Let's see how the community reacs

Hi all, this is my first 2013 post and I’m not proud of it.

My last post was 5 months ago because I did finish my studies (I’ll graduate on March) and I had to do some work so I had no time to blog about Arch or the KDE projects in which I’d like to join (stay tuned!).

Here we come to the reason of this post: I got a mail on Tuesday 9th, from Laszlo Papp:

Hi Andrea, Qt5 was out a while ago. Do you have any estimation for producing Qt5 packages for Arch? Do you need any help with those?

His request is fully reasonable and expected. Laszlo, you are talking with a maintainer of a bleeding edge distro: I want the latest software before it’s released. Knowing that a qt5 package is already available on AUR, I replied quickly:

There’s no real hurry about that. KDE will not use qt5 until 2014 (OK, maybe some month before) so there’s no hurry to put qt5 in [extra] IMHO.

Then I got another mail from Laszlo:

Well, Qt5 is not just for KDE. Besides, it would help the development for many developers.

I agreed, but I didn’t reply for a matter of time. Then some minute later I got another mail:

I just got to another development arch machine where I have to build qt5 again from scratch.. sigh. Yay, 2 hours waiting.

Nothing surprising here; this is the means of “building from sources”. I didn’t reply.

So I got another mail this morning:

After talking to several Qt arch developers, they got a bit disappointed about this feedback as me, so I opened a bug report: https://bugs.archlinux.org/task/33352

Well, the first rule of our bug tracker is: Do NOT report bugs when a package is just outdated, or it is in Unsupported. The second rule is: REPEAT: Do NOT report bugs for outdated packages!. (Yes, it sounds like the Fight Club rules).

As you can see two Arch Linux maintainers closed that bug report with the same reason and suggested to share the package between the several machines.

But then I got another mail from Laszlo and that caused this complaining post:

I hope you do realize I had to pospone my work last night because I am still trying to get a damn binary? Once, I am ready with all this, I will publish a blog about your unwelcoming reply even after my “help offer”. If private mails do not help, let us see how the community reacts.

Well, the last two lines sound like a threat for me.

I’ve nothing to hide (this is the whole story) and I’m not paid for this; there’s no agreement between us.

Some minute later I got another mail from him:

I will of course publish the built binary for x86_64 as well to aid other arch developers’ work. Perhaps, a request will go to kde-packagers@kde.org as well soon from me. It is not only an arch request after all.

IMHO this is the right thing to do, and the first thing you should have done Laszlo: build a package and put it on dropbox/repo, share it between your machines and the community if you want.

Then I replied again:

The package will hit [extra] when it’s ready. Meanwhile use the package from AUR, you only need to build it once, not every day.

But still…

Just calculate 20 developers, but surely more are using Qt5: 20 * 4/5 hours = 80/100 hours… just by only building it “once, not every day”.

Thank you for letting me lose 40 minutes of my working day writing this post.

Note: you delayed the release of the qt5 package in [extra] (whatever date it will be released) by 40 minutes.

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By Andrea Scarpino on 2013-01-10