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proposal: ITR (was Re: Removing packages perhaps too aggressively?)




On Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 08:14:31PM +0100, Andrej Shadura wrote:
> It has happened to me in the recent years quite a few times that a
> package which I was using has a RoQA bug filed against it, and the
> package's got removed at a very short notice.

For example, dasher was removed (by its maintainer!) because he believed no
one cares about it; the packages wasn't even orphaned.  No one monitors FTP
bugs, the ftpmasters acted swiftly, and the flamewar started only after the
removal was completed.

On the other hand, we have thousands of crap packages no one cares about,
in all three states of maintenance:
* orphaned
* nominally "maintained"
* with a maintainer who actually fixes bugs
yet no one removes them because we don't _know_ whether users would get
hurt, or merely move to an alternative.


Thus, I'd like to propose a new kind of wnpp bug: "Intent To Remove".
It's pretty much the opposite of O:
* if you orphan a package, you claim that you (or the old maintainer) don't
  have enough time, but you believe that Debian is better off with the
  package being kept in the archive
  (batched orphaning (such as by the MIA team) makes no statement for the
  latter part, but that still means no assessment rather than a negative
  one)
* by filing an ITR, you don't disclaim your commitment to the package (if
  you're the maintainer, you may or may not be willing to continue working
  on it) -- but instead, you declare doubt whether the package is still
  needed.

After filing the ITR, if no one objects in a period time, the bug would be
retitled to Ro{M,QA} and shoved towards those guys wearing hats with "FTP"
written on them.  Such a period could be:
* (if we decide to CC ITRs to d-devel): short: a week?
* otherwise: long: 6 months?
We could even have a mix of both of these: packages likely to evoke a
controversy could be discussed upon on d-devel then handled as soon as the
flamerwar abates, while QA spring cleaning would be quiet, massed, and
without haste.

We could have an offshot of wnpp-alert notify you if a package you have
installed has been ITRed.  Perhaps even this could be installed by default,
so users in stable of obscure packages have a chance to act.

As someone who watches the output of qa-rc a lot, most of the time I stare
at the list, ponder "do I fix this? or would RoQA be better?", shrug and
move on.  Instead, we could file hundreds of ITRs, wait, then bury the ftp
folks under a pile of removal requests.

However, ITRs wouldn't be mandatory: the majority of packages can be removed
outright; you'd file an ITR only if you believe there's some controversy.


So, let'd discuss!


One issue: on a small screen, crap font and no glasses, "ITR" looks similar
to "ITP", an alternate acronym could be better.

Meow.
-- 
⢀⣴⠾⠻⢶⣦⠀ The bill with 3 years prison for mentioning Polish concentration
⣾⠁⢰⠒⠀⣿⡁ camps is back.  What about KL Warschau (operating until 1956)?
⢿⡄⠘⠷⠚⠋⠀ Zgoda?  Łambinowice?  Most ex-German KLs?  If those were "soviet
⠈⠳⣄⠀⠀⠀⠀ puppets", Bereza Kartuska?  Sikorski's camps in UK (thanks Brits!)?