Bazaar and Debian

Stephen J. Turnbull turnbull at
Fri Jun 21 09:08:44 UTC 2013

Martin Pool writes:

 > +rms

Good idea.  Nevertheless, I will offer some (non-authoritative)
opinions and observations.

 >> On Jun 14, 2013, at 08:03 AM, Russel Winder wrote:

 >>> Given the increasing lack of maintenance of Bazaar, will GNU
 >>> come under pressure to drop it as the preferred DVCS?

It's already under pressure, which has been brushed off.  It seems to
me that Bazaar is unlikely to lose that position until an alternative
GNU VCS is on offer.  Neither git nor Mercurial seems likely to take
that role for political/cultural reasons, and AFAIK projects like
Darcs and Monotone (both already GPL IIRC, but I think Darcs remains
GPLv2?) are not interested in joining GNU.

 >>> The alternative is for GNU to assume responsibility for ensuring
 >>> there is maintenance, but can this happen?

GNU is a collection of projects with a shared goal of creating a
complete operating system (now extended in practice to creating a
complete computing environment).  AFAIK the organization capable of
funding anything (the FSF) considers political, legal, and
infrastructure support more important than direct support, much less
management, of development communities.

 > On 15 June 2013 00:29, Barry Warsaw <barry at> wrote:

 >> ... I personally think it's the most logical future for Bazaar.

An alternative maintainer, yes, but I doubt that that Bazaar is
considered central enough to the GNU mission to get that level of
direct support from GNU.

 > Canonical's Ubuntu Code of Conduct says:  Step down
 > considerately: [...] and maybe it's time for them to do
 > thatmselves, now they've decided to do very little continuing work
 > on bzr.  

 > For GNU become primary project maintainer over seems to require two
 > things:
 > 1- Someone willing to put in the time to being primary maintainer
 > and doing some development or bug fixing. That could be someone
 > from the bzr community or maybe someone coming more from GNU or Emacs.

I have seen a explicit lack of interest from anybody at Emacs, both on
this list and on the Emacs developers' list, and no interest from the
general GNU community on this list.

 > 2- Canonical to hand the baton to GNU.

 > Perhaps if GNU is the main ? maintainer they would want to also be
 > the legal steward too, for copyright etc. The details probably have
 > to be worked out off-list between Canonical management, GNU, and
 > the new maintainers.  Is there someone who wants to become new
 > (co)-maintainer?

In the event that a handoff to GNU can be arranged, there are a couple
of Contributor Agreement refuseniks who might be willing to step up,
at least to provide development effort.  That might depend on whether
GNU is involved enough to want a copyright assignment.

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