Let me make something very clear:
THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO REASON FOR US TO KEEP THE DISTRIBUTION SMALL BY HOLDING
BACK PACKAGES. We can keep the number of _required_ packages small, but the
number of optional ones should be large. If we _really_ don't want them, we'll
put them in the "contrib" directory.
E. Branderhorst writes:
> Dirk Eddelbuettel mailed me that he
> was in doubt if packages like untex (one file) and xypic (a bunch of
> (la)tex files and fonts) should be in the debian system.
The only legitimate reason for us to _exclude_ a package I can see is:
1. The distribution terms are wrong.
2. We already have something better.
3. It's too buggy for the package maintainer to support.
4. There's no package maintainer.
Size is not a problem. I would prefer that packages be distributed in a form
close to that distributed by the program developer. In other words, if untex
is distributed as a single program, it should be packaged that way. The other
alternative is a package that is a collection of several upstream packages (by
"upstream package", I mean what the program's developer distributes). These
are more difficult to maintain because you have to revise the entire package
when one of the upstream packages changes. Maintaining some of the base
packages is a pain because they were built this way.
> Does the debian community (or the devels) want such packages?
I don't see why not. I would caution you to be careful about the distribution
terms of anything you package, and make sure it works, is well-documented, and
be sure you can support it.
Richard Kettlewel writes:
> It's a shame we can't ever have any accurate way of collecting
> figures on how many people use Debian as a whole, never mind
> individual packages.
There are about 420 people on debian-user. They wouldn't be on debian-user
if they didn't want to run the system.
> I think you'll find many of packages require that the copyright
> message be distributed with them.
DO NOT UPLOAD A PACKAGE WITHOUT A COPYRIGHT FILE IN IT.
We'll delete it from the FTP archive as soon as we find out about it.
We have to be hard-nosed about this, because we want to be sure that
everything we are distributing is OK to distribute.
> Can you imagine sitting there clicking fifty or so links to download
> everything you need? Much easier to ``mget *'', hit return a few
> dozen times in succession and go away for a coffee...
Debian CD-ROM: $20. It's easier than FTP for most people. The only purpose
of the point-and-click interface to the FTP archive is to:
1. Tell people what's in the system.
2. Let people do incremental upgrades as new stuff is released.
By the way, if you have to hit return a few dozen times when you "mget",
are you missing the "prompt" command to FTP?
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