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Re: Maintainer Responsibilities

On Wed, 03 Jun 2009 05:09:49 +0200, Ralf wrote:

> Kevin Kofler wrote:
> > Steve Grubb wrote:
> >> I don't want to start a long thread, but just to ask a couple questions
> >> for my own clarification. Does a maintainer's responsibilities end with
> >> packaging bugs? IOW, if there is a problem in the package that is _broken
> >> code_ do they need to do something about it or is it acceptable for them
> >> to close the bug and say talk to upstream?
> > 
> > It's the reporter's job to report the bug upstream when asked to do so.
> I disagree. Reporters are "users" - "customers" if you like to.

Consumers. Consumers of a product. And the product (albeit developed by
upstream) is offered by Fedora, as the Fedora packagers prepare and build
the packages for the Fedora software environment. Added value, and as
such it's normal for the packagers to stay at the front with regard
to incoming problem reports.

> You can't expect them to do anything, nor demand them to do anything, 
> nor force them to do anything.

On the contrary, a packager at least ought to have an opinion about every
Fedora bugzilla ticket that is opened for the package. An opinion about
whether a problem is reproducible, whether it may be specific to Fedora,
whether it can be patched for Fedora, whether it is grave enough to be in
need of major rewrites in the upstream code base, whether the report is
not helpful, and so on. The Fedora packager ought to be aware of what the
package users think about how usable the packaged software is in the
Fedora environment.

> That said, I consider it to be a Fedora package's maintainer's job and 
> duty to act as moderator/arbiter/coordinator to initiate appropriate 
> communication/interaction between all different parties (reporter, 
> packager, upstreams) "when necessary/if required".

This is particularly important when upstream doesn't have a bug tracking
system, when it takes weeks till months for a new upstream release, when a
problem requires the user to test unofficial updates (and patches that can
be derived from SCM commits) where the Fedora packager may need to assist.

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