[winswitch] xpra and distro support

Rolf Leggewie foss at rolf.leggewie.biz
Mon Jun 6 11:49:33 BST 2016


thank you for your second mail.

On 06.06.2016 13:58, Antoine Martin wrote:
> Please always CC the mailing list.

I wasn't aware of the ML.  Will do now.

> We have an LTS version, supported for years.

Awesome!  That would be version 0.14.x which fortunately is what's in
Debian stable.  Makes me wonder why the Debain Maintainer deemed it
necessary to backport 0.16.x to stable-backports.  Apparently Debian
Maintainers consider 0.14.x ancient and unsupported, a bug report
against it ("high CPU usage on Raspbian") was rejected.  Go figure.

But why are you breaking compatibility with your LTS version in the
latest HEAD?  Or is that no longer the case as you seem to indicate
further down?

>> What's more troublesome and the strongest motivator for this mail is
>> that apparently you broke backward compatibility without documenting it[...]
> Again, IIRC, this bug was fixed a long time ago.

The problem was verified with version 0.16.3 by me personally.  That
version was released upstream about two months ago. So the constant
claims of "fixed long time ago" become kind of irritating after a
while.  I'd be glad to hear the incompatibility between your LTS version
and 0.15.x forward has been fixed somewhere in HEAD and I'd look into
getting that patch accepted into Debian and Ubuntu.

> Fixed link:
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/xpra/+bug/1159871
> This ticket contains a number of issues, most of which I remember fixing
> a long time ago. The proxy-start one just looks wrong though.
> Things that aren't reported upstream may not get fixed in a timely manner.

Sure.  I'm not complaining.  I simply was unable to use the software
productively and moved on.  Such is sometimes the life for an LTS user. 
You then revisit the issue when you are on the next LTS.

It is kind of comical that in your first mail you sent me you seemed to
propagate the notion of "users of a distro should not bother upstream
with bug reports, they should be dealt with at the distro level".  I
think that's actually true for the first few stages of bug triage.

>> After several years, I tried again.  Of course, I am still running LTS
>> because I have other things to do than having a constant headache about
>> random bleeding edge software bringing my computer down and consuming my
>> time.  I'm sure you understand.  I connected from a fully updated Ubuntu
>> trusty machine to an equally fully updated Raspbian Jessie machine.  The
>> Raspbian machine would go to 100% CPU for the xpra process on the
>> simplest of tasks like hitting enter in xterm which I reported as a bug
>> to Debian.  The ticket was closed immediately as "you are using ancient,
>> unsupported software".  IMO, this means xpra should not even be part of
>> a distribution since it's not supported for the full cycle of a
>> release.  In fact, it's deemed "ancient" shortly after release of a
>> distro.  I don't think this is what you as upstream want.
> As per above: this is a question for downstream. From our end, we simply
> do not have the manpower to support those outdated versions.

I understand.  And that's where I think ideally, Distros and especially
the maintainers (Debian) or bug triagers (Ubuntu) have a positive role
to help upstream IMO.  For one, distros provide you with many eyeballs
and corner cases.  But the bug triage needs filtering to make sure
upstream gets quality feedback.

BUT, above problem is with your LTS version!  So, if you are serious
about it, you ought to not pull the card of "this software is too old
for us to look into (lack of manpower)".

>> I did not give up and looked into backporting newer releases again. 
>> Then I found out that you are not releasing the source code for your
>> binary packages.  That's a GPL violation.  Please kindly fix that. 
> That's incorrect: every single line of source code and the patches
> required to workaround Debian quirks (libav, headers, etc) are available
> for download and documented. See:
> http://xpra.org/trac/wiki/Building

AFAICS, that's still missing the packaging information.  Where can I see
for example the debian/control file of version 0.14.19-1 as published at
http://xpra.org/dists/trusty/main/binary-i386/ in binary form? 
http://xpra.org/src/xpra-0.14.19.tar.bz2 unsurprisingly doesn't have
it.  Even in svn I can't find the relevant tags, but it's well possible
I'm looking in the wrong place (http://xpra.org/svn/Xpra/tags/v0.14.x/
is what I tried).  GPL requires the full source (that includes meta-data
such as packaging) be distributed alongside the binaries.



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