Re: Regarding Maintainer of package gdk-pixbuf

On 28/11/13 06:51, sim linux vnet ibm com wrote:
I am working on a new architecture - ppc64le (powerpc 64-bit Little
Endian) and I was looking at building gdk-pixbuf. The package failed to
build due to an outdated config.guess.

I've said basically this in private email to several of your IBM
colleagues, regarding the dbus* family of packages; repeating it here
since it's an opportunity to say the same thing in public without
quoting private email:

This should not be unexpected. Files generated by Autotools are provided
in the tarball for the convenience of users/sysadmins on mainstream
platforms; they're a basically a snapshot from whatever happened to be
current on the maintainer's system when the tarball was generated. If
your platform is not (yet) mainstream, then your software distribution
or packaging system needs to be able to cope with updating or
regenerating them locally, much like Debian does with dh_autotools-dev
and dh_autoreconf (for the benefit of Linux on armhf/s390, kFreeBSD/Hurd
on x86, and other new or obscure ports).

I don't think individually contacting the maintainers of every package
you want to support is something that scales, or is constructive. For
instance, if you ship something only 10% of the size of Debian (~ 1750
source packages), and each package's maintainer spends 5 minutes dealing
with your request, then you've taken up nearly 150 hours of maintainers'
time. I'm sure it would take less time than that to teach your build
system about autoreconf; for most packages that's likely to "just work",
and then you can send more targeted requests/bugs for the minority of
packages where autoreconf fails or isn't sufficient.

Can I get the information about the maintainer of the package, so that I
can talk to him/her about sending a patch to support the new architecture.

Regarding config.guess, there is nothing to patch, because the source
repository from which tarballs are built doesn't contain it. It's copied
in when the source package is built. I would not be at all surprised if
maintainers refuse to respin a source tarball just for an updated
config.guess, when updating that file is something that redistributors
can do just as easily (or even more easily, since they should have
automation for it already). I'm certainly not going to do that for dbus.

Regarding talking to the maintainer, for community-maintained packages
please do not contact one specific, named maintainer privately unless
there is a good reason to do so (for instance if they've asked you to,
or there's a security vulnerability). If you contact a maintainer
privately, and that maintainer is busy, then you can't get a reply. If
you contact "the project" in public, even if the maintainer you had in
mind was busy, there are likely to be other maintainers or developers
who can help you.


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