Request for an open dialog between projects

info at info at
Thu Mar 31 15:29:25 UTC 2011

Jonas (Adrian, Benjamin)

I've given this a bit more thought and firstly Jonas don't put too much
weight in the 'mongrel dog' was just a (failed) attempt at
viewing derivatives with a bit of humor. I don't pretend to know what you
like or dislike, just what possibilities are within the Debian framework
to keep things efficient. ;)

Perhaps a combination of all ideas could work like this:

I personally bring pkg-multimedia related bugs to this mailing list from
my users that they report to my forum. That way you deal with only one bug
reporter from AV Linux (me) and the unique identifier that Adrian alluded
to is simply my name on this mailing list and the info I provide. This
also lets me determine if the bug is worth reporting to you or it is
something I can fix or address with the upstream developer to save wasting
your time.

Regarding fixes, like you guys I am personally in contact with many of the
upstream developers as well, for instance I recently have worked closely
with Yoshimi's developer on fixing some bugs on his 0.060 series that you
guys I'm sure will be interested in. In this way I can get help with bugs
and hopefully equally contribute some information to help fix them or make
you aware of upstream developments that you may not have noted yet.

I am preparing my user manual for the 5.0 release and would like to put a
"Support" section in there to clarify how to get help. To paraphrase our
discussion here I will explain the difference between my packages and
yours and suggest people report all bugs to me first, and then go from
there depending on if it is pkg-multimedia related or not.

Does this sound like a workable arrangement?


> On Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 03:03:30PM -0700, info at wrote:
>>I truly appreciate what Adrian is proposing and appreciate as always
>>that willingness to help especially with JACK and ffado etc.
>>I do understand that an idea like Adrian's somewhat can be seen as a
>>'slippery slope' and if you let one mongrel dog in from the cold soon
>>you will have ten of them all with specific needs that differ from
>>Debian's core mandate.
> Either I lost you or you are confusing who said what:
> Benjamin suggests to tell your users to bypass us and go straight
> upstream with bugs in upstream code.
> I recommend to report all bugs at the upstream level closest to you, the
> way that upstream level prefer to have them reported.
> Adrian suggests that you systematically add a hint that the packages are
> tied to a derived distribution.  I am not against that specifically, but
> am concerned generally that lowers awareness among _end-users_ about who
> are their closest upstream compared to who they are reporting bugs to.
> It seems to me that the "mongrel dog" you are talking about is derived
> distributions, and that I dislike working with those.  I don't!  I love
> Debian being used - both directly by end-users and by indirectly via
> derived distributions like yours.
> My concern is another: It is to help you as derivative and your users to
> maintain a good relationship with Debian.  Debian consists of a big
> bunch of individuals and teams, not all of them equally happy working
> with bugreports coming from all corners of the world.  Heck, some even
> dislike working on bugs coming from me, even if I am a Debian Developer
> for 10+ years.  One thing I believe helps in communication is to talk
> straight.  Here it means that the person filing a bugreport - end-users
> of your derived distro - are aware that they are using a derivative, and
> that they are filing the bugreport and discussing it with someone who
> are quite likely unfamiliar with that particular derivation and might
> have political opinions against working with derivatives or whatever.  I
> believe it is better to educate end-users about this than to add a tag
> to the initial bugreport.
>>It is not lost on me that the rigorous and unflinching adherence to
>>it's ideals and conventions is what make Debian the wonder that it is,
>>and what makes it the ideal choice for projects like mine.
>>To be blunt what I am asking really is for you to be aware of my
>>project and in the infrequent case that a bug report comes your way for
>>a pkg-multimedia issue to say "OK we've heard of it and we'll see if we
>>can help" rather than 'AV Linux...never heard of it, go away!"
> If (or when, because it _does_ happen) we say "go away" to _indirect_
> users of Debian, I believe we violate §4 of the Debian Social Contract:
>> Our priorities are our users and free software
> Indirect users are users too, IMO.  Some may disagree and say that only
> direct users of Debian are "our users" which means it is only our
> priority to talk to _you_ the maintainer of the derivative, not your
> users.
> Since Adrian do not suggest to have you always work as proxy between
> your users and us, I feel we basically agree on interpreting as indirect
> users also being our users.  And I recommend to help teach them what is
> the relationship when they report bugs directly to their "grandparents".
>   - Jonas
> --
>     * Jonas Smedegaard - idealist & Internet-arkitekt
>     * Tlf.: +45 40843136  Website:
>     [x] quote me freely  [ ] ask before reusing  [ ] keep private
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