Provenpackager mistakes

Jerry James loganjerry at
Tue May 7 15:12:33 UTC 2013

On Tue, May 7, 2013 at 5:44 AM, Fedora Koji Build System
<buildsys at> wrote:
> Package: m4rie-20130416-1.fc19
> Tag: f19-updates-candidate
> Status: complete
> Built by: pbrobinson
> ID: 416696
> Started: Tue, 07 May 2013 11:35:25 UTC
> Finished: Tue, 07 May 2013 11:44:10 UTC
> Changelog:
> * Mon May 06 2013 Jerry James <loganjerry at> - 20130416-1
> - New upstream release
> - Add -aarch64 and -doxygen patches
> - Build PDF documentation instead of HTML, because of numerous TeX-only
>   constructs in the documentation

Peter, this may seem like a personal attack on you.  That is not my
intent.  You have been very helpful to me in the past, and I
appreciate that help.  But this is yet another example of a
provenpackager doing something wrong to one of the packages I
maintain.  Each time this happens, I have to do more work to fix the
mistake.  I've had this happen 5 times since August, 3 times in 2013.
Each time I have sent a private email to the individual involved, but
since the same mistakes keep being made by different people, I think
it is time to draw some attention to them.

These are the mistakes I keep seeing:
1. Building a package in isolation, without considering necessary
buildroot overrides.
2. Updating a package that is a dependency of other packages without
testing the effects of the update on those other packages.
3. Updating a package that is a dependency of other packages without
rebuilding those other packages.
4. Pushing a change to a git branch without also pushing it to master.
5. Creating a new update in Bodhi instead of editing an existing update.
6. Not making any attempt to communicate with a package maintainer.

In this case, Peter, you made mistakes 1, 2, 3, and 6.  I imagine you
saw the work I did in Rawhide yesterday, knew that m4rie has been
broken on ARM for some time, and decided to push the new m4rie version
to F-19 so you can build it for ARM and mark that build failure as
being "fixed".  But what you must have missed is the email that has
been sent to -devel over the last several days, coordinating the
update of m4rie with several other packages.  The plan was this:

1. Update in Rawhide
   a. Update libfplll, m4ri, and ntl
   b. Once those builds are in the buildroot, update eclib, flint,
      latte-integrale, m4rie, polybori, and Singular
   c. Once those builds are in the buildroot, update linbox and Macaulay2
   d. Once those builds are in the buildroot, update sagemath
2. Test in Rawhide, going back to step 1 as necessary to fix problems.
3. Once all packages seem stable, do the same builds for F-19

I was still on step 1d, and you leapt ahead to part of step 3, without
talking to me to find out what the plan is, and without doing all of
the other builds that are necessary.  The m4rie build you did is now
linked with the wrong version of m4ri, which means that I will have to
bump NEVR to do the build properly, which means that I'll have to do a
useless build in Rawhide just to bump NEVR there.  Please cancel the
F-19 update you submitted, as that build is bogus.  I will submit a
new update once I get to step 3.

And a general plea to provenpackagers: don't make mistake #6, please.
Every single time this has happened, I could have told the
provenpackager involved what needed to be done if he had just asked.
But none of them did.  They just acted, without having sufficient
knowledge to act correctly, and without making any attempt at
acquiring that knowledge.  Don't do that.

Jerry James

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