[winswitch] xpra and distro support

Antoine Martin antoine at devloop.org.uk
Sat Jun 11 11:11:45 BST 2016

On 06/06/16 17:49, Rolf Leggewie wrote:
> Antoine,
> 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?
Like I said already, you use an outdated version with known bugs,
including this particular one which causes compatibility issues.

>>> 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.
I don't have time to scour the commit log for the specific bug that
interests you. Especially since I've already done the cherry picking
when backporting from trunk.

>> 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.
Yes, like the wiki clearly says: the version of Xpra in Debian and
Ubuntu LTS is fundamentally broken, don't use it. Perfectly exemplified
by this thread.
You seem to dislike this statement, but that does not make it less true.

> 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.
If the distro chooses to distribute an unsupported version with known
bugs, absolutely.
Otherwise, bug reports are always welcome.

>>> 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!
AFAICT, it's not. It is with the outdated Debian / Ubuntu version.

But I may well be wrong since this email thread is digressing fast.
If that's the case, I'm sure your issue can be fixed very quickly, given
enough details.

> 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)".
Let me state again: please reproduce this problem with a supported
version without all those known bugs.

>>> 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.


> Salut
> Rolf

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