Pour une fois Debian n'a pas raison AMHO ...
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----- Original Message -----
From: Per Abrahamsen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Thursday, July 01, 1999 7:03 PM
Subject: Free software: Packagers vs Developers
> [ FUT: gnu.misc.discuss ]
> The specific issue is that Debian is distributing an alpha version of
> Gnus as the default Gnus for XEmacs on their unstable branch.
> There are two problems with this:
> 1. Alpha releases aren't intended for anyone but developers, and those
> users determined enough to subscribe to the developers list, and
> download and install it themselves.
> While most projects have adopted a policy which makes it easy to join
> as an alpha tester, this should _not_ be thought of as a permission
> for outsiders to package and distribute the software more widely. All
> that will accomplish is to make developers more wary of making alpha
> releases, and maybe go back to a more closed development model.
> 2. Gnus is a part of both Emacs and XEmacs, and has been tested to
> work together with the other Emacs Lisp packages bundled with each
> Emacs or XEmacs release. By replacing one part of XEmacs with
> another, they are distributing something different from what the
> XEmacs team released. This means that it hasn't been tested by the
> XEmacs team to work together, and worse, bug reports reaching the
> XEmacs team no longer correspond to something they have released.
> Both problems are generic, people packaging and distributing alpha
> software, and people packaging and distributing their own "improved"
> versions of free software. All the major Linux distributions does it,
> perhaps to gain a competitive advantage, but Debian seems to be worse
> than the rest. Perhaps because they have so many package maintainers
> (500+), each of whom feel the need to make a difference.
> The responses we got on the gnus group from the packagers was:
> a) It is legal, so you have no right to complain.
> b) _We_ test the code, so _we_ know when it is ready.
> c) Our users demands it.
> None of which really helps solve the problem.
> I know that we developers have to live with _some_ changes being made
> in order for the software to work together in a distribution, but it
> would be nice if some ethical guidelines among packagers could be
> developed to supplement the current Debian rules, like:
> 1) _Never_ distribute alpha releases.
> 2) _Never_ distribute improved versions.
> 3) _Never_ distribute with different "user preference" options
> than the default.
> 4) Keep bug fixes and interoperability changes to an absolute minimum.
> While this may make the individual distribution "worse" on the short
> term, having the code released by the developers being as close as
> possible to the code used by the users should improve the quality of
> the feedback from users to developers, and improve the quality of the
> code for everybody on a slightly longer term.
> On the long term, I could see developers themselves create packages
> for the hypothetical dominating platform (say LSB) using the
> hypothetical dominating package format. With the right software and
> the right standards, it would just be another Makefile target.
> Distributors would then collect the already made packages, and we
> would avoid the middlemen in most cases.