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Re: Bug#614907: tech-ctte: please help maintainers of packages with a "node" command to have a reasonable conversation

On Wed, May 02, 2012 at 04:50:12PM -0700, Russ Allbery wrote:
> Well, there are some limits even to what upstream can do.  Whether Node.js
> has reached that point is debatable, but (to take an obvious example) even
> if upstream wanted to rename python to something else, it's never going to
> happen now.  You can reach a critical mass of external, independent
> documentation where renaming just creates massive confusion and is
> unlikely to achieve much.

This is an ironic example, given that other distributions pushed through the
introduction of /usr/bin/python2 upstream and are starting to promulgate
that in shebang lines, and those distributions have now made /usr/bin/python
point to python3 by default - a pointless exercise in renaming, and a
failure to understand API versioning, if ever there was one.

Nevertheless, I agree that it's counterproductive for Debian to try to force
upstream to rename an interpreter by changing the name in Debian and
expecting upstream to meekly follow suit.  Even if it works, it's still bad
for our users because of the mass confusion during the transitional period.
Much better is to reach out to upstream first and try to /persuade/ them to
use a different name.

Clint Byrum has nudged me about this (wearing his Ubuntu Server hat rather
than his shiny new Debian Developer hat) and I've agreed to approach node.js
upstream about a possible upstream rename.  I'll report back to the TC what
I find out.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

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