Seems like many people get a strange idea by reading mailing list, mostly because of Ciaran’s claims that happens pretty often, that if you’re upstream of a given software you cannot be downstream (as in ebuild maintainer), because you “remove a layer of QA”.
Yes this would be all and well, if we had an infinite amount of developers and an infinite amount of time. Unfortunately while the Time is infinite, our lifespan is not, and not even as long as Vulcans, and we all know that we’re mostly understaffed. Which means that removing a layer would still be better than an unmaintained package.
Let’s then consider another problem. I became xine-lib’s upstream because I was working as a downstream for it. Now if we were to enforce the rule above, I should now give up xine-lib to another maintainer. So I should first find someone crazy enough to take xine-lib (which isn’t easy), and then he would have to understand all the trouble I did work to understand in the past. It’s a time waste we cannot afford right now.
If from one side you can say to remove a QA layer, from the other if you’re both upstream and downstream you probably are the person that knows that software better in Gentoo, so you usually have a way to find what’s really needed to be done…
But one has to say that it’s more likely for CVS snapshot to be in tree when the ebuild maintainer is upstream, in my case mostly because I do use the CVS HEAD version of xine-lib almost as my “personal fixes tree” 😉