>>>>> "MH" == Miro Hrončok <mhron...@redhat.com> writes:

MH> If we stop here, the current "setting to ASSIGNED to stop this"
MH> remains a problem.

Let's think about why this is perceived as a problem.  The maintainer
has performed an affirmative act that shows they noticed.  Can't we just
accept that as some statement of intent and stop bugging them at that
point?  Further emails have utility only as periodic reminders, and
experience has shown that we can't predict whether those would be
perceived positively or negatively.

Certainly the _real_ problem here (that the packages fail to build)
isn't solved by continuing to send bug spam mail.  And similarly, we
should spend time to evaluate why that is perceived as a problem.

If a package is installable and works, certainly it meets some
acceptability criteria for packages in the distribution and fails
others.  So let's list a few (not a comprehensive list, I'm sure):

1. Can end users install and use the package properly?

2. Does the package have unresolved security issues which would prevent
   end users from using it safely?

3. Does the package somehow prevent progress or cause additional
   maintenance burden elsewhere in Fedora?

4. Can those packages be consumed by those who want to modify or rebuild
   them locally?

I think the last two points are often missed in the discussion.

If someone keeps having to maintain some old compatibility package
because packages which use it can't be rebuilt for a new version, then
that's a problem (but it's an issue that goes beyond FTBFS).  Still,
people who maintain such compatibility packages should still be able to
drop them, under the doctrine that nobody can force them to maintain
them.  And then point #1 would fail, which we all agree should force the
removal of a package.

And if someone goes to check out a package from git or grabs an SRPM and
finds that they can't actually build it, even after spending time
setting up a proper build environment (which I know isn't terribly
difficult, but still), then that's not great.  I know I do this all the
time, but maybe that's atypical.  It still looks a bit sloppy in any
case.  I do think our duty to people who want to do that goes beyond
simply complying with licenses and handing out source.

So in summary, I guess I mostly support allowing packages which can't be
rebuilt to stay in the distribution as long as they actually work and
aren't causing maintenance burden elsewhere (which needs input from the
release engineering folks and such as to whether these things waste
their time).  But I do think that everyone who advocates for that
position needs to consider the negatives.  These things do have nonzero
impact even if it's not immediately obvious.  And everyone needs to be
aware that unbuildable packages are more prone to being removed pretty
much as soon as they impede work elsewhere in the distribution.

 - J<
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