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Re: ghostscript packages for Alpha

On Fri, Aug 05, 2011 at 09:26:13AM +1200, Michael Cree wrote:
> You guys may have been able to compile certain packages on your  
> systems because you have an old install that is partially upgraded.   

Can't speak for anyone else reading this, but my "unstable" setup was
current within a week (might have missed-out on as much as a week's
worth of updates) when the original Alpha autobuilders went off-line.

> But in the autobuilder network we reinstall from scratch packages that  
> are needed (i.e. build-depends) for each package build.

Therein lies the real problem...  My memory is probably faulty, but I
recall the plug getting pulled on Alpha just prior to the most recent
stable version release, so there's no way to arrive at an equivalent
stable baseline distribution from scratch other than start with something
ancient and applying upgrades piecemeal.  In other words, if you weren't
running "Sid" prior to Alpha getting dropped, you're pretty much hosed.
It's not impossible to get there from scratch, but it's admittedly
beyond the capability of the automatic upgrade mechanism as it currently
exists.  (I'm NOT lobbying for an automatic upgrader that might be able
to handle our scenario: no way I'd trust it to do the right thing, even
if I *could* figure out how to write such an abomination :-)).

> The conflicts  
> are so bad that we have come to an impasse where that is no longer  
> possible and nothing can build.  (Admittedly there are ~300 built  
> packages to upload but that is not going to resolve the fundamental  
> problem.)

No argument with any part of the above.  Didn't realize what the issue
was with the autobuilders.  The "from scratch" install of dependencies
is a serious obstacle in at least the short term.

> But in the meantime people are well advised, "do not attempt to  
> upgrade your system," and if you ignore that advice, be prepared to  
> build packages yourselves to resolve breakage.

Breakage has always been a risk for people intent on running "Sid": that
hasn't changed.  The more serious risk here is an unstable distribution
newbie allowing "synaptic" to gut his system in a futile effort to allow
installation of what updates *do* exist.  Agreed that "do not attempt to
upgrade your system" is good advice for people who aren't prepared to
deal with the consequences of ignoring that advice.

Thanks for the explanation of what's going on.  If there's anything I
can reasonably do to help, please don't hesitate to ask.


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