<em>If you were maintainer of a significant upstream package, you'd likely realize that it's
easier said than done.</em>
Because the tools are not in place. That's why I said "try".
I don't expect someone to be able to track all downstreams packages. One developer cannot
track all distributions especially because each distribution track changes in a different way.
But if people work together it should be possible to come up with a set of tools to help all
those upstreams maintainers.
One could then do something like:
list-patches ssh ubuntu 8.04
Most distributions work in the open. This information doesn't change overnight and could be
centralized on a server. Maybe distrowatch or something similar.
The tools would help both ways, as distributors would be able to also look at what other
distributors are doing.