[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

on package removal notifications

On Sat, Apr 14, 2012 at 02:35:05PM +0200, Ricardo Mones wrote:
> > > I hate learning that lesson.
> > 
> > Likewise. Such removals make me want to quit Debian just a little bit
> > more and maintain packages just a little bit less.
>   Yeah, I have to agree, sadly.

I love when we avoid getting emotional and retain our ability to look at
the actual (QA) problems :-) More seriously, I think there are a couple
of intertwined problems here.

- First problem: we have a problem of inertia in removing packages that,
  for various reasons, should not be part of the archive (note: this has
  nothing to do with aafigure and I've no idea if it fits that bill or
  not; nor it matters). Unmaintained packages might create extra burden
  on some teams, such as the security team, who still have to care for
  them. I imagined members of such team might have grown a bit weary of
  such packages and they probably take care of removing them from the
  archive more than others. As it happens, who does some work might make
  a mistake (again: not sure if that's the case for aafigure or not,
  let's stay on the general discussion); who does not is less likely to
  make mistakes...

- Second problem: AFAICT from Jakub's mail, he has been notified of the
  removal only *after* it has actually happened. That has,
  understandably, upset him who might have not had the time to maintain
  the package, but was still interested in having it in the archive. I
  guess that if he had been notified before the actual removal all this
  negative emotions could have been avoided, and he could have brought
  his reasons not to remove the package.  Related to this: package
  removal is a bit of a PITA to undo, unless I'm mistaken.

If the above is correct, it looks like we just need a couple of entirely
_technical_ improvements to avoid bad feelings like this one in the

1) notify the last maintainer of a orphaned package when requesting its
   removal (that could happen automatically --- if someone provides the
   appropriate patch to the appropriate piece of infrastructure --- or
   simply documented as a best practice in devref)

2) make it easy to undo a package removal at the dak level, so that in
   the future people like Jakub can simply request to undo a removal
   actions and we're all as happy as we were before this thread

There is very little we cannot undo in Debian and we tend to be plagued
by inertia. Therefore it is generally better to work on easy way to undo
mistakes and rely more on peer review, than discouraging others to do
something in the future.

Stefano Zacchiroli     zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} . o .
Maître de conférences   ......   http://upsilon.cc/zack   ......   . . o
Debian Project Leader    .......   @zack on identi.ca   .......    o o o
« the first rule of tautology club is the first rule of tautology club »

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: Digital signature

Reply to: