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Proposal: Bringing volatile in shape for sarge


finally, sarge is about to release.  As that happens, we had some more
discussions with people as volatile is going to be really live soon;
volatile is also mentioned in the release notes.

Some topics have been brought to our attention, and we plan to solve them
all in May, so that we are ready when sarge is ready.

gaim, ...: volatile-sloppy
Once again, we were asked whether we would accept updated gaim packages
during sarges lifetime. Gaim (and similar applications) are punished by
trying to support special protocolls like Yahoo messenger, which are broken
by purpose from time to time.  As the only fix to get them life again is
usually to upgrade to a fairly recent version, this is not acceptable for
volatile in the stricter definition; however, we believe that enough people
want such a package so that it should be supported somehow.

For that reason, we intend to add a second part to the archive, called
"sloppy" for now (but we're still open to any change in the name).  The
relevant criterias for "sloppy" will be the same as for the normal
volatile, just that we are not as strict regarding function enhancements.

Matching to that, we plan to create a Release-file that pins that archive
down in apt, so that any administrator need to decide for himself what to
take.  Other suggestions for the name include current and HEAD.

For packages even unfitting for that category, we might send out
recommendations to update that package, and identify where to get
updated package, like backports.org; but of course, this can even be
decided after sarge is out.

Of course, that brings us the next questions: We need a proper list for
announcements, and we plan to also add an RSS-feed with the updates. Any
ideas, recommendations etc are welcome.

archive structure
well, the basic question is, what should the users add to
/etc/apt/sources.list.  We currently tend to something like
deb http://$mirror/debian-volatile sarge/volatile main and for sloppy
deb http://$mirror/debian-volatile sarge/volatile/sloppy (and for the
proposed updates deb http://$mirror/debian-volatile sarge/volatile/proposed).

Of course, feel free to cluebat us if you have better ideas.

We want to make all decisions till Thursday evening (UTC), and the
implementations should be done at least to the stage users can use that
sources-lines by Friday evening, so that we can have proper testing.

example packages
For some packages, the discussions are nearly finished on getting them into
volatile-sarge soon:

- clamav-data: this package is for people who want the anti-virus pattern
  as debian package, and not use clamav-freshclam. We tend to give Marc
  Haber as maintainer the possibility to update the package by himself, and
  this will probably happen once a day. As very large exception, that
  package won't create any of the usual announcements.

- gaim. Well, see above.

So, that's for now.  We appreciate your feedback.

Andi Barth, Martin Zobel-Helas
volatile team

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