Thursday, October 30, 2008

RC-Bugs / Debian Bug Sprint

The Debian Lenny release has still quite a big list of Release Critical bugs, and as Debian developer I feel that I should do my share, and at least look at the list of bugs and see if there's any I could do something for.

Almost always though, I find that I won't touch the remaining bugs in the list.because of one or more of these reasons:

  1. a package I really don't care about
  2. hugely complex package or might also use something obscure like cddb
  3. it seems like people are already looking into it
  4. it requires a political solution, not a technical one

As part of the effort to get Lenny released, Joss Mouette started the Debian Bug Sprint.
This is really a cool concept, and it is a shame not more people participated.

The reason for me it is cool is that it forced me to break the rules I mentioned above, because I got a bug which fitted 1 and 4 of my list above!

Turned out this bug is really a border case in interpretation of Debian policy.

The package is perfectly usable without any extern dependencies, hence it is currently in the main section of Debian. However it doesn't end there. The package also has a download script that can fetch firmware images for certain printers. It appears for people with these printers the package is NOT usable without external files.

Aparantly though, the current, as one person involved in the bug calls it, "spirit" of Debian is to tolerate this, as it is good enough that it is usable without external dependencies for SOME persons.

However the bug submitter doesn't agree, and thinks this is a case that needs addressing withing the Debian project.

I suggested splitting up the package and moving the download script to contrib, but this was mostly dismissed as idea.

The end result is that the maintainer decided to escalate the problem to the Debian CTTE.
This means it probable won't be solved by today, soo I will have to bake cookies for someone :)

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