I saw a few cases of those situations happening recently
- System76 / Pop! OS finds a bug (where ‘find’ often means that they confirm an existing upstream bug is impacting their OS version)
- They write a patch or workaround, include it in their package but don’t upstream the change/fix (or just drop a .patch labelled as workaround in a comment rather than submitting it for proper review)
- Later-on they start commenting on the upstream (Ubuntu, GNOME, …) bugs trackers, pointing out to users that the issue has been addressed in Pop! OS, advertising how they care about users and that’s why they got the problem solved in their OS
System76 / Pop! OS team, while you should be proud of the work you do for you users I think you are going the wrong way there. Working on fixes and including them early in your product is one thing, not upstreaming those fixes and using that for marketing you as better than your upstreams is a risky game. You might be overlooking that now, but divergence has a cost, as does not having good relationship with your upstreams.
What triggered me to write this blog today was after reading https://blog.system76.com/post/185276928258/system76-news-a-may-with-zing yesterday which included that item
We’ve updated the youtube-dl package to a newer version. This package, maintained by Debian and Canonical, is used for downloading videos from YouTube. Changes made by Google to the YouTube API had recently broken this package in the Ubuntu repositories, hence the update.
As the description mentions, they are using the Ubuntu package (which is coming from Debian). I went to check a bit more what happened and what’s the status of the fix, and oh, surprises!
– they didn’t report the bug in launchpad
– they didn’t send their patch/fix to launchpad
– they didn’t get in touch with Ubuntu/Canonical about fixing the issue in a SRU
So instead of working with their upstream on a fix which would benefit Ubuntu and Pop! OS users they did an upload in their overlay PPA with as description
‘ * Backport to Pop!_OS because Ubuntu is too slow.’
Thanks System76 for not trying to work with us and then stab us in the back with that package description.
Ubuntu users, sorry that we didn’t get to fix that earlier since it was not brought to our attention, I did upload SRUs for Bionic and Disco now, details on https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/youtube-dl/+bug/1831778