Challenges -- Who's havesting fixes.

stéphane ducasse ducasse at
Wed May 24 10:20:30 UTC 2006

A good soul pointed to me my own email :)

No, you didn't dream, it was


But of course everybody could have missed it like me :)
What a zombie am I...


On 24 mai 06, at 09:42, Andreas Raab wrote:

> 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  
> ( 
> January/099843.html) I responded quite explicitly pointing to the  
> latest versions ( 
> dev/2006-January/099871.html) 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.
> Cheers,
>   - 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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