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Re: Debian decides to adopt time-based release freezes

I'm not sure whether this subthread is really going anywhere, given that it
seems to have devolved into a complaint about the handling of a particular
bug, and playing whack-a-mole on a public mailing list in response to
individual interactions seems a thoroughly ineffective way to change
anything about the Debian-Ubuntu relationship at large.  Still, given that I
have personal knowledge of the bug in question, I can't help but respond...

On Tue, Aug 04, 2009 at 11:18:26PM +0200, Pierre Habouzit wrote:
> On Tue, Aug 04, 2009 at 10:29:11AM +0100, Steve Langasek wrote:
> > I'm sorry that you have a negative impression of Ubuntu's relationship
> > with Debian, but there's plenty of data available that contradicts
> > your conclusion (including BTS reports that have been posted to this
> > very thread).

> The problem is there is also plenty of data, like for example the recent
> #539950 (on a package never uploaded to Debian) which is looking a _lot_
> like LP#408901. In this bug, the Ubuntu developer is (IMHO) trying to
> make the Debian one find, fix and patch the bug for him.

The package has not yet been uploaded to Debian, but the package that was
uploaded to Ubuntu is based on the Debian repo where eglibc 2.10 is being
staged for upload.  Why do you conclude that the Ubuntu developer is trying
to make Debian find and fix the bug?  Do you think that Ubuntu developers
should only communicate with Debian about bugs they already know the fixes
for, and that anything else implies that Ubuntu is expecting Debian to fix
the bug for them?  Is sharing information about known bugs not *also* a
useful form of collaboration?

Do you think Ubuntu developers should not communicate with Debian developers
about possible upcoming regressions?  Or are you only arguing that such
communication should not take place in the BTS?  (I can certainly sympathize
with the latter, since using non-existent version numbers when filing bugs
in the BTS is effectively garbage data; I'm just not clear exactly what your
objection is in this case.)

Given that this is almost certainly an upstream bug, and a regression vs.
2.9, I would think that the Debian maintainers would, in the general case,
welcome being kept in the loop about such a bug.  If that's not true, how
should the Ubuntu developers know this?  In this instance, the bug was
forwarded to Debian by a developer who does a significant proportion of the
glibc work in Ubuntu, and is not an unknown entity to the Debian glibc
maintainers.  If the Debian glibc maintainers don't want to receive warning
about such upcoming issues, or want to receive it by other means, has any
effort been made to communicate this to Matthias?  (Posting to
debian-project certainly doesn't count...)  How in the general case is
Ubuntu developer X supposed to know whether Debian maintainer Y is going to
welcome being kept apprised of upcoming problems they will face when
upgrading to a new upstream version, or will instead regard it as a "dirty

> The problem is (as a DD) that I would expect Ubuntu to collaborate the
> most on the harder core packages, meaning the toolchain, the kernel,
> X... Alas, it happens more coincidentally than on a regular basis, and
> that saddens me.

With the exception of the kernel, where the packaging is more or less a
complete fork between Debian and Ubuntu, I think all of these components are
areas where Ubuntu developers collaborate.  Many of the packages are often
in sync between Debian and Ubuntu (with experimental if not with unstable),
changes originating with Ubuntu are frequently made available in both Debian
and Ubuntu simultaneously when feasible, and when not, the changes are still
(IME) published to Debian ASAP when they make sense in a Debian context.

Now perhaps what you mean isn't that you expect Ubuntu to collaborate
better, but that you expect Ubuntu /to do more of the work/.  That's a
different question, and not one that can be solved at the level of
individual developers - the Ubuntu developer community is much smaller than
the Debian developer community, and if the work output from Ubuntu doesn't
meet your expectations, it's not because Ubuntu developers are sitting idle
waiting for Debian to do all the work.

Given that there is a (healthy) process of Ubuntu contributors continually
being integrated into Debian, I don't think anyone wanting "Ubuntu" to carry
significantly more of the Debian development work is ever going to be

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

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