Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-packaging (157 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-packaging] Re: [opensuse-kde] Why should an unstable released package be favoured over a stable svn package?
  • From: Dave Plater <davejplater@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 30 Sep 2010 00:39:36 +0200
  • Message-id: <4CA3C028.7040308@xxxxxxxxx>
On 09/29/2010 09:58 PM, P Linnell wrote:
On Wednesday 29 September 2010 21:17:45 Dave Plater wrote:

Hi, I've been trying to submit an svn derived version of
KTrafficAnalyzer to KDE:Extra, the package used to be in the old kde3
community repo and has been around in openSUSE for quite a while. It's
been ported to kde4. I've been using the package from the authors home
project and it occasionally crashed and lost the usage stats but after
my recent update from KDE:Distro:Factory it consistently segfaulted on
start up. This is a good thing that enabled me to track down the problem
and patch it. It's now stable on a patched svn revision 44 so I decided
to submit this very usefull package to KDE:Extra and am quite happy to
maintain it as I use it all the time and it's a simple package only to
have it rejected on the grounds that it's svn derived. This seems a bit
stupid because the released package is unstable and even has a source
forge bug against it from an openSUSE 11.3 user.
I've had problems submitting a package fix to KDE:Extra before but in
that case the maintainers reply was rather rude that issue was simply
bad communication and was resolved and that particular maintainer
accepted my second submit attempt of KTrafficAnalyzer pointing out that
there wasn't a Url: in the spec file and asking me to fix it. I decided
to patch the released tarball to svn 44 and submit that along with the
fixed spec file but alas the first anti subversion maintainer caught the
request and declined it.
I was under the assumption that I'm helping to make openSUSE a better
distribution but my encounters with KDE:Extra have made me think that
that particular repository is an ego circus, it's easier to get a new
package into Factory than into KDE:Extra, I've two new packages in 11.3
one of them totally new to openSUSE and one that the previous maintainer
didn't have time for so it was dropped so I speak from experience.
The point of this email are the questions :- am I flogging a dead horse
trying to be a useful member of the community? Why do I get the
impression that KDE:Extra is maintained a an exclusive club?
Thanks for taking the time to read my rant.
Dave P


First, I was the one who sent a rejection about the missing URL.. It is more
important than a simple single line.
I'm glad you picked it up, I usually use the url in the spec file to
visit the home page of a package partially to find out it exists. A Url:
in the spec file is a must and you responded to the request in the same
manner that I would have. My gripe is about being directed from the
first sr which was declined because the packages source tarball
"appeared to be derived from svn.
As a reviewer, I feel _strongly_ I have
an obligation to ensure I and others can verify independently the all source
code going into the distro, Factory, Contrib or in popular community repos
like KDE:Extras. In fact today I filed an enhancement to automatically check
for this in rpmlint used by OBS:

What I remind people when they are packaging stuff for the distro, especially
when a novice is: "You are taking root, even oh so breifly, on a _lot_ of
people's systems... proceed accordingly." Poor packaging is a very quick way
to destroy the reputation of the openSUSE community and the distro. Now, OBS
is brilliant in that it has automated a good deal of grunt work in the QA
department, but still it takes a certain level of skill and applied policy to
QA the end esults. Remeber the rule: Garbage In > Garbage Out...

One has to note Debian has a very solid reputation in this regard, even if
can debate some of their policies/techniques... They are _really_ strict
packaging and because of that they have a pretty high level of trust in the
open source world.

Now, the second part has nothing to do with ego, but more a commonly agreed
policy by the KDE:Extras maintainers, of which I am one, to not put any svn
snapshots into Extras, but the place for those is KDE:Playground. Seems to me
a sensible rule in general.
Confusing stable with svn is a mistake. The released version of this
package is unstable, my patched svn version is stable. The only package
that I maintain but don't use is lilypond. My criteria and what should
be the main criteria is ensuring that packages published in reputable
repos should be stable. The other important criteria is the components
that comprise the package are of a consistent make up and the standard
used is clearly documented so as the package can be maintained by any
competent maintainer if need be, I might drop dead tomorrow and my
unmaintained packages wouldn't be noticed until something went wrong.
The only way to ensure a stable package is for that package to be used.
For that to happen the package either has to be a well known and well
used opensource package or it has to be discovered, failing this it
needs to be put through it's paces by the person responsible for it's bugs.
Sorry about the long winded qualifier of "Confusing stable with svn is a

As there is always room for well justified exceptions to rules, in this case,
the best way to proceed would have been to mail the kde list or visit
#opensuse-kde on IRC, before submitting and ask for an exception and explain
the facts as above, as both Raymond, I or others would have most certainly
followed up with questions or comments. The way it was presented to us via
OBS, was missing this important info, naturally we would reject an SR like
that. I've learned that Raymond is also a pretty skilled packager and he has
done a ton of work to make the KDE repos really solid and offers end users a
wide range of options to run the latest bleeding edge stuff or polished

I've had frustrating time with build service quirks in the osc source
validator and long 24 hour publishing delays but maybe the main problem
is that I tend to keep to myself. This is a chance for me to introduce
I for one would never dismiss your efforts to contribute to the distro. I
you have done a lot of bug fixes all over the place, so no issue there. What
we have here is a simple issue of mis-communication or clash of communication
styles. nothing more. I suspect you do not visit IRC often as it is another
important channel of communication for members to hash out these kinds of
things... I hope you can join us there when time allows as well.... We're all
a pretty friendly bunch. :)

I'm not that familiar with irc unfortunately and my only serious attempt
at communication with the core testing team of which I'm a non
practicing member atm was met by either silence or there was some
strange quirk in the irc client I was using.
I hope that puts some clarity on why things were done the way they were...
Nothing evil... just good folks misunderstanding things...


I was met with miscommunication when I first tried to submit a fixed
yawp to KDE:Extra and another policy I couldn't understand, it was
rejected because I had included a sub package to be used in case of bugs
which are very hard to troubleshoot in plasmoids and these "unittest"
binaries would make it a lot easier to find if the bug was kde or yawp
I'll give the irc a try again but the reason for this message is to
promote a discussion about version controlled packages being stable. It
gets lonely out here, would be nice if someone visiting Cape Town looks
me up, I seem to be the only one with an openSUSE T shirt.
Dave P

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