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Packages with moves between main and non-free in different versions


recently I realised that we sometimes have packages which are in
different components of Debian for different versions.  That's not
really new but I learned that it has a side effect on the tasks
pages where it leads to false positives about "New upstream".  If
you look for instance at the entry for seaview[1] it is marked as
not up to date but in fact we really have the latest upstream
version.  A deeper look into UDD uncovers the problem:

udd=# SELECT version, component,                                                                                                                                          
          release || CASE WHEN char_length(substring(distribution from '-.*')) > 0 THEN substring(distribution from '-.*') ELSE '' END AS release FROM packages
          WHERE package = 'seaview'
          GROUP BY version, release, distribution, component
          ORDER BY version;
  version   | component | release 
 20060918-1 | main      | etch
 1:2.4-1    | main      | lenny
 1:3.2-1    | main      | sid     *)
 1:3.2-1    | main      | squeeze
 1:4.1-1    | non-free  | sid
 1:4.2-1    | non-free  | sid
 1:4.2.1-1  | non-free  | sid
(7 rows)

 *) That's for hurd and mips/mipsel where autobuilders are lagging

You see, that (unfortunately) seaview became non-free.  What are
the effects concerning our tools?

  1. Metapackages:
     No harm is done here.  When building metapackages all packages
     which are not found in main are "downgraded" to "Suggests".
     Because metapackages are builded against a certain release
     everything works as expected.  If you build against Lenny or
     Squeeze the package will be Recommended, if you build against
     Sid the package now found in non-free will be only "Suggested"
     That's perfectly intended behaviour (except that metapackage
     building tools currently ignore architectures but that's for
     practical reasons not relevant and will be fixed in the rewrite
     of the tools somewhen in this year).

  2. Tasks pages
     The tasks pages building tools are seeking for a package
     matching a given name and if they hit this name in main the
     entry is put into the section
       "Official Debian packages with high relevance"
     Later the tools are querying UDD which versions are available
     in *this* component - so the versions in non-free are ignored
     which leads to the "New version available" alarm.

So far to the current behaviour.  The question is: What behaviour
do we really *want*?  Leaving it as it is sounds not good because
it is actually a false alarm.  On the other hand the version in
main is not the latest upstream version.  Please tell me what you
think.  I have some vague ideas what to do, but I will not put
any influence on possible answers.

Kind regards


PS: If you want to discuss the fact that it is a shame that a
    package moved from main to non-free please do this in a separate
    thread because it is not relevant here.

[1] http://debian-med.alioth.debian.org/tasks/bio#seaview


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