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Do we need an unofficial debian repository?

Hi there!

Thanks to DebConf10, I am catching up with my huge mail backlog, which
(obviously) includes pkg-common-lisp as well.

On Mon, 2010-07-12 at 22:31 +0800, Desmond O. Chang wrote:
> The team is inactive now.  People's bugreports and patches don't get
> any response.  Many packages have been removed, many are out of date.
> I think the slow and complicated uploading process is why the team
> lacks contributors.

I do not agree with your opinions, actually none of them.  There are
different reasons for the old (current) situation.

One of the major problem is that while in the past we had a team (sort
of, Peter and me), later on both of us got busy in real life, which
means that bugs/updates started to sum up.  Sure, there is no excuse for
that, but hey, have I never said already that we are all volunteers?

Another problem is the nature of Common Lisp software, similar to the
scripting languages and not the compiled ones: as far as I could see
(and frankly speaking I never was an heavy developer/user), no one cares
about the distribution part, while on the contrary in most of the
projects, if not every, people are advised to download the current
snapshot and use that.  And no, this is not how Debian works, sorry.

The team was founded exactly to solve both problems, and even more: we
wanted to have a common place for Common Lisp stuffs (no pun intended)
and a way to attract more people.  As far as I remember you, Desmond,
were one of the few guys interested in join that effort: I have no
problems in recognizing that unfortunately you were probably stopped by
my lack of time, especially in replying to your mails.  However, at one
point only Peter and me were still involved in doing actual work.  That
is why a lot of packages have been dropped, preferring to concentrate on
the different implementations and leaving the applications to their
upstream developers or to some middleware software (like cl-builder or

I do not understand what you think is slow and complicate in uploading
packages, since there is no difference in how the team works WRT any
other uploads: you prepare the package, you test it and you upload it,
full stop.  If you are not a DD nor a DM you ask for a sponsor, again
full stop.  This is the normal workflow for any other Debian package,
being maintained in a team or not.

> Shall we need an unofficial repo like emacs.orebokech.com to renew the
> removed and outdated packages?

Please do not.  I am quitting the team (other mails later on), so I do
not care at all, but emacs.orebokech.com is not an "unofficial
repository to renew removed and outdated packages".  On the contrary, it
fills in a need for different people who wants to track Emacs
development but they do not want to compile/install Emacs by themselves,
especially considering messing up your Debian.  FYI, emacs-snapshot was
once in Debian sid as well, but was then removed because of various


And multiplying unofficial repository is not a good thing to do, since
packages get rotted there as well as in the official repository.  Please
understand that if you prepare a policy-compliant package for an
official repository and you do not upload it to the official Debian one,
you do more harm than good.  People need to add other repositories in
their sources, packages are not "reviewed" when any large scale analysis
(at the level of the whole repository) is done (simply think about the
various archive rebuilding done by Lucas Nussbaum, for example) and so

Unfortunately, we are talking about cyclic problems in Debian, not at
all specific to Common Lisp.  Having different teams should prevent
failing, but this is not always true.  Again, I have no problem in
recognizing my responsibilities in this fail, so shame on me.

Thx, bye,
Gismo / Luca
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