kernel in order for my wireless
to work well. I filed a debian bug report about it and the debian
maintainers helped me collect all the information I needed and submit
it to upstream. I did all that, it's been 3 weeks, and the upstream
kernel platform devs seem to have completely ignored it, although
linux-wireless confirmed the platform driver is doing something very
strange. So I don't know what to do. Maybe I just need to wait
2. About 8 months ago, an upstream developer wrote a patch to enable a
feature in upstream software. Upstream didn't review the patch so it
never officially made it into upstream software. Requests to review
the patch by me and others are getting completely ignored upstream.
The upstream dev that made the patch looks to have disappeared.
Upstream seems reluctant to accept, reluctant to reject and reluctant
to review, so it stays in limbo. Without upstream's proper review /
approval of the patch, in addition to the fact that the patch
essentially enables a feature, it's probably unlikely to ever make it
into Wheezy, right? I filed a bug report saying that the feature
didn't work as the feature is listed in the software as being
available, but it's not actually enabled in the code. I'd imagine an
NMU for enabling this feature in Wheezy would be inappropriate and the
proper Debian thing to do would be to just write a different patch to
remove the feature so the user doesn't see it in the software?
Although, that's pretty much the exact opposite of what I'm doing on
my PC so I really don't have much motivation to do that.
3. A couple months ago, an upstream developer wrote a patch to fix
what I consider to be a serious bug that makes a lot of apps unusable
under normal (aka "user customized") conditions. Upstream reviewed and
approved the patch but the patch is written for KDE 4.9. 1. I tried
applying the patch to KDE 4.8. 4 in Wheezy which ended up as a
spectacular failure during compile. I asked upstream to back port the
patch to kde 4.8. 4 in Debian and they said that they do not control
the release of Debian and that KDE 4.8.5 is available. I'm almost
certain the patch upstream wrote isn't going to work with 4.8.5
either, but I haven't tried it as I don't want to be that far away
from Debian's packages. There is a work-around that's very easy to
do, but it's not obvious, and it saps performance from my PC. I'm
certain some Debian users running KDE will eventually run into this
very annoying problem and have to Google and enable the work around.
I will likely end up backporting the patch myself for my own personal
needs if the workaround annoys me enough some day, which it probably
will.... eventually... I worry that if I backport this patch, it
might be a little ugly and probably not suitable for Debian anyway,
although I really haven't looked at backporting the patch yet.
4. There appears to be a regression in some streaming libraries. When
I'm running wheezy and I replace some audio streaming libraries in
Wheezy with the ones from Squeeze, it fixes the same problem in
several different audio players in Wheezy. What's very strange is that
some other audio players don't have the problem at all in Wheezy with
both the older and newer libs. I want to say that it's all the audio
streaming libraries fault, but at the same time it appears that the
recommended way for audio players to interface with these audio
streaming libraries may have changed. It's so very complicated and
I'm having a lot of trouble debugging since it's not crashing ( I
wish!) and only periodically throwing out a warning or two in the
background. I haven't yet contacted the audio streaming libraries
because I'm trying to understand how the recommended way to interface
with the streaming libraries has changed and it's very complicated.
I guess I should be contacting the audio streaming devs for
help/advice? Or maybe investigating the audio players to make sure
they're doing the "recommended" things when they play audio? Or both?
I wish I could just point and say "it's broken" as I usually do when
I have problems, but it's only "partially broken" under very specific
circumstances for only certain audio players which makes this a *VERY*
annoying problem that's driving me crazy as it's hard to file a simple
bug report for this problem.
Really, I'm having a lot of problems with upstream and I'd like some
help/suggestions on the "right" thing to do to help Debian. For the
most part, I have been creating bug reports in both Debian and
upstream and "forwarding" the debian bug report to upstream so Debian
maintainers are aware of the problem.. But I'd like to do more.
Thanks for any help/advice.