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From: Helmut Wollmersdorfer (helmut.wollmersdorfer_at_gmx.at)
Date: Sun 20 Feb 2005 - 21:40:52 GMT

Stephen Frost wrote:

> In general I feel it's:

> a) bad form to hijack packages from active maintainers
> b) Have multiple source packages in the archive for the same programs
> c) effectively go around the existing maintainer

ACK - mostly.

First I have to disclaim, that I am new to this list, and have no
experience with vserver. I only read the documentation up to now.

Let me tell a success story, which maybe has some similarities compared
to the current situation.

In January 2004 I get involved with DRBD, first trying to use it, then
mastering the the installation, which was hard. Then I corrected ~200
errors in the outdated docs for Version 0.6.10. Developers were busy at
this time getting 0.7.x working. After 8 prereleases 0.7.0 was ready in
July, and the Debian maintainer announced an upload within one week.
This did not happen very long. In the meantime some Debian users -
including me - tried to get packaging and compiling against Debian
kernels working, as 0.7.4 got known "production quality". In October
DRBD got two Co-Maintainers doing great work and discussing actively
with upstream developers. And yes, it got renamed from drbd to drbd0.7
within Debian. There was also a heavy discussion where I defended to
have a working /debian subdirectory at upstream SVN.

Let me list some facts and arguments related to the aims of involved
- upstream developers don't have the time to support distributions
   (except you pay them;-)
- developers should be (and mostly they are) interested to get their
   software tested as early as possible
- some users want the current version, many or most want the latest
   stable version, but are not skilled enough, or do not have the time
   to manage the packaging problems.

Solutions can be:
- the Debian maintainer finds a way to keep in track
- some advanced users provide patches or .debs outside of Debian
- vserver gets Co-Maintainers - if time is the problem

Helmut Wollmersdorfer
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