Bug#994275: Reverting breaking changes in debianutils

Russ Allbery rra at debian.org
Wed Oct 6 17:04:26 BST 2021

Simon McVittie <smcv at debian.org> writes:
> On Sun, 03 Oct 2021 at 22:09:31 +0000, Clint Adams wrote:

>> The fact that 95% of my inbox consists of hatemail about the
>> interactive usage of `which` suggests a failure at the latter.

> I'm sorry you're receiving hatemail about this package, and that's not
> OK, but it's orthogonal to whether the changes discussed in this bug
> were the right thing for Debian.

I'm just a bystander but I want to offer some minor disagreement with this
point: If a maintainer is experiencing problems with maintaining a package
due to a component that they think is out of scope for that package,
acting to resolve those problems is an attempt to do the right thing for
Debian.  It would result in a happier maintainer, a package with a clearer
and more cohesive purpose, and less trouble with maintenance.

How this is done can cause other problems and there is lots of room for
disagreement that the net overall effect was the right thing for Debian,
and opportunity to find other transition plans that would more right for
Debian.  I don't think it prejudges the whole discussion, in other words.

But I also don't think it's orthogonal.  Lots of upset energy directed at
maintainers is bad for Debian, and realigning the wants of those users
with the interests of maintainers to defuse that unhappiness is right for

I think one of the goals should be for the which utility in Debian to be
maintained by someone who cares about the which utility and is interested
in handling bug reports and requests concerning it.

Russ Allbery (rra at debian.org)              <https://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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