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How up to date is this?


I have some experinces to share with you and I would
like som feedback on this.

It all started when I wanted to install Dia
The version for Potato/Alpha is currently 0.83, while
Dia is out in 0.85. I tought nothing of this and installed
0.83 by using apt. However, there were some things from
0.85 that weren't present in 0.83, so I decided to go ahead
and install 0.85 from source downloaded from before
mentioned site. And here starts the real fun part.

Where is gdk-pixbuf? I have installed all thinkable
imlib, gtk and gnome development packages from the
frozen Potato, but gdk-pixbuf is nowhere to be seen.
I finally went out and got it from ftp.gnome.org
and compiled and installed it myself.

What's up with libart? In /usr/include/libart_lgpl/include
there is supposed to be a libart.h. It isn't there.
I put it there myself by using a version of it I found
on cvs.gnome.org. I did a cut and paste from that, only
to find that the include files were included in incorret
order. After a few testruns I managed to arrange them
in an order that worked, at least for Dia.

Then came libxml... Latest stable realse of libxml from
ftp.gnome.org is 1.8.7. They even have a libxml2-* there!
What is the version available with potato? libxml-dev 
from Debian is 1.8.2. Dia 0.85 required 1.8.5. I deinstalled
1.8.2 and compiled and installed 1.8.7 by hand.

I was now finally able to compile and install Dia 0.85.

However, this experince has left me with some questions.
How up to date is Potato? Can this be explained by the
fact that Potato has entered into a test cycle and is
not beeing updated during this period? Or is this the
expected state of this Debian release and I can look
forward to more of the same?

I was thinking about Woody, but I was told that when
Debian said unstable, they ment unstable (i.e. someone
told me that at one point, even the gcc shipped with
Woody didn't work). Also, I do appreciate stability,
and Potato has been a dream so far. But I would like
to see it kept up to date a little better than this.

I switched to Debian in the first place because I was
impressed by the package system and the fact that so
many maintainers are working to give us the best at
all times. However, had the Dia package been up to
date (the rest of course had to be updated first)
I wouldn't have had to go trough this. And installing
software by hand like this defeats the whole point
wiht Debian's ingenious package and update system.

Basically, I would like some pointers from the once
who have used Debian for some time. I need to know
how much of the same I can expect. Also I would like
to know the difference between Slink, Potato and Woody
with respect to how fast they are updated with new

Btw: Could someone tell me where the source for
"procinfo" is to be found? It gives me the same
floating point exception as gFTP did, so I was
thinking to try to compile that too with -mieee.

Idar Tollefsen

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