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Re: unauthorized upload of xfree86 4.3.0-1 to unstable

On Thu, Jan 29, 2004 at 01:08:19PM +1100, Daniel Stone wrote:
> [Forgive the crosspost, but I think each paragraph touches on different
> issues, and that all 3 is the best. Please Cc me if you don't reply to
> -x, as that's the only one of these lists I'm on.]

I disagree that your message was germane to -devel; as I said in my
original message, the only reason for mailing -devel was to give notice
as to what had happened to the upload, as people might reasonably expect
something that debian-devel-changes said had been "Accepted" to
subsequently appear in the archive.

As far as I can tell, your message shed no light on this.  M-F-T set

> On Wed, Jan 28, 2004 at 01:04:30PM -0500, Branden Robinson wrote:
> > FYI, for those who didn't know already, an upload identifying itself as
> > xfree86 4.3.0-1, not authorized by me, was made by Daniel Stone to
> > Debian unstable early Tuesday morning UTC.  It was UNACCEPTed by katie
> > at the direction of the Debian archive administrators[1], which spared
> > me the trouble of uploading an epoched xfree86 to unstable (1:4.2.1-16).
> Thus, speaking clearly, unstable has xfree86 4.2.1-15.

Yes, as is evident to anyone capable of navigating an archive mirror, or
using "apt-cache policy".

I don't understand what point you're trying to make.  If it is to
underscore the fact that "xfree86 4.3.0-1 isn't in unstable!", well,
yes, I think just about everyone who cares to know is aware of that fact.

I have felt consistently under pressure to do 2 things:

1) release xfree86 4.3.0-1 to sid ASAP
2) delegate responsibility ASAP

Very few actions serve both goals at once, so time spent on one is,
obviously, time not spent on the other.

> I didn't actually say that I was 'in the right', or make any sort of
> claim towards being so (in fact, I remember quite explicitly saying I
> wasn't ...). I elaborated to Branden my reasons for doing so, as I felt
> he probably deserved an explanation.

If it wasn't the right thing to do, why do it?  Yes, I know, you said
you wanted to "force the issue".  Well, it's been forced.  Don't you
think there was a more constructive way to achieve this end?

> I did, however, state that I felt that 4.3.0-1 was by far the superior
> base to work from in sid, for a number of reasons (not least that
> propagation to sarge would put the XSF in the position of having to
> maintain two codebases, not three).

Why do you presume to speak for the entire XSF here?  Maintaining more
codebases is potentially *good*, not bad.  A lot of users are interested
in a backport of 4.3.0 to woody; Dagfinn Ilmari Mannsåker volunteered to
maintain it, but didn't have time.  Within the past week or so, Norbert
Tretkowski and I spoke on IRC, and he'd like to take up that

The repo can scale as long as we have people willing and able to
maintain things.  As the frequency of your contributions to
branches/4.3.0/sid has decreased, I have had to take up the slack.

> > Organizationally, we have more experience with single-maintainer
> > packages, and I think we have to evolve a bit with respect to team
> > maintenance a bit more.  Fundamentally, I think team-maintenance of
> > packages has to be grounded on mutual trust among the members of the
> > team.  I personally feel that my trust was betrayed in this situation.
> > If you think I should not feel this way, please explain why.
> I think another issue Branden was possibly trying to raise - that we
> was raised privately - is the team-maintainership model where you have a
> leader/follower(s), and whether that needs to be formalised, if/when the
> follower(s) can disobey the leader, et al. XSF was very much
> leader/follower, as you can see here, as opposed to models of other
> teams, which are very much equal/meritorious.

Actually, I used an "oil pan" metaphor.  I think *someone* has to be
responsible for the Debian xfree86 packages in stable and testing/unstable
(and experimental when applicable).  If other people are unable or
unwilling to take on the mantle of responsibility for one of those, then
the responsibility falls to me.  The buck has to stop somewhere.

If I am the "leader" of the XSF, I can think of a few reasons: 1)
historical momentum as the sole package maintainer; 2) I am the most
active participant on the debian-x mailing list; 3) I make the most
frequent and regular commits to the repository; 4) people generally
respect my decisions with regards to the way I handle the package, even
when they don't agree with them.

Furthermore, I think you are positing a false dichotomy.  Is it really
your contention that "leader/follower" models are not "meritorious"?  If
so, you do a disservice to the many talented and industrious Linux
kernel hackers who happen to not be Linus Torvalds.

As I have said elsewhere, there has never yet been someone who asked for
commit privileges to the XSF SVN repo who didn't receive it; you are the
only person whose access I've ever had to suspend (twice now).  I think
people's merit is largely reflected in the nature of their
contributions, and that doesn't even need to come in the form of a
commit they personally make to the repository, though it may.  Michel
Dänzer, for instance, contributes a great deal more than one might
deduce from David B. Harris's statistics.  Other people deserving of
credit get acknowledged in the annotations to the patches in
debian/patches (except where you removed them in branches/4.3.0/sid, and
which need to be restored), and in the package changelog.

 % zgrep -ic thanks /usr/share/doc/xfree86-common/changelog.Debian.gz /usr/share/doc/xfree86-common/changelog.Debian.old.gz

Nevertheless, I am willing to be judged by my peers.  If it is widely
felt that XFree86 package development in the Debian Project is so
un-meritocratic that the current "leadership" is incompetent, then I
will make way for a new leader.  The floor is open for nominations.

G. Branden Robinson                |      Why should I allow that same God
Debian GNU/Linux                   |      to tell me how to raise my kids,
branden@debian.org                 |      who had to drown His own?
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |      -- Robert Green Ingersoll

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