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Re: buildd/porter/maintainer roles again

Peter Samuelson <peter@p12n.org> writes:

> There is a perception, which may or may not be grounded in reality, that
> _most_ FTBFS from the Debian buildds are either toolchain, kernel, or
> libc issues.  It is certainly my perception.

This has not been my experience.  I'm sure it depends on the types of
packages that one is working with, but the main reason for FTBFS problems
with my packages have been bugs in the package, followed distantly by
weird problems with package dependencies that weren't straightforward
enough to be caught by dep-wait.  I may have gotten a toolchain, kernel,
or libc issue once, if that.

I've certainly seen a lot of issues where a package build mysteriously
failed during testing on only, say, s390 and looked like a problem
specific to that platform, but turned out to be an uninitialized variable
that just happened to be 0 on every other platform's build but garbage on
that one.

> Do you, as a porter and buildd admin, have a rough idea what percentage
> of FTBFS and arch-specific bugs you see that are ultimately a bug in the
> package, versus an externality like a bad build chroot, bad kernel, bad
> system library, or bad toolchain?  If we're talking about 90% vs. 10%,
> for example, that would inform who should really be on the front line
> triaging this stuff.

My personal experience is that 80-90% of them are bugs in the package.

It's worth remembering that most FTBFS bugs are noticed by the maintainer
or reported as a bug against that one package and simply fixed, without
ever getting any broader attention.  Perceptions based on what turns up in
debian-devel or debian-release will be skewed since there you only see the
strangest and most frustrating problems.

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

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