[Mageia-discuss] Suggestions

Thomas Backlund tmb at iki.fi
Sun Oct 24 08:08:18 CEST 2010

Tux99 skrev 24.10.2010 05:40:
> On Sun, 24 Oct 2010, Michael Scherer wrote:
>> I think I demonstrated in the past that constant friendliness toward
>> users is not one of my distinctive characteristics.
> Well, that might have been fine as a Mandriva employee, but as part of a
> community distro I personally consider you attitude out of place and not
> in line with the spirit of Mageia.

And the spirit of Mageia also states that its a community distribution 
where _everyone_ can (should?) help...

>> If writing a decent description is easy and almost effortless, and if
>> sending a email is easy, then what is difficult into doing both ?
> You don't even need to write a description, usually you can just
> copy&paste it from the web site of the software.
> Thing is, if the packager does it it's a 1 minute job, if some user
> emails it to him, the packager still has to check the description and
> then paste it into the spec file, so it saves no time at all.

It saves the packagers time as he does not need to check the website...
Yes, he still needs to check the description, but he has to do that 
anyway even if he copy&paste it himself...

And not all webpages have a good description for every package...

>> We could rely on the packagers for everything, but 1) that doesn't scale
>> 2) that doesn't work.
> With all due respect, but when talking about a simple description for
> each package this is nonsense.

Well, take a "simple description", multiply it with the amount of 
packages in the repo and you see its ends up being _a lot_

And there is also packagers that are not native english speakers,
or the package is not available with a english website and so on...

So there is still a place for the community to help out...

>> And that doesn't work because packagers ( at least me ) most of the time
>> do not read descriptions, so they do not see something is wrong.
> What descriptions do you not read?
> The ones of Fedora spec files you simply copy&paste?

Well, when a packager uses a ready made spec for a package, he most
surely wont check the description so much as he assumes its already ok.

And a description that a packager may think is ok, might still mean
nothing to the enduser, so enduser is most welcome to propose changes...

>> Managing and knowing softwares is our duty, which place use in a
>> position far away from someone that discover the system.
> Exactly because the packager knows the software he/she packages, it's
> easiest for her/him to add a suitable description.
>> Kde had 3 majors releases since I started to use Linux, so of course
>> the packages descriptions change, yet I didn't read them since years.
> I don't understand your point, you surely didn't use the same spec
> files for most kde4 packages as for kde3?

Without a doubt most of it got reused with a simple s/kde3/kde4/
(or as many packages use a simple %{name} so it will change
  if package name changes)

>> So again, why does people do not send improved description ?
> Finding who the correct packager is, isn't trivial at all, the changelog
> often contains various names and the Mdv web site packager list often
> doesn't match the names in the spec file.

You dont need to find the packager...
Just enter a bug (enhancement) report and BugZilla and it will know... 
(and if bugzilla is way off, Triage will assign it...)

Thats all that is needed...

Now if the community cant be bothered to report a simple bug/enhancement 
request, why should the packager bother as
the software works anyhow which still is much more important.

"hey, this package is broken, but I dont care as it has a nice 
description" :)

> I tell you what:
> If I will have full access to all spec files as a Mageia packager, I
> will myself add descriptions to many packages if others don't mind, I
> don't have a problem with that as long as I can do it directly myself,
> without having to contact each fellow packager first.

Well, thats exactly the Community spirit :)

Packages are stored in a VCS (svn, git) where every packager have commit 
access (with a few exeptions to the some core packages such as glibc), 
so they can make changes.

That's also what several contributors have done over the years...

> But if I have to find the email of the packager for each package that
> has a bad or missing description then I won't bother, that would be a
> waste of everyone's time.

So if you think its a waste of time to do a little work to improve a
package description, why do you expect the packager to think different ?


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