Maintainer/XSBC-Original-Maintainer in Ubuntu packages

Morten Kjeldgaard mok at
Fri Jun 12 12:57:49 BST 2009


I would like us to discuss the merit of the XSBC-Orignal-Maintainer:
policy for "-0ubuntu*" packages in Ubuntu Universe.

These are packages that have been introduced into Ubuntu somehow, either
through REVU or an upstream-upgrade via a MOTU. This post concerns that
type of packages, NOT merged or sync'ed packages.

I think the XSBC-Original-Maintainer field doesn't work as intended, and
that the field Maintainer field is redundant.

Currently, we put the email address of this mailing list in the
maintainer field. That is redundant, because the Maintainer: field of
all packages in universe then is identical. It contributes no
information other than what is already known by the package being in
Universe. From the release string, it is quite easy to determine that
this is an Ubuntu-only package, and it's already known that it's from

One of our big problems is that people (understandably) love to get
packages into Ubuntu e.g. via REVU. But often/occasionally/sometimes it
happens that after getting the package uploaded, the packager
disappears, leaving the package in an unloved and abandoned state.
Although we encourage packagers to subscribe to bugs etc. of their
packages on Launchpad, this is often not done. Perhaps because you have
to remember to go to Launchpad yourself to subscribe to bugs. And, that
is only possible quite some time -- often weeks -- after the package has
been sponsored via REVU.

I suggest that for -0ubuntu* packages, the maintainer field MUST be the
Launchpad ID of the packager/contributor.

That would enable bug subscriptions etc. to be enabled automatically,
and we would have a much better "handle" on the maintainers/packagers.
Quite simply, I think it will make it easier to motivate packagers to
take care of their packages.

Let me underline that for _merged_ packages and Ubuntu _bugfixes_, the
maintainer mangling policy makes more sense, because we cannot expect
Debian maintainers to be responsible for what MOTUs and others have done
 to their packages. Here it makes sense to move the Debian maintainer to
the XSBC-Original-Maintainer: field, and put something else in the
Maintainer field.


Morten Kjeldgaard <mok0 at>
Ubuntu MOTU Developer
GPG Key ID: 404825E7

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