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Re: Some observations regardig the progress towards Debian 3.1

On Sat, Nov 15, 2003 at 07:01:07PM +0100, Thomas Hood wrote:
> On Sat, 2003-11-15 at 17:42, Adrian Bunk wrote:
> > If a maintainer is MIA, his packages should be orphaned and he should
> > be kicked out of Debian as soon as possible.
> It would be better _not_ to make it a policy to kick a maintainer
> out of Debian just because he or she is MIA.  Faced with this
> prospect, a developer is more likely to cling to packages that he
> no longer has time to maintain. (He can do this by remaining visible
> while still not really doing anything.  This is already a problem.)
> Packages should be taken away from deadbeats, but perhaps deadbeats
> should be offered some sort of semi-retired status from which they
> can return if they find more time to contribute to the project.

There's perhaps a misunderstanding between us what "MIA" stands for.

I'm talking about maintainers who silently stop taking care about their 

This is part of the problem why there are so many open RC bugs.

If someone e.g. announces he'll be away for half a year and he either
orphans his packages or finds co-maintainers for the time he's away 
that's not a problem.

> As for the problem of retarded releases ...  Debian releases about
> as fast as it can.  The problem is not (as you suggest) that people
> don't know how old Woody is; it is (as you also note) that the job
> is very big.  Incanting the SC won't make additional work happen.

My note regarding the technical commitee wasn't meant directly in 
conjunction with releases.

> I didn't notice any new ideas in your message about where to find
> the additional man hours.  (Here is one: Encourage developers to
> use the time that they would normally spend fighting flamewars on
> debian-* to fixing bugs.)  As for dropping packages from a release --

The main problem is IMHO a different one:

Debian is in practice in many areas still a very chaotic organization. 

The problem isn't finding additional man hours, the problem is better 
using the available man hours.

This needs structure, e.g. in the form of a release plan that is both 
realistic and used, and by e.g. organizing bug squashing parties to both 
fix bugs and identify MIA maintainers.

> this practice is better than the alternative which is to release
> Debian with critically broken packages.

But fixing the bugs in the packages would be even better...

> I think that it may be time for Debian to admit that users that
> require frequent releases should not expect those releases to come
> straight from Debian.  They should take a look at one of the fine
> distributions based on Debian or else pay someone to make periodic
> custom releases that suits their needs.

I don't think this is true, but if this is true it should be announced 
that Debian turned into a hackers-only distribution that shouldn't be 
used on serious systems (when we are talking about "frequent" we are 
talking about once a year, which would be far better with the current 

> Thomas Hood <jdthood@yahoo.co.uk>



       "Is there not promise of rain?" Ling Tan asked suddenly out
        of the darkness. There had been need of rain for many days.
       "Only a promise," Lao Er said.
                                       Pearl S. Buck - Dragon Seed

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