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Re: Texmacs orphaned in Debian/Ubuntu

Putting my Debian Developer hat on.


 * DD = Debian Developer = member of the Debian project. Has access to
   the mechanism to place a package in Debian. The name "Developer"
   does not imply any software development work, just membership in
   the Debian project.

 * non-DD: a sapient being that is not a DD

 * hir: his or her

 * TeXmacs: a scientific WYSIWYG document editor (capabilities of
   LaTeX and better) and also interface to various Computer Algebra
   systems. See http://www.texmacs.org/ .

On Fri, Jan 19, 2007 at 09:52:33PM +0100, Joris van der Hoeven wrote:
> On Fri, Jan 19, 2007 at 10:52:34AM -0600, Corey Sweeney wrote:
>> On 1/19/07, Joris van der Hoeven <vdhoeven@texmacs.org> wrote:
>>> On Fri, Jan 19, 2007 at 10:10:41AM +0100, Bas Spitters wrote:

>>>> Texmacs has been orphaned in Debian :-(

>>> What does that mean, exactly? What should we do about it?

>> What that means is that there is no longer anyone on the debian
>> team that is assigned to maintain the debian package for texmacs.
>> So bug reports will not go anywhere, and the version will not get
>> updated.  I believe if a debian package is orphaned for long
>> enough, it can get dropped from the distribution, but don't quote
>> me on that part.

That is mostly correct; technically it won't get dropped solely for
being orphaned (at least not for some years), but if it accrues bugs
above a certain severity level, it will get dropped. These bugs can be
bugs in TeXmacs itself or in the packaging (e.g. a change in Debian
Policy happens, and the package doesn't adapt to the change).

>> Anyway, as to what to do about it, one possibility would be to
>> "campain" for a new maintainer. (I.E. try to find someone who's
>> interested in becoming part of the debian team, and is willing to
>> take on the maintaince of the texmacs package.)

> Yep. Anyone on the list who would like to become the Debian
> maintainer?

I'm not at this point willing to become the Debian maintainer, but I'd
be happy to sponsor a non-DD (someone that is not a Debian Developer)
that wants to become the Debian maintainer. This means he does the
work (and gets all glory and some blame) and I make sure its gets into
Debian (and get most of the blame).

In more detailed terms, someone that is not a Debian Developer
doesn't have access to the "uploading a package to Debian"
process. But (s)he can still prepare a Debian package and be known as
the primary maintainer to the Debian Bug Tracking System, that is be
"the maintainer". (S)he just needs a DD to approve hir packages to get
them in Debian. What I call "sponsor" is this approval process.

This means I would check his work (quality, obeys to Debian Policy, no
obvious "rm -rf /" in the installation scripts, ...) and upload it to
Debian. He would be the one that gets the bug reports, does all the
work, etc, I just make sure that this potentially evil untrusted (by
Debian) person is not trying to install a trojan horse on every Debian
installation that installs TeXmacs.

Obviously, the hypothetical maintainer may (and I'd probably encourage
hir to) start the process to become a DD in parallel. After that
process is finished, (s)he can get rid of me and self-approve hir own

A non-DD maintainer can also find another sponsor than I if (s)he
prefers; I'd suggest debian-mentors@lists.debian.org and
debian-science@lists.debian.org as contact points for that.

In totally unrelated news, I uploaded to the Debian
"experimental" section, linking it to Guile 1.8. I do not make any
promise on whether I will or will not do that for future stable /
unstable releases of TeXmacs.


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