New software created for Ubuntu

Iain Lane laney at
Tue Jun 1 19:23:36 BST 2010


On Mon, May 31, 2010 at 04:03:52PM +0100, Matt Zimmerman wrote:
>On Fri, Apr 30, 2010 at 11:33:09AM +0200, Raphael Hertzog wrote:
>> Ubuntu is developing more and more software of its own and often Debian
>> reintegrates the software but later on. I wonder why you are not
>> integrating new software immediately in Debian:
>> - you would benefit from the feedback of the debian community sooner
>>   and avoid some packaging churn later on [1]
>> - even when you have constraint of integration with other software in
>>   debian and that you're blocked, you can have a ubuntu-specific packaging
>>   thanks to the dpkg-vendor framework and still share the source package
>>   between both distributions
>> - you would have some explicit responsibility in maintaining the software
>>   that you create
>When discussing this problem, I think it's important to bear in mind the
>difference between "packaging for Debian" and "maintaining in Debian".  The
>former is a relatively easy (for Ubuntu software) one-time event.  The
>latter is an ongoing commitment and investment of time and effort.

It is, but we are talking about Ubuntu (Canonical?) developed software 
here. I presume that the developers are committed to maintianing their 
packages in Ubuntu. Maintenance in Debian is not much effort beyond 
that; receiving and responding to bugs as apporpriate, as well as making 
sure that the software is well integrated into Debian. This shouldn't 
require much (if any) work over getting the package working in Ubuntu.

>It's easy to ask why, if a program is already packaged for Ubuntu, why it
>shouldn't be in Debian as well.  The reason is that it needs a maintainer in
>Debian.  We can't simply copy the packages across.  Each package in Debian
>requires a maintainer who is looking after it, who is actively keeping up
>with Debian procedures, watching the Debian bug list, and so on.

I would propose that the teams (Desktop, DX, …) form alioth teams to 
maintain their packages as appropriate. We have enough Ubuntu developers
who are also Debian developers and can sponsor.

>Sometimes, this can be the same person, but usually not.  Regardless, it is
>a significant additional workload (especially if the person is not a DD
>Thus, I don't think it's reasonable to expect Ubuntu packagers (in general)
>to also maintain their packages in Debian.  Where individual circumstances
>permit, this is of course a good thing, but it can't be a prerequisite for
>doing Ubuntu packaging work.

I don't think I agree. It seems to me like this wouldn't be so much more 
work, but would in the end provide for better software, and better 
Debian-Ubuntu relations (Debian wouldn't so much be Ubuntu without the 
shiny bits).

>Perhaps a useful middle ground would be to create a system to connect Ubuntu
>packages which are not yet in Debian with Debian developers who are
>interested in packaging them?

We talked about this in the session. #debian-ubuntu is open for 
business. But in the specific case raised in the OP to this thread, 
Debian developers were interested in porting the packaging of some 
Ubuntu software and were trying to engage with the Ubuntu developers but 
apparently without success. This seems like something to fix.

> - mdz

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 198 bytes
Desc: Digital signature
Url : 

More information about the ubuntu-devel mailing list