New software created for Ubuntu

Matt Zimmerman mdz at
Wed Jun 9 10:13:54 BST 2010

On Tue, Jun 01, 2010 at 08:24:30AM +0200, Raphael Hertzog wrote:
> On Mon, 31 May 2010, Matt Zimmerman wrote:
> > 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 was speaking of the case where Ubuntu/Canonical developers are the
> upstream developers. I guess upstream maintenance is far more work than
> simple package maintenance and maintaining the package in Debian is not
> much more work.

If you replace "Ubuntu/Canonical" with "Mozilla" or "Linux kernel" or
"", would you say the same thing?  Why or why not?

> In particular if they are already doing it for Ubuntu anyway.

I think Sebastien did a good job of explaining why this is not so simple in

> Not pushing it to Debian means that you miss the feedback of the Debian
> users/developers and you will have additionnal workload as upstream later
> on when someone packages it in Debian anyway.

I don't think we currently suffer from a shortage of feedback (quite the
opposite!), though it would be good to have Debian better represented.  I
don't see the additional workload you referred to, though.

> And it happened a few times now that when this happens the people on the
> Ubuntu side are not very responsive. It sucks because the Debian and
> Ubuntu packages will be out of sync, it sucks because good package
> maintainers like to have the blessing/advice of the upstream authors for
> some changes. :|

As an upstream, we should always strive to be responsive to package
maintainers, and where that isn't happening, it should be discussed openly
(before it escalates to finger-pointing) so that we can understand the
problem and solve it.

> > 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 had that as part of the Utnubu team at some point. It was really not
> used and it's not that easy to find maintainers for software that are not
> yet known because you just started writing them...

If no Debian developer is interested in maintaining the software, then it
won't be maintained in Debian.  Ubuntu can't change that reality.  If the
software is just not that interesting to Debian, then it probably isn't
worth packaging.  If it is interesting, then someone will package it

Why should it matter whether the software originates from Ubuntu or another

 - mdz

More information about the ubuntu-devel mailing list