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Bug#154950: gnome1/gnome2: What other choices do we have?

Here's my current thinking on this gnome1/gnome2 transition issue.
Please note that I'm not able to run X right now, so I have no current
experience to bring to bear -- I'm basing my thinking on what other
people have written.  Also, if I was running X, I suspect I'd prefer KDE
over Gnome (Gnome2 might have addressed my reasons for this preference,
but currently Gnome2 is not a mature system).

There are several ways we could treat this transition:  Sometimes when new
packages are introduced (especially libraries), we define the packages
so that the new and the old can sit side-by-side.  Most of the time,
however, we arrange so that the new version replaces the old version.

Gnome isn't a single package, however, it's a large collection of
packages.  Furthermore, while parts of gnome2 are ready for use, other
parts haven't been written yet.  And, finally, while some parts of gnome2
are almost identical to gnome1 (for example: sawfish, except for build
instructions), other parts of gnome2 are radically incompatible with
gnome1 (apparently because major bits of cruft have been gutted out
of gnome2).

Some people aren't happy with the way the maintainer of these packages
is dealing with this issue, and this committee has been asked to come
in and make a technical decision.  I'm not completely clear what this
"technical decision" would be about:

There is apparently some interest in keeping gnome1 alive (for how long?)
but not on the part of the package maintainer.  [If there was enough
interest, someone could take the gnome1 packages, introduce them under
new names, and define that they replace older packages of such and such
version or less, and such and such names.  There could easily be political
problems with this solution -- and I doubt that there's enough interest to
pull this off in a technically valid fashion -- but I suspect it's doable.
Essentially, you'd want a "task-like" package to be built to manage
the transition, and it would make sense to use an instance of the dpkg
build tools to locally build a "task-like" package based on the gnome1
packages currently installed on the machine.  Needless to say: there's
a lot of technical expertise which would be required to pull this off in
a decent fashion, and more expertise would be needed to maintain gnome1.]

There is some frustration that the packages in unstable conflict with
(and don't provide replacements for) packages in testing.  [this may
eventually be resolved upstream, but it's hard to predict the future.]

There is some frustration that the new packages don't deal with
configuration files built for the older packages [it looks like this is
being resolved by the package maintainer, but given that some packages
don't even exist yet for gnome2 this can only be a partial solution].

If there's any other aspect to this problem, I've overlooked it.

It's tempting (though probably premature) to treat this whole situation
by filing bugs against the gnome1 packages which don't have gnome2
equivalents: "doesn't work with gnome2".

But, really, I don't see the technical side of this issue.  All the
"badness" is being confined to unstable, and it looks like the handling
of the problems in unstable falls within our historical practices and
guidelines.  Or did I miss something?

Can we fall back on 6.3.5 here?  [That is: we're being asked to make a
decision, but couldn't we be pushing back and asking for more detailed



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