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Technical Blog of Richard Hughes - Flipping angry with Ubuntu

Richard Hughes
Date: 2007-11-14 17:20
Subject: Flipping angry with Ubuntu
Security: Public
Ubuntu maintainers - why do you fix important bugs in gnome-power-manager and then don't even bother sending me or the mailing list a two minute email mentioning it? Have I ever rejected a patch? Do you guys enjoy patching stuff in private without sharing? I know.... You are really busy before releases.... blaaa blaa blaa. Sorry - I've heard that excuse once too many times.

Seriously, I've ranted about this before. After reading this blog post I figured "I wonder how they are patching gnome-power-manager now" and checked out the link to gnome-power-manager.

Guys, what are you doing? This is not a way to make upstream maintainers happy, and is basically a really bad way to support the Linux ecosystem long term. It makes me really angry when Ubuntu sits pretty and goes with a stance they just can't be bothered with (or have time for) upstream development.

Consequently, some of the bugs that were fixed in the latest release of Ubuntu didn't get into 2.20.1 and so all the other distros have these bugs. This is yet another reason not to recommend Ubuntu to my friends and relatives and shows how little things have really changed. Sorry to be so negative but I'm really ticked off.

EDIT: Okay, maybe this was a bit harsh, it appears the problems were that gnome-power-manager has no maintainer in ubuntu, and hence patches were not getting through. Things look a bit more positive now.
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User: colinleroy
Date: 2007-11-14 18:00 (UTC)
Subject: Not a distro problem
Hi,

You shouldn't generalise to the distro -- it all depends on your package's maintainer. I'm a developer of Claws Mail, and we have a great, great Debian packager that actually forwards bugs upstream, gets patches merged when we accept them. Our Gentoo maintainer is great too. Both of them actually take part in the development process, hang around in our IRC channel and mailing-lists, etc. Our Redhat maintainer is also good at communicating with upstream.

Packagers from other distros, though, range from average to very low. Our ubuntu maintainer, if there is one (we're not in Ubuntu's "main", that probably doesn't help), does crap - no forwarding bugs to upstream, not even reacting to them usually, fixes packaging scripts without understanding them and ending up with wrong dependencies, etc.

I do think there are great maintainers at Ubuntu, only, not all of them are!
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Matthew Garrett
User: mjg59
Date: 2007-11-14 18:10 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I never forwarded the brightness keys fix because I wrote it against a development version and it simply never occurred to me that it hadn't already been fixed upstream. Patches automatically get merged forwards, so I never noticed. Failing to report it is clearly my fuckup, though, and I don't have any real excuse.
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fragglet: Ouch!
User: fragglet
Date: 2007-11-15 09:23 (UTC)
Subject: no maintainer
Keyword:Ouch!
Having no maintainer shouldn't affect whether the patches are submitted. Surely there should be something as part of the Ubuntu development process to handle packages that don't have developers? If not, it sounds like this needs fixing.
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