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Bug#907704: choose-mirror: default to deb.debian.org

On Mon, Sep 03, 2018 at 08:54:56PM +0100, Ben Hutchings wrote:
> On Mon, 2018-09-03 at 20:13 +0200, Karsten Merker wrote:
> > On Mon, Sep 03, 2018 at 04:41:10PM +0200, Julien Cristau wrote:
> > > Control: tag -1 + patch
> > > 
> > > On 08/31/2018 06:27 PM, Julien Cristau wrote:
> > > > Package: choose-mirror
> > > > Severity: wishlist
> > > > X-Debbugs-Cc: tfheen@debian.org
> > > > 
> > > > I think it's time for choose-mirror to stop asking by default.  AFAIK
> > > > deb.debian.org works well enough now that we don't need users to
> > > > manually select a mirror close to them.
> > 
> > Hello,
> > 
> > I can see the argument for not asking to select a mirror when
> > there is a well-working mechanism for automatically choosing a
> > "near" (in networking terms) mirror.  Does deb.debian.org fulfill
> > everybody's needs in this regard?  ISTR that there were some
> > discussions in the past that deb.debian.org didn't resolve to
> > particularly useful mirrors for some parts of the world, but I
> > have no idea whether that is still a problem.  My personal
> > experience with deb.debian.org hasn't been that great - instead
> > of redirecting me to the Debian mirror that is run by my local
> > ISP (and that is in d-i's mirrorlist), it redirects me to an AWS
> > instance hosted rather "far" away in networking terms.
> [...]
> The existing mirror network has several longstanding problems:
> 1. Many mirrors don't reliably update
> 2. Some mirrors aren't reliably available at all
> 3. Many mirrors don't carry all release architectures (even a few
>    of the "primary" ones don't)
> 4. Most mirrors don't support TLS
> httpredir.debian.org attempted to solve the first 3 problems while
> still doing what you want: it redirected to local mirrors known to have
> up-to-date files.  This would have been almost ideal as a default.  But
> apparently it required a lot of maintenance work, which no-one was
> prepared to continue doing.
> That's why deb.debian.org is a plain CDN which doesn't rely on the
> existing mirror network.  It also supports TLS (which I think should
> also be enabled by default in the installer).
> If deb.debian.org still doesn't provide reasonably fast service in some
> countries, then maybe we should still ask—but then we should put
> deb.debian.org at the top of the mirror list for most countries.

/\ +1 /\

Like Karsten, my experience with deb.debian.org has been inconsistent.
With a 50 Mb/s ADSL line in Montréal, most of the top candidates
mirrors from netselect will consistently deliver ~6200 kB/s, but
deb.debian.org often connects to an AWS instance where the download
proceeds no more than 350 KB/s...

Additionally, I think that it is reasonable that users look at the
mirror list for the following reason: Our mirrors are a list of
organisations and universities who donate storage and bandwidth.
Having users look at this list provides the opportunity for the user
to recognise their donation--something like "oh, these are the
entities who support FLOSS in my country".

Thus, I believe that hiding this from the user reduces the reciprocity
with these donors, and reduces the incentive to donate

That said, I think there should be some sort of mechanism to reward
those mirrors who provide TLS.  It's becoming normal for a browser to
display "insecure site" for those which don't support SSL...


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