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Re: The Python mess in Debian (was: Re: On cadence and collaboration)

On 2009-08-08, Bernd Zeimetz <bernd@bzed.de> wrote:
> Wrong. Several people tried to contact Matthias on various ways and never got a
> reply. He also completely failed to communicate with those people who maintain
> most Python related packages on Debian, except during Debconf. This is *NOT* the
> way how Python should be maintained. Actually several people already thought
> abut hijacking Python due to the complete lack of communication with the Python
> Maintainer, who prefers to force his changes on people instead of finding an
> acceptable resolution. While I think that large parts of this are the result of
> him being overworked due to Ubuntu stuff, this is not the way how things should
> go. During Debconf [1] came up, but I can't see it happen soon as there are
> *way* too many problems with the proposal, and it would bring us back to
> pre-Etch areas..
> There were rumours that Python 2.6 was not uploaded to unstable due to bugs or
> missing things in python-support, but as usual there was no bug filed, and
> nobody talked to the python-support maintainer.

I think there were at least two things (I think not check them, but from memory
what Matthias told me):

 * python-support breaks upstream assumptions about relative imports.
 * python-support does not always have stable symlink handling, i.e. they
   should maybe be shipped by the package instead.  (I'm relatively unsure
   about this though, as I don't recall the program; but I think it also
   has to do with the fact that you sometimes need to call update-python-
   modules from maintainer script.)

It might be true however that most of the issues he has left did not manifest
themselves in bug reports, probably because the personal relationship of the
two maintainers misses some trust and needs a neutral party to communicate it.

Matthias also stated during UDS that he wouldn't mind python-central to be
dropped when some remaining issues in python-support are fixed (at the very
least the first point above).  I don't know if Debconf changed something
in this regard.

Anyway I don't know how responsive he is wrt emails.  I can understand that
the hostility on d-python didn't help in that regard, but maybe To'ing or
Cc'ing him on some mails might help.

Kind regards,
Philipp Kern

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