While Debian unstable is in freeze (and deep freeze), Rene Engelhard, started uploading openoffice.org 3 packages to the experimental archive.
I’ve been enjoying following the openoffice.org development process through updating the packages on my machine. As Rene keeps the packages up to date, I got to use 3.0-beta2, 3.0-rc2/3/4, 3.0 official, 3.0.1-rc1/2 and 3.0.1 official.
The packages are uploaded simultaneously with the availability of the versions. As I’m following the RTL related bugs (and fixes), I get a chance to enjoy the fixes very quickly and easily.
So, I see this as an opportunity to thank Rene for his excellent work (;
Instead of everyone maintaining his own packages, we try to have several people cooperating to maintain the packages. This reduces the dependency on a single person to take care of packages and makes it possible to keep the packages in a good shape while people are busy or absent.
Having such groups focused on a specific set of packages is even better, because they develop a standard for that packages type. While the Debian’s KDE and GNOME teams have a large variety of packages (application, libraries, etc…), other groups maintain packages which are similar in their technology. The Debian Perl group and Debian fonts group are good examples (and I’m sure there are much more examples).
We can see that such group can easily (the facto) enforce the policy rather than having to “just talk” with other people to comply with the policy. This of course makes Debian a better distribution in which more parts are working well.
The Debian Perl group has recently took text-bidi into their maintainership, and I
was amassed to see the amount of changes they did on their first upload. That made me very happy about “giving” them the package and showed me how much more do I have to learn about Perl related packages.
I don’t expect people to let go of their packages, but please consider working more closely with such groups. I’m sure you and your package users will benefit.