Joachim Breitner's Homepage
I maintain most of my Debian packages because I use them myself. Sometimes, I have some needs that go slightly beyond what is currently offered by the software. This is not a problem: Debian ships Free Software and I can program, therefore I can patch the software to also do what I want it to do. Trying to be a good member of the Free Software community, I then submit the patch to the upstream author. If he accepts the patch (which is usually the case), everything is fine. But what if he does not reply to the report or rejects it because he does not want this feature (although the patch is technically fine)? I see two options:
- I could continue to use a privately patched and built version of the package, while separately building packages for Debian. This way, Debian ships the software as intended by the upstream maintainer while I can use the features I need. On the other hand, I would not be using the version that I upload to Debian, which is not good, and it causes double work when a a new version is released.
- I could upload a package to Debian that contains my patch. The technical infrastructure to add patch in Debian packages has always been there... I would actually use the package as it is in Debian and only manage one line of versions. But would I be abusing my powers as a Debian maintainer? If I were not the maintainer, I could not make this decision by myself (this happend with my patch to nagstamon). Plus it could have a negative effect on the Debian-upstream relationship.
How do other Debian Developers handle such issues? The actual case I’m considering is a feature enhancement for link-monitor-applet (but I only just wrote the patch, so it does not yet fall in the category “upstream does not reply”).