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Re: buildd/porter/maintainer roles again

Hector Oron <hector.oron@gmail.com> writes:

> Maintainers are the ones that know best their software, they are
> encouraged to maintain their packages in best manner following a strict
> policy and following strict verification and validation procedures. In
> Debian, it is requested to have that software built in all arches (or at
> least as much as you can get). Porters are there to help out, but you
> can not put all the amount of work for all the failing software on an
> architecture to the porters for such architecture.

I must say, as a package maintainer, I've found the interactions with
porting and buildds for more obscure architectures, when I've had to have
those interactions, generally frustrating and unhelpful.

Now, please note, those interactions have been rare.  By and large
everything just works, and when it doesn't, the build logs generally
contain more than enough information for me to figure out what's going
on.  When that fails, logging on to a porter system and doing a build
there has usually let me get to the bottom of the problem.  That part
works great.  The FTBFS bug reports have also normally been quite good.

But if those steps fail and it gets to the point where I'm actively asking
for help, my customary experience has been to never get any reply.  Mail
seems to just disappear into a black hole.  Sometimes this is true even
for a requeue request, although mostly those do get handled, but anything
asking for more details seems to rarely get any reply.

So far, I've usually managed to muddle through and figure out the issue on
my own, and to be fair, it's usually some bug in my package that only got
triggered in very obscure circumstances that made it not entirely
reproducible but which wasn't a problem with that specific architecture.
But the complete silence in response to requests for assistance is, I must
say, rather demotivating.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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