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Re: On cadence and collaboration

On Fri, Aug 7, 2009 at 00:30, Michael Bienia<michael@bienia.de> wrote:
> On 2009-08-06 16:25:47 +0200, Matthias Andree wrote:
> [I'm Ubuntu developer (MOTU to be more specific), so I might be biased]
> I certainly won't excuse some things that are not happening, I know that
> Ubuntu needs to improve in some aspects. But realising this and get
> things improved are still not the same. I just want to add some data
> which hopefully explains why things are happening or not happening.
> I'm sorry about this but the amount of bugs flowing in into Ubuntu is
> bigger that can be handled by the available man power, being it
> developer or community members.
> Bug #200000 was filed March 2008
> Bug #300000 was filed Nov 2008
> Bug #400000 was filed Jul 2009
> This is around 100000 bugs per 9 months, or around 350 bugs per day.
> While these might include also bugs filed only on projects using
> Launchpad for bug tracking, the fast amount of them are filed on Ubuntu
> packages.
> While this is not really pleasant but it's happening that some bugs are
> not looked upon for month (or even longer).
> Unlike Debian, Ubuntu hasn't this one maintainer per package approach
> (don't know about other distributions). In Ubuntu whole teams are
> responsible for the components: core-dev for packages in "main" and MOTU
> for packages in "universe" and "multiverse". Both approaches have there
> pro and con.
> For and a package being in "main" doesn't necessarily mean that it's
> better maintained than packages in "universe" (on a best effort basis).
> They might only be in "main" because they are needed by an other package
> in "main" (sorry, don't know the reason for bogofilter being in main).
> While Debian has over 1000 persons with upload rights, Ubuntu counts
> only 135 persons with upload rights (from those only 56 can upload to
> "main"). At the same time there are over 3000 source packages in "main"
> and over 12000 source packages in "universe".
> One can easily see that this won't work to get every package the amount
> of care that it deserves. So in the end many packages are taken
> unchanged from Debian.
> Yet bugs don't stop getting filed in Ubuntu and need to be looked at and
> acted accordingly.

This internal view shows how Ubuntu developers are already
under-staffed; so where will the resources for "collaboration" be
taken from? If current developers do not even have the time to look at
bugs, how can they work on the "collaboration" tasks and at what
price? for both of us:

- for Ubuntu, because you have to redirect attention of a developer to
another task, while he had already too many to work on;
- for Debian, because we *can* (it's a possibility) receive work of
"low" quality; consider the generic Ubuntu developer that must work
(because his time was committed to it) to do a "collaboration" task:
what can happen is that he prepare a rough solution, sent to debian in
a sense "hey, take it, I've done my work, it's an ugly hack but I have
no time to prepare an elegant solution; Now I got to go, I have
another 1000 things to do". I'm not sure it will happen, but I fear it

How can this be solved?

I used Debian just to keep the example real (and because it's the
distro I care about).

Sandro Tosi (aka morph, morpheus, matrixhasu)
My website: http://matrixhasu.altervista.org/
Me at Debian: http://wiki.debian.org/SandroTosi

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