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Re: [RFC] New task: science-dataacquisition

On Wed, Dec 10, 2008 at 11:37 PM, Andreas Tille <tillea@rki.de> wrote:
> On Wed, 10 Dec 2008, Kevin B. McCarty wrote:
>> Agreed, I find that in particular very irritating.  How are we to
>> communicate information about our packages to Ubuntu science folk?  It's
>> not at all clear where to email such info other than said mailing list,
>> but I also have never been able to get my emails to the list.  Could
>> they at least whitelist the emails of maintainers of the relevant Debian
>> packages?

I'm the admin of the ubuntu-motu-science list and I'm really sorry if
I missed any of your emails. I'll look into whitelisting *@debian.org
or something. I'm a mailman newb so I've just been moderating all
non-subscriber emails by hand. That said, it seems the list has
basically died out and I would suggest if you have questions to send
them to the more general ubuntu-motu@lists.ubuntu.com list.

> If you ask me the situation would be very simple: If Ubuntu derives from
> Debian I would care for pushing all interesting software straight to Debian
> and later derive with (hopefully) automatical tools. (I do not know Ubuntu
> enough whether this is really done (semi)automatically.)  There is at least
> one positive example (namely Morten Kjeldgaard) who is actually following
> this principle.  The logical consequence in my opinion would be to have
> this debian-science list as common discussion list for packaging scientific
> software.

I think that is largely the state of afairs. Morten has done excellent
work and I've shifted essentially all my scientific packaging pursuits
to Debian Science and Debchem. I even became a DM to help do as much
work as I'm able to in Debian with the limited time I have. Part of
the issue has been, I think, that Ubuntu is primarily IRC-driven and
Debian is much more mailing list-driven so there sort of a
communication mismatch there. I don't think it's an unsurmountable
hurdle or anything, it just needs to be taken into account.

> Well, I'm aware that statements like this might push me into the Ubuntu
> unfriendly Debian maintainer corner.  I can stand with this because I know
> this is not the case.  I just prefer to tackle problems at the source which
> in this case is Debian.  IMHO it would save a lot of time if we would join
> forces here.  So please save your time and do not tell me what a great job
> Ubuntu Science people are doing.  I do not doubt this - I just say it can
> be done more efficiently together.

I certainly wouldn't put you in that corner :-) Ubuntu needs to be
able to take constructive criticism, just like everybody else. For my
part, as the guy that started the MOTU Science team and then had to
let it go as my dissertation got started, I think there is distinct
room for improvement in Ubuntu's handling of science packages that I
just haven't been able to address. For that I do feel bad. If Debian
Science has some suggestions and/or tips that might help things go
better I think Ubuntu would like to know.

We use a Debian/Ubuntu version tracker [0]  to give us information on
how we're doing. We are tracking 696 total packages. Of those only 5
packages ( 0.7%) are not in Sid. Those 5 are old packages we've
imported from elsewhere and frankly aren't worth Debian's time. We
have 4 packages that have a newer version in Ubuntu than what's in
Sid. We should certainly be getting those back to Debian where
possible. Right around 90% of the packages are taken from Debian
without any modification. Only 1.5 % are out of date in Jaunty
(current devel release) with respect to Sid.  Overall I think we're
doing a pretty good job of sticking close to Debian where we can and
not lagging.

The biggest problem I think Ubuntu is having is getting overloaded
with bugs. We have 365 science bugs open currently [1] and that's just
too much for a handful of people to try to get all triaged and
forwarded quickly.

> PS: Please note that I do not answer any mail that tries to turn this into a
>    Debian Ububtu flamewar.  My intent is the contrary of a flamewar and
>    thus I will not stupidly heat the flames.

No flamewars needed :-)  I think Debian and Ubuntu have a lot more in
common than not.


[0] http://qa.ubuntuwire.com/multidistrotools/science.html
[1] https://bugs.launchpad.net/~motuscience/+packagebugs

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