|> I’m beginning to find Debian packagers the most unfriendly and unhelpful people around.
You may well find that; that’s your perogative.
> I appreciate the work they do. I appreciate the FAQs they get asked every 5 seconds.
> I don’t appreciate their smart arse comments and jibes at all.
After enough FAQ’s, you’ll start being a “smartarse” too.
> They have chosen to be package maintainers.
No, no, I think you mean, “They have *VOLUNTEERED* to be package maintainers.” ( They can also choose not to respond to emails which they think are frivolous and answered in the FAQ/email archive.
We can also choose to do so, since it concerns our package. If the users want to know, they can ask in -user.
When your VCR breaks, do you:
* Call the service number and wait for it to be escalated (and the answer to come down, proxied through the ranks)
* Call the lead tech at home and ask when he’ll fix it.
Obviously the answer is a). Now let’s draw a parallel with Debian.
When you are hoping for new and completely non-essential packages (hint: severity wishlist), do you:
* Ask on -user and wait for a developer to tell you what they heard on -devel/IRC/from the maintainer, or
* Email -devel/the lead tech and ask when they’re coming.
Obviously, if you picked B in either question, you can expect “smartarse” responses. So why don’t you ask on -user, and just wait for someone to give you the answer?
And here’s another point: a broken VCR would be severity “grave”. Hoping for new X packages would be severity “wishlist”.
> IMHO, if they are sick of answering a question, then don’t reply. People will find out for themselves if no replies are forthcoming, or other people on the list will reply.
Yeah, this is great until people start flaming you for not answering mail, or filing grave-severity bugs in error, which you then have to close/downgrade, and then they figure you must be alive, so you get more mail …
> If maintainers do reply, it would be nice if they indicated where the ‘newbie’ could find further references to the subject, and not be an absolute bastard about the whole thing.
Branden isn’t typical of most maintainers; I do know that he has had run-ins with Jack Horwarth before, and doesn’t like him, sooo …
> Maintainers, if you feel like flaming, don’t reply. The clueless user will find a way to get the answer without your totally useless and aggravating reply. All you are doing by replying in the manner that I have witnessed so often recently is to piss off new users who may have actually started using debian, who now feel that the whole thing is way too ‘out of their league’ to be bothered with.
New users belong on -user, not on -devel. -devel is for developers, who have already obtained the mandatory asbestos suit.
> I believe the whole point of Debian is to make a usable system for non-technical people. Let’s either encourage newbies, direct them to the appropriate place, or refrain from flaming them. Surely, you package maintainers are so busy maintaining packages that you don’t have time to reply to emails with flames? Just let them go, they’ll be sorted out by other active participants on the list.
Part of the job of maintaining a package is answering all the mail that’s related to it; else you’re not properly doing your job. This formed by far the biggest part of maintaining KDE. Why don’t you try it one day and see how you fare, eh? Only about 40% of the KDE-related mails I got came through the BTS or lists; most were sent personally to me. It’s impossible to keep up after a while, which is most of the reason why I gave up. Easier said than done, come down off your pedestal etc.
-d, coming in to bat for the maintainers.