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tech-ctte: please help maintainers of packages with a "node" command to have a reasonable conversation

reassign 614907 tech-ctte

Dear Technical Committee,

The "node" and "nodejs" packages both provide a command named "node".
The command in the node package is in /usr/sbin; the command in nodejs
is in /usr/bin.  Both are very important commands that are widely used
in their respective communities.  Both have, in my humble opinion, too
generic of a name.  When I heard there was a command named "node", I
thought it was going to be a tool for making posts to everything2.com!
In the long term, I would be happiest if both were renamed.

Unfortunately, both have wide current usage.

1. /usr/sbin/node from the node package is a server used in inetd and
   ax25d configuration files to support packet radio networks somehow.
   I am not a subject matter expert, so I cannot say much more.

2. /usr/bin/node is a Javascript interpreter widely used in shebang
   lines like this:

	#!/usr/bin/env node

   and in scripts like this:

	node /path/to/script.js

In cases like this, Debian policy says that the question should be
taken up on debian-devel and a consensus should determine which
package gets to keep the name.  I believe a consensus really is
forming, but it is hard to respect that given that I don't understand
Pat Ouellette's objections very well.  You can find snippets of the
(long running) conversation in various places:


My personal bias is that I would prefer if the technical committee
does *not* have to decide which package gets the command.  I think
that once the stonewalling is over and people start actually trying to
work on a fix, we might run into technical complications and it would
be useful if the maintainers involved feel free to adapt and discuss
with one another appropriate fixes.

Unfortunately, I think [1] illustrates that the participants are not
willing to discuss reasonably any more.

I'd be happy to talk about work so far, transition plans,
complications and possible ways forward in a separate message.


[1] https://lists.debian.org/debian-hams/2012/05/msg00017.html

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