[Fwd: Naming problem for the "Falcon Programming Language" in Ubuntu.]

Soren Hansen soren at ubuntu.com
Mon Jan 14 18:32:21 GMT 2008

On Mon, Jan 14, 2008 at 05:12:15PM +0100, Stephan Hermann wrote:
>>> That's why I always tell upstream authors to never package their own
>>> software, because they are not objective.
>> I think this is silly. The more familiar the maintainer is with
>> upstream the better, IMO. They need to realise that there are
>> different responsibilities and goals involved, but otherwise, I'd
>> love to have more upstreams maintain their own packages in Ubuntu.
> Well, most of the time it's not. I saw many packages made by upstream
> authors, who are not running the distro they made the package for.
> They didn't have any knowledge about the system, and broke more then
> wanted.

That's a completely separate issue. If people have a genuine interest in
maintaining their software in Ubuntu, I welcome that initiative.

Telling people never to do that because someone else has not been able
to do so properly is not the correct approach, IMO.  I've seen people be
crap at maintaining other people's software as well. Should I start
telling people to never package anything at all?

IMO, you're building a slippery slope out of broken logic.

>>> Neither the users of linux nor the package maintainers of linux can
>>> deal with social problems regarding naming of software projects.
>>> And yes, I know how developers feel, when someone took their name
>>> for a different project...they feel illtreated, but as I said in the
>>> very beginning, this is not an ubuntu or motu problem, it's a
>>> problem between you and dennis and the two "falcon" project. 
>> I'm confused. You keep saying that Giancarlo should not deal with
>> packaging at all, but leave it to something else, but still you want
>> him and Dennis to have the discussion so that we don't have to?
> Yes. Dennis and Giancarlo are both upstream developer for their
> projects, they need to come to a solution. Not the distributors.

As I mention further down, they could happily completely ignore the
existence of each other's projects and lead a perfectly happy life. If
they chose to help resolve this, I consider it a courtesy.

> If both projects still claim /usr/bin/falcon, it's quite ok for me,
> and the distributor has to deal with the problems occuring because of
> name clashes. 

That's *exactly* what we're doing in this thread?

>> It's perfectly possible for Giancarlo and Dennis to not give a hoot
>> about each other's projects. Dennis' Falcon is a python project and
>> Dennis is a python programmer, and Giancarlo doesn't (AFAIK) maintain
>> a debian style repository using falcon, so they could just completely
>> ignore each other (and their respective projects) and go on their
>> merry way. What is their motivation to sort this out if not to help
>> Ubuntu (and other distributions)?
> Well, this discussion is (and that is my PoV) about what was first,
> the hen or the egg. 

The egg was first. What's your point?

> Both are developing software. Now, both were coming up with the name
> "falcon". I don't get it, what is in for Ubuntu or for any other
> distro to decide what naming way the two are going?

Well, for starters Linux doesn't support having two files with the same
name in the same directory? If we want to include both packages in our
archive, we have an interest in solving the obvious namespacing problem?
Having upstream involved in this discussion is A Good Thing[tm].

> My opinion is, that the distributor shouldn't be involved in problems
> of upstream decisions. 

Distributors are some of the most notable direct users of a *lot* of
software. We encounter lots and lots of scenarios that upstreams have no
chance of taking into account and thus we discover problems here and
there. What possible reason could we have for not involving upstream in
those problems?

> If something doesn't match for the distro, the package maintainer will
> solve this for their distro, this decision is not made upstream then. 

Why do you insist on this diversion between distributions and the
various upstreams? We are all working toward the same goal: Improving
the world of free software. Why do so in our respective silos? Why not
raise the issues we might have with one another and help each other fix
them in the way that makes most sense for everyone?

> To come back to my first point, why upstream developers shouldn't
> package their software for distros: Upstream developer don't think
> objectively about their projects. All upstream developers want their
> way injected into the distros, but sometimes this is not right way. 

"All upstreams developers want their way injected into the distros" is
no more true than "all maintainers want their way injected into the
distros" or "all users want their way injected into the distros".
Upstream will (almost by definition) have more expertise about their
software than a maintainer.  I find it completely ludicrous to reject
this expertise outright. I happen to maintain upstream software. What
possible benefit could Ubuntu reap from my not maintaining this software
in Ubuntu?

> And to have this discussion here or e.g. on fedora-devel is not
> important for the upstream project. 

No, but it's important to us?

Soren Hansen
Ubuntu Server Team
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