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How to handle conflict well




We recently had a much better demonstration of how to handle a
situation where someone made a mistake, and exceded their authority
when uploading, on d-private.

With the names and identifying features removed, here are the messages
from the maintainer, the contributor, and the sponsor.  I have not
included messages in the thread from others; those were generally very
positive about the way this was handled.

Ian.


From: Alice Maintainer
To: Bob Contributor
Cc: debian-private@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, Carol Sponsor
Subject: Your recent upload of somepkg
Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2018 11:53:26 GMT
Resent-Message-ID: <yet2TvGiRd.A.fSC.vAe1aB@bendel>

Hi,

Your recent upload of somepkg to unstable surprised me. You did not
follow the NMU procedure as far as I can tell.

I know I left some mails unanswered, and I have nothing to reproach on
a technical level. However, I don't understand the emergency of this
upload that would justify breaking the rules.

In case of emergency, [there is another way to contact me and I
wasn't contacted that way related to Debian recently].

Alice


From: Carol Sponsor
To: Alice Maintainer
Cc: Bob Contributor, debian-private@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: Your recent upload of somepkg
Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2018 12:38:19 GMT
Resent-Message-ID: <2bubp_SKXCF.A.n6C.Wqe1aB@bendel>

On Tue, Apr 17, 2018 at 01:53:03PM +0200, Alice Maintainer wrote:
> Your recent upload of somepkg to unstable surprised me. You did not
> follow the NMU procedure as far as I can tell.
>
> I know I left some mails unanswered, and I have nothing to reproach
> on a technical level. However, I don't understand the emergency of
> this upload that would justify breaking the rules.
>
> In case of emergency, [there is another way to contact me and I
> wasn't contacted that way related to Debian recently].

I'm terribly sorry if I assumed things I shouldn't have.

However, I'm just about to depart for a week[1], and I'm too busy
packing to even investigate the issue.  My good phone just broken, so
I'm unsure if I'll have adequate connectivity to respond.  Thus, I'm
afraid I have nothing but this apology to what turned out to be a
semi-hijack.  I seriously hope this won't be taken similarly to
yesterday's flamewar about gjots2.

My fault is that I looked only at the technical side of Bob's
improvements, without even bothering to ask whether adding themselves
as a co-maintainer was discussed with you.  I'm sorry to hear you take
this badly -- but, any change in unstable can be easily reverted
(although I don't believe you'd want to revert the contents of this
upload, at most the metadata).  In any case, there's enough folks
around who, unlike me, have adequate social skills and can mediate.


Good day

(Nothing private in this mail; house isn't left empty.)

[1]. Somecity until Saturday evening; if any readers of -private would
want beersigning, it would be awesome.
-- 


Resent-Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2018 15:30:18 +0000 (UTC)
From: Bob Contributor
To: Alice Maintainer
Cc: debian-private@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx,  Carol Sponsor
Subject: Re: Your recent upload of somepkg
Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2018 15:30:33 GMT
Resent-Message-ID: <7R1idsqKVvO.A.koB.KMh1aB@bendel>

Hi Alice,

It is so great to hear from you.  Thank you for your long endeavor of
maintaining somepkg.  I would never come upon this beautiful piece of
software should you not introduce it to Debian.

Alice Maintainer writes:

> Your recent upload of somepkg to unstable surprised me. You did not
> follow the NMU procedure as far as I can tell.

Thank you for pointing it out and sorry I haven't read carefully the NMU
procedure at

  https://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/developers-reference/pkgs.html#nmu

And now I see I failed to follow the procedure as per,
,----
| When doing an NMU, you must first make sure that your intention to NMU
| is clear. Then, you must send a patch with the differences between the
| current package and your proposed NMU to the BTS.
`----

Last weekend, I did not investigate the literature and went ahead to ask
for advice on #debian-devel.  I thought adding myself as an uploader was
the quickest way to achieve my goal.  I will be careful next time.
Actually, as Carol said, feel free to revert my changes.

The public conversation over #debian-devel was
(oftc/\#debian-devel/2018-MM-DD.log)

,----
| [HH:06:50] <Bob> [ I'm a DM and I want to upload somepkg,
|                    maintained by Alice.  It's rather out of
|                    date and the maintainer seems not to have time.
|                    How can I be made an uploader ? ]
| 
| [HH:11:59] <bystander> [ The package is in collab-maint.
|                          So you just need to have it
|                          sponsored by a DD. ]
| 
| [HH:14:47] <Bob> [ bystander: Thanks.  Would you be able to
|                    sponsor me ?  The package is a small one
|                    for rotating stoats.  It won't take up
|                    too much of your time. ]
| 
| [HH:15:33] <bystander> [ I'm aware of somepkg, but I'm afraid
|                          I don't have time to do this.  Sorry. ]
|
| [HH:16:15] <Bob> [ bystander: OK, thanks anyway. ]
|
| [HH:18:35] <Carol> [ I can sponsor it. ]
|
|  [ rest of irc transcript is details, deleted -iwj ]
`----

> I know I left some mails unanswered, and I have nothing to reproach on
> a technical level. However, I don't understand the emergency of this
> upload that would justify breaking the rules.

Sorry again, there is neither distribution-wise nor release-critical
emergency.  The urgency was only about my private project of a
large-scaled [ self-rotating weasel reciprocator ].

The [ support for black-tipped-tails ] introduced in somepkg-2.3.4 [1]
was very useful to us.  We have been running un-official .deb
somepkg-2.3.4 for all the amd64 nodes since last year.  But as there
are many kinds of [mustelids] in our [farm], like mipsel, arm64, armel
and armhf, i386 and i386-kfreebsd to care about.  I thought it would
be much easier for us to initiate a version bump in debian than to
compile one separate package for each ISA ABI.

> In case of emergency, [there is another way to contact me and I
> wasn't contacted that way related to Debian recently].

Sorry again, I am not aware of [this].  I will [use it in
future].


Thanks again for your long term effort on somepkg, secondpkg and
thirdpkg.  They are among my favorite packages of Debian.  All of my
laptops, desktops, servers and compute clusters have them installed.

Cheers,
Bob

1. https://github.com/someuser/somepkg/blob/master/CHANGES



From: Alice Maintainer
To: Bob Contributor
Cc: debian-private@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, Carol Sponsor
Subject: Re: Your recent upload of somepkg
Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2018 16:37:32 GMT
Resent-Message-ID: <PTyFFw7SZf.A.pxE.HLi1aB@bendel>

On 17/04/2018 17:11, Bob Contributor wrote:
>> In case of emergency, [there is another way to contact me and I
>> wasn't contacted that way related to Debian recently].
>
> Sorry again, I am not aware of [this].  I will [use it in
> future].


I am not asking you to [use an emergency contact mechanism] every time
you want to update one of my packages! I must admit that I am quite
busy these days and I read my Debian-related mails not as often as I
wish. Just respect the rules, Debian is pretty-well designed in my
opinion if everyone respect the rules. I don't want to receive
[unexpected contacts via exceptional channels].

Just to be clear: I didn't consider the update of somepkg an
emergency, and I don't have any technical objection (honestly I don't
have time to review your changes). I just didn't find the time to do
it myself. I am sorry I didn't reply to any of your mails but I don't
know you so I thought I could afford to not reply. The last ping was
from Dave Upstream themselves on April 8th on my professional mail
(which is publicly available, and which I read daily) and I was going
to reply to them this morning when I realized that somepkg was already
uploaded... and they didn't even mention that an NMU would be done if
I didn't reply (I'm not sure they're aware of Debian rules, though). I
think I am pretty well connected to be reached by email via someone I
know (for example, I know bystander which is quoted in your IRC
transcript and I didn't receive any mail from them).

Note: I wasn't aware of the gjots2 flamewar on debian-devel when I sent 
my first mail, and the thread looks too long to read right now.

> Thanks again for your long term effort on somepkg, unison and ocaml.
> They are among my favorite packages of Debian.  All of my laptops,
> desktops, servers and compute clusters have them installed.

You're welcome :-) I hope I didn't dissuade you from contributing!

Cheers,

-- 
Alice

-- 
Ian Jackson <ijackson@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>   These opinions are my own.

If I emailed you from an address @fyvzl.net or @evade.org.uk, that is
a private address which bypasses my fierce spamfilter.