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Bug#649274: Forming a new upstream for timidity (and reporting various issues with current deb pkg)


On 11/19/2011 04:39 PM, Neil Williams wrote:
On Sat, 19 Nov 2011 15:05:00 +0100
Hans de Goede<hdegoede@redhat.com>  wrote:

This is a bit unusual bug-report I'm afraid normally I would've
send this as an email to the Debian package maintainer of
timidity, but it seems that timidity is currently orphaned in
Debian :|

There has been no interest from anyone wanting to take over Debian
maintenance of timidity since the previous maintainer orphaned it. It
now has a release critical bug because the current source fails to
build. The bug has been open for 3 months and is sufficient reason to
remove timidity from Debian today. As you've expressed some interest,
I'm willing to not file the removal bug right now but that doesn't
exclude someone else doing precisely that.

In case this much was not clear already note that my interest does not
extend to actually maintaining the Debian package myself.

Given the status of the package in Debian, it is more likely that
timidity will be removed rather than updated.

Understood, I'm just trying to inform anyone who may pick up timidity
for Debian about my work, so that they don't start from scratch.

Maybe once there is a
functioning upstream and a new upstream release, someone may
reintroduce the package into Debian.

CC'ing the only person to express some interest. Geoffrey, if you are
no longer interested in timidity, despite signs of interest from a
possible new upstream, please retitle #585039 as O: instead of ITA:

Hans: have you any clues about the pulseaudio issues?

Joost Yervante Damad comments in the bug report orphaning timidity:
If you want to take over maintenance, be prepared to deal with obscure
pulseaudio issues.

I know of no pulseaudio issues, but note that in Fedora, the default
timidity config will first try to use pulseaudio through libao's pulse
support, before trying alsa (which will end up using pulse through an
alsa plugin) I know that I'm the one who made that change, it could
very well be that I did that because when timidity uses alsa directly
it does so in a way which is not compatible with pulse. Note that we've
had no issues with timidity which are pulse related for a long time know,
so I would not worry about this.

I think it would also be a very good idea, Hans, if you put a short
message on bug #585039 about your interest in a new, fixed, upstream
release as this will be one of the places people will look before
seeking removal of timidity. That said, interest from upstream is not
of itself going to stop removal from Debian.

The reason I'm sending this mail is because one of the Fedora
packages I (co)maintain is timidity. Recently we got a number
of bugreports related to timidity, and one of the conclusions
was that timidity needs some love.

I sympathise, I've felt the same about other packages and gone into the
cycle of getting the SourceForge project re-assigned, porting the code
to current libraries and systems, only to find that the codebase really
cannot sustain a second transition or some dependency simply becomes
abandonware. The workload can gradually become unsustainable and
sometimes it's simpler to just accept that the package has had too much
bit rot already and it would be easier to drop it.

I hear you loud and clear (similar experiences on my side), but
in the case of timidity I think keeping it alive is important, because
it is one of the few software wavetable midi synths we have (and as
such has unfortunately been forked into SDL_mixer, libtimidity and too
many others).

I also went through all the changes in the Debian package, and
were relevant have added those too. Note that I deliberately
did not include a few of the changes from Debian, as I believe
they are wrong! See below for details.

As the potential new upstream, you are welcome to make that decision.
It's better for Debian if there is just a new upstream release and
then someone with sufficient interest (not me!) can look at what might
need to be done to bring the Debian package up to date.

Ok, note though that I'm not all too familiar with timidity
internals myself, hence my attempts to explain my decisions, so that
others can inspect them if they want to.

Sadly, it is more likely that timidity will have to be removed and
then, possibly, reintroduced if (and only if) someone reading this
message gets sufficiently motivated to work on timidity in Debian.


So now I've a nice and polished version of timidity, and given
that the latest official release has been 6 years ago I think
it would be good to do a new official release, hence I've
contacted the current admin and developers of the sf.net
timidity project, hopefully they will allow me to take over
the sf.net project, I would have loved to work together
with the Debian maintainer on forming a new upstream, but alas.

When there is a new release available via SF or some other site,
please update bugs #649274 and #585039. (Don't feel obliged to keep with
SF but generally I've found them supportive when someone offers to
adopt an abandoned project).

They no longer have an official policy for taking over projects, so
I hope that the current admin still reads his email. Once I've a new
release out the door I'll try to remember to update these bugs.

I believe this patch is meant to fix a compiler warning, unfortunately
the patch does more then that, it actually changes the meaning of the code.

... as long as the package now builds on current Debian unstable
(make distcheck using gcc-4.6 with binutils-gold on any current
GNU/Linux distro will be a good test)...

Sorry I cannot comment on the patches themselves, I don't care about
timidity - my only concern is that broken&  abandoned packages in Debian
either find new maintainers or get removed.


Be assured that your effort is respected but unless someone steps up to
maintain your work in Debian, timidity *will* be removed.

Now that timidity is on my radar, I'll keep an eye on it. If nobody
responds to #649274 or #585039 or fixes the fail to build bug #639196
then I will ask for removal of timidity from Debian unstable and
testing in ~ 10 days.


If timidity doesn't get IPv6 support soon, it will end up being removed
from Debian due to other release requirements anyway. That is another
good reason to remove the current version of timidity unless someone
steps up to introduce the new upstream release.

So, overall, there are three very good reasons to remove the current
timidity version from Debian - each of which is sufficient reason for
removal on their own. Someone needs to adopt it and get your new
release uploaded real soon now.




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