For those not following the thread on debian-devel, a copy of my mail there:
thank you a lot for your email! I really mean that. It would be wonderful to
get more communication going between Apache and Debian. I've learned that
these two large and important free software projects are nevertheless
different in many ways.
I also appreciate very much the nice conversations we had last week. I could
learn a lot from you.
About the ZooKeeper package and partly also Hadoop/HBase which I also
a) The first and most important reason for orphaning these packages is, that I
did quit the job where I used them. It's neither possible nor adequate to
maintain a package that you don't use yourself. - So as long as there isn't
anybody else who'd like to maintain these packages, we can stop the discussion
b) I think that there is actually very little interest for
Hadoop/HBase/ZooKeeper packages in Debian. ( There is interest for packages
from Cloudera or Apache for Debian, but that's something else.) Even the
company I worked for switched to use the Cloudera distribution, because they
felt more confident about it. Now there'll be the Bigtop project and people
will rather use the "official" apache releases which are tested by
Yahoo/Facebook/Cloudera then the Debian packages.
So without any discussion about ZooKeepers Code quality, it might just not be
worth to do the packaging work if nobody wants to use it.
c) A Debian stable release with ZooKeeper (/Hadoop/HBase) is not possible
without a long term support commitment from upstream. I don't see, how Debian
could fix bugs in ZooKeeper and test those without upstream helping with
insights and test infrastructure.
d) From what I've heard, read and experienced about the history and culture of
Apache and Debian, quality has different priority in these two projects.
Debian has a "Culture of technical excellence" and is very keen about its
independence from companies. I experienced the Hadoop projects as very company
driven where quality is not nearly as important as in Debian.
Now we have different priorities and standards. I propose we don't enter a
discussion about those as long as points a)-c) aren't resolved.
 Stefano Zacchiroli (Debian Project Leader): "Debian: 18 years and
Thomas Koch, http://www.koch.ro