Subject: Re: Debian out of hand?
From: Ian Lance Taylor <>
Date: 28 Jun 1999 21:24:55 -0400

   From: Craig Brozefsky <>
   Date: 28 Jun 1999 11:21:11 -0700

   Not only that, but in terms of reducing friction for contributors to
   projects, Debian has some nice features:

   1. Public Bug Tracking system or all packages.  This is for bugs in
      the packaging portion, but also in the upstream source code as
      well.  Bugs are forwarded to upstream maintainers and their status
      tracked.  The firt thing you do when you have a bug in Debian is
      pull up and search for existing bugs on the suspect
      package.  Many times it's already been reported.  A single place to
      report bugs is also nice, because it reduces the friction the user
      must overcome in order to make the bug report, and it's effective
      for all packages.

Just as a side comment, as the GNU binutils maintainer I've found this
system to be a hindrance rather than a help.  Binutils bug reports
tend to be inadequate since most people don't understand what
information is needed to identify and fix the problem (a problem that
is scarcely unique to the binutils, of course).  By the time the bug
filters through the Debian system to me as the upstream maintainer,
the original bug submittor has usually forgotten what the deal was and
thrown away the key object files and archives.  If he or she reported
the bug directly to bug-gnu-utils, rather than to the Debian system,
the problem would normally have been identified and, hopefully, fixed
much more rapidly.

This does not, of course, mean that the Debian system is a bad idea.
But my interactions with it, which have only been as an upstream
maintainer, have been largely negative.