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How to best reach the users of a package?

So I made a mistake in the mdadm version currently in testing, and
published [0] to -testing and -user at the same time as I uploaded
a new version.

0. http://lists.debian.org/debian-testing/2006/07/msg00014.html

Since then, I received X emails telling me about a bug in the
package. X users didn't read the bug tracking system (well, okay,
I can't expect them to), and X users didn't see my message on -user
and -testing.

Now guess what the number X is and scroll down...

X == 176

No, I am not kidding. Now multiply that by 3 (or more) to get the
total number of people who were affected by my mistake, including
those who did not take the time to let me know, or who checked the
BTS or saw my announcement in time.

What we do not have in Debian is a way to reach users of a package
about important issues that aren't security bugs (and even for
security bugs...). I realise that we'll never get there, but the
current infrastructure is just thoroughly inadequate. Or am
I missing something?

I envision a tool (warning: braindump ahead) that we install *by
default* on a standard system, which uses cron to wake up once a day
and check online for important announcements regarding all installed
packages, and mails them to root if any are found. I was thinking
first to use the BTS for that, but we don't want that. The PTS also
does not provide what we need for this, so it'd be another service,
possibly one actually using the mirrors for distribution. And we'd
need a policy/moderation so as to prevent spamming the users.

What do you think? Can we reuse our current infrastructure for this

What would we need to implement this?

Could/should we tie this in with popularity-contest? After all,
we would be able to determine the set of installed packages on
machines using this method...

Comments welcome.

Please do not send copies of list mail to me; I read the list!
 .''`.     martin f. krafft <madduck@debian.org>
: :'  :    proud Debian developer and author: http://debiansystem.info
`. `'`
  `-  Debian - when you have better things to do than fixing a system
"in contrast to the what-you-see-is-what-you-get philosophy,
 unix is the you-asked-for-it,-you-got-it operating system."
                                                           --scott lee

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