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 
> - 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'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.
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.
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?
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