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Re: How should we deal with bad maintainers?

On Fri, Mar 28, 2014 at 10:21:06AM +0100, Gergely Nagy wrote:
> Raphael Hertzog <hertzog@debian.org> writes:
> > assume that a package maintainer is active but is doing a bad job
> > regarding our standards (things like ignoring problems in stable, breaking
> > backwards compatibility for no good reason, not packaging new upstream
> > versions in unstable, etc) and is not really cooperative (closing bugs
> > hastily, not responding to help offers).
> >
> > What shall we do in those situations?
> >
> > Best case, I'm very motivated and I hijack the package but assume that I'm
> > just interested in having a working package because it's a dependency of a
> > package that I use but that I don't care enough to take it over. What are
> > my options?
> On a similar topic, a couple of years ago, there was an effort to set up
> a salvaging process. Not quite for the situation Raphael describes, but
> somewhat related. My question to both candidates would be: what's your
> opinion on salvaging packages? If favourable, what do you think, could
> move it forward?

I'm certainly keen to ensure the salvaging work goes ahead - to move it
forward though I think it needs a bit of work done on dev-ref to
formalise it, and have it proposed. We should make sure we're not
duplicating the work of the MIA team.

For maintainers who are active, and there's a technical disagreement
about how a package is maintained, then the tech-ctte is the correct
place to take the issue.

Debian has a strong bond between packages and maintainers, which has
both good and less good attributes. The advantage is that there's a
person who knows the package intimately and is also responsible for it,
but can cause issues if they disappear. We should try and mitigate the
latter to ensure that the project can move on when this happens.


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