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Distribution-friendly projects - Part 1

Distribution-friendly projects - Part 1

Posted Apr 1, 2008 5:34 UTC (Tue) by eean (guest, #50420)
In reply to: Distribution-friendly projects - Part 1 by Sho
Parent article: Distribution-friendly projects - Part 1

Well I don't know anyone who straddles the upstream/downstream fence more then Diego. But he
really is the exception. This article talks about how they have some fundamental differences.
You may not like the upstream and downstream split, but it exists.

With Amarok, sometimes I end up feeling like downstream is more concerned with packaging
standards and guidelines then quality control. "If it compiles and starts, ship it" kind of
attitude. This is mostly found in non-profit poweruser distros. Examples include a couple
years ago Debian removing (or marking it as "suggested") the Ruby dependency on Amarok,
despite it being required for Lyrics (and now scoring as well). Recently some other distro I
hadn't heard of put Amarok scripts into a different package that wasn't default, breaking
these features. So a user came in to #amarok and blamed Amarok for not handling this issue
better (an issue created by the distro). (Gentoo has a 'ruby' use flag, but I've never heard
of such complaints from Gentoo users, I guess because USE flags are more obvious then random
extra packages.)

However probably the most annoying thing (commercial or not) downstream has done was hire a
Indian programmer to work on media devices for Amarok 1.3 when Amarok 1.4 had totally
re-worked media devices and had been released for a while. But the programmer had apparently
been directed to just use the Amarok that they had packaged already. It was a waste of their
money and a waste of a potential development resources for us. This is kind of a separate
"suits not understanding the most basic parts of collaborative development", which is odd
since it's not so different from in-house development. I had a similar issue recently with
someone adding some nice features for Amarok 1.4 when we have it in a feature freeze; they
didn't communicate with us until after they had done much of the coding.


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