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Re: Auto-update for sid? Auto-backport?

On Wed, Nov 15, 2017 at 04:43:17PM +0100, Steffen Möller wrote:
> Hello,
> my QA page or our blend's task page (like
> https://blends.debian.org/med/tasks/bio-ngs) regularly informs me about
> updates that should be performed to packages I alone maintain or (more
> likely) with the help of my blend. The updates are often (but now
> always, admittedly) easy to do.
> I would really like to see updates performed in some automated fashion.
> Maybe into a different section of Debian like sid-auto? The problem with
> that obviously is the missing scrutiny by the human maintainer, so it
> cannot go straight into sid. Or can it? Maybe with an auto-created bug
> report against the package so it does not auto-migrate into testing?

We do have DDs who seem to consider "maintaining" their packages to 
consist only of uploading the latest upstream versions and perhaps
look at RC bugs in their packages (sometimes not even that).
IMHO such people are a disgrace for Debian.[1]

Such disgrace maintainers could be replaced with a script
that automatically uploads the latest upstream version.

But who will actually maintain the packages?

Testing before uploading has already been mentioned.

There might also be a "Caveats" section in the upstream
release announcement that should be read and implemented
e.g. in the package dependencies or NEWS.Debian.

An upload is also a good opportunity to check whether there
are fixable lintian warnings.

If the new upstream version does FTBFS everywhere except amd64,
the maintainer is supposed to fix or at least forward this in
a timely manner.

And the maintainer is also supposed to handle all other incoming bugs.

Automated updates for non-leaf packages could also force other people
to fixup the mess they created, e.g. an automatic upload of a broken 
library package at the first day of the month-long summer vacation
of the maintainer would not be good timing.

The part you want to automate is some variant of
  uscan && dpkg-buildpackage && dput
if done manually.[2]

If you want to automate that it is fine, but the majority of maintainer 
work on a new upstream version is what happens after the automated part 
or if the automated part fails. And this maintainer work should happen 
before the package hits users in sid.

> Many thanks for your opinions
> Steffen


[1] I am not talking about teams maintaining popular packages
    where the team simply lacks enough people for handling all
    incoming bugs
[2] exact commands vary depending on personal preferences


       "Is there not promise of rain?" Ling Tan asked suddenly out
        of the darkness. There had been need of rain for many days.
       "Only a promise," Lao Er said.
                                       Pearl S. Buck - Dragon Seed