Patch Pilot Report 2011-03-07

Brian Murray brian at
Tue Mar 8 16:33:46 UTC 2011

On Tue, Mar 08, 2011 at 10:06:44AM +0000, Dave Walker wrote:
> On 08/03/11 02:45, Bryce Harrington wrote:
> <SNIP>
> >719324: ubuntu-geoip - GET should be uppercase
> >         Already approved, uploaded and pushed to bzr trunk
> >
> <SNIP>
> I starting reviewing this one the other day and left it as a
> "Comment" rather than "Needs Fixing".  The proposed branch (now
> merged) edits the upstream code directly, but the package is of
> format 3.0 (quilt).  I admit I should have set a more appropriate
> review type.  Additionally, I commented that perhaps it should be
> contributed directly upstream (particularly as it's a package native
> to Ubuntu), and has a Ubuntu derived Vcs-* field defined in
> debian/control.
> This means that the changes have been generated into an automagic
> patch in debian/patches/debian-changes-0.0.2-0ubuntu5.  Now we have
> a situation where what is in the archive [0], doesn't match what is
> in the UDD branch [1].
> Last week, I had a similar situation where I dput'd and pushed to
> the UDD bzr at the same time, and someone else uploaded the same
> version bump around 10 minutes before me; causing mine to be
> rejected and theirs was now already accepted.
> I was worried about this, so James Westby kindly explained that a
> branch mismatch between the archive and UDD should mean that the
> package-importer uncommits, land the version from the archive and
> raises a merge proposal for the delta (nice!), however there seems
> to be a bug at the moment.  Although, neither the Maintainer, Last
> Uploader or Signer (sponsor) is made aware of it automagically.
> Now, this is a tricky situation because we have three differing
> branches.  Those that normally upload this package are no doubt
> expecting their Vcs-* branch to have trumps, so will continue
> committing there.  If they attempt to upload
> 0.0.2-0ubuntu4_0.0.2-0ubuntu5, they'll become aware that there is a
> difference by their package being rejected.  However, if they were
> to upload a new upstream version, the resolution that this bug was
> trying to address will be lost.
> When I was reviewing this branch, I did try and reconcile the UDD
> ancestor based merge proposal and the ~ubuntu-desktop one, but lack
> of common ancestor and attempting to declare a base rev seemed to
> fail.... and for the small size of the patch, i gave up and
> suggested the merge proposal author rebase against the Vcs-* branch.
> I was tempted to do this myself setting the --author tag
> appropriately, but there is a fine line between trying to be helpful
> (do the right thing), and doing too much.  Equally, I didn't feel
> comfortable committing to another teams branch, as I have commit
> access to lp:~ubuntu-desktop/* through inheritance of teams, rather
> than direct membership... which would mean raising a new merge
> proposal... which takes the original author out of the loop.
> Another issue i'd like to raise that is related is UDD mismatches,
> there is an example here - not a major one, but another minimal
> example is [2].  A merge proposal author has gone to the effort of
> submitting code based on a UDD branch, which is the wrong version as
> the package-import failed; this means that somebody needs to
> reconcile the versions... without a current UDD branch, this is near
> impossible - which means reverting back to traditional development
> by creating a bzr based debdiff to apply to the the flat source...
> meaning that UDD has not won this situation.
> I think what I am trying to raise, is some work flow process...
> * With traditional development, we get a warning if we apt-get
> source and a Vcs-* field is set, with UDD we do not.

I'd wanted to do things the UDD way and got the branch using bzr
lp:ubuntu/ubuntu-geoip and didn't look at the debian control file.  I
think a bzr plugin could help with this by warning the user if there is
some team branch of the package.  Incidentally, team branches
are something I find quite confusing and makes me less likely to
contribute to them.  Finally, I find it somewhat hard to believe that
what amounts to a 3 character change requires this much work from so
many people.

Also in my mind this patch was simple enough that I thought it was worth
fixing in Natty straight away rather than proposing a merge for the
upstream code and waiting for them to create a new package.  (Not so
much because the bug was important but because I think it is beneficial
for the patch author to see something done with their contribution right
away.  Having "your name in lights" is great way to recognize them.)

Brian Murray
Ubuntu Bug Master
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