Challenges -- Who's havesting fixes.

Andreas Raab andreas.raab at
Wed May 24 07:42:35 UTC 2006

Hi Stef -

First, I'm not sure what you mean by "bashing". Really, if I bash 
something or someone it looks usually quite different from what I wrote. 
I would even go as far and claim that what I wrote is something that you 
could probably relate to if you were trying to do some package 
maintenance independent from the image maintenance.

But since you asked let's stay calm and look at a few things: For one 
thing, I have not seen any message asking about new versions recently; 
the last time I saw a message where you asked for it 
I responded quite explicitly pointing to the latest versions 
If there has been anything in the meantime please point me to it.

Second, let's look at Mantis. For the issues reported in the categories 
of packages that I maintain there is no indication that they have any 
relations to the changes that happened downstream, which indeed leads me 
to believe that, yes, I am the only person harvesting these packages, 
dealing with the reported bugs and fixes (the other reason is that I 
would expect anyone interested in helping with it to contact me to get 
access to the upstream repositories which I'd be happy to grant but 
which hasn't happened yet). And really, there is nothing wrong with that 
- I said I'd deal with the issues and I am as you can see if you look at 
Mantis and the issues that were resolved since I said I'd do it.

[BTW, for those not following that process almost all of the fixes have 
a discussion thread attached to it which goes to show that I typically 
don't just take the fixes but rather go over them carefully discuss the 
necessary details and integrate them afterwards (or reject them; that 
happens as well) - a process which takes quite a bit of time and care 
and which makes it particularly frustrating to deal with downstream 
changes that just "show up" in an image. I also try to keep the packages 
in sync between the various versions that I use (Squeak, Tweak, 
Tinlizzie, Croquet) and that's even harder].

Third, when I was looking at the latest 3.9, I found that all but a 
single package that I am involved in with maintenance one way or another 
(Balloon, Compression, FFI, Flash, Graphics, ToolBuilder, TrueType; the 
single exception being the GraphicsTests package) have downstream 
modifications that are not in the upstream repositories. Now, I can 
understand why this is *sometimes* necessary, but when I start looking 
at the changes in detail then I found that many of them aren't required 
by other changes (which is the main reason why I could see that they had 
to be included downstream) and that most of these changes really should 
have been done upstream (if at all - they really should be subject to 
the same review process that I am running for changes reported at Mantis 
because otherwise they have a really unfair advantage). And I can't for 
the heck of it find even a single Mantis report at all for any of these 
changes (and again, if there are, please point me to it) or even an 
attempt to communicate about these changes (e.g., no emails that I could 
find talking about these changes either) - they just "appeared" in the 
image at some point (and again if there is a place where these things 
are discussed please point me to it).

All in all, I believe this entitles me to say that for me it's 
frustrating to see these downstream changes that are done outside of the 
currently defined processes, which I believe include that the 
responsibilities for harvesting done in a package lie with the package 
maintainer not with the downstream image maintainer and that changes 
should generally be documented at mantis. And if I'm wrong about this, 
I'd really like a clarification to understand what exactly the role of a 
maintainer is and what is expect of this role. Because the way it is 
right now it *is* frustrating to do package maintenance and all your 
yelling and screaming won't really change that.

   - Andreas

stéphane ducasse wrote:
> andreas
> you mean you are harvesting your packages but nobody else!
> Now I asked several time to get some new version of the maintained 
> packages and I got
> no answer so far.
> So please do not bash us if we harvested a change that was for your 
> package.
> I do not like this kind of game!
> Stef
> On 24 mai 06, at 07:54, Andreas Raab wrote:
>> Peace Jerome wrote:
>>>>> All I wanted was an official answer to the question
>>>>> "Who's havesting fixes."
>>>> so far me and (marcus but he stopped).
>>> Ok. Thank you for the direct answer. (And for taking
>>> the responsibily.)
>> Actually, this is only partially correct. Fixes that belong to 
>> packages are harvested by the package maintainers. It is quite 
>> frustrating for a package maintainer to see downstream modifications 
>> magically appear in some image without even knowing about them.
>> Cheers,
>>   - Andreas

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