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Re: Gratuitous promotion of random binaries to standard

On 27 Jan 1998, Manoj Srivastava wrote:

> Hi,
> >>"Dale" == Dale Scheetz <dwarf@polaris.net> writes:
> Dale> I am a great fan of MC and my only desires are that it be in the
> Dale> main distribution so dselect can install it, and that its
> Dale> "debian" features be maintained.
> 	Is that not the case? Is it not in main? does dselect refuse
>  to install it? Is anyone removing the Debian features? 

I guess I didn't make it clear. I am quite satisfied with having mc where
it is in our distribution. My complaints were about the decission and the

> 	Why this drive to move packages from optional (which the vast
>  majority of debian packages are) to standard? what difference
>  does it make really? 
None, except for those folks who have to go into the select menu item in
dselect and choose mc for installation (I also include joe in any of the
systems that I set up along with several other programs)

I guess when the number of folks who wish to select it outnumber the
number of folks who will want to remove it from selection, then this
debate will have more meaning.

> 	It is not as if not being standard reduces visibility. Sendmail 
>  is extra, for gods sake. X is optional. why is mc more standard than
>  X or sendmail? (If i was a conspiracy theorist, i would see all kinds
>  of hdden agendas here). 

We are all glad you aren't a conspiracy theorist ;-)
> Dale> My concern is not so much with MC being rejected as a "standard"
> Dale> package, but more with the entrenched conservatism that says,
> Dale> only those packages that have historically been considered "part
> Dale> of a standard Unix system" are ever to be considered as
> Dale> "standard" Debian packages. This strict interpretation is the
> Dale> definition of a "dead language", an unchanging static object
> Dale> that can never be adapted to a new environment and will
> Dale> therefore become extinct.
> 	Look at it this way. We have 17 important packages, 58
>  standard ones, and these, by themselves, constitute a core of what
>  most people agree is a ``UNIX'' system. 
> 	We also have 1368 optional packages, and 202 extra ones. In
>  the optional packages are some that a lot of people like. We import
>  *all* packages indiscriminately into the standard category, it shall
>  loose all meaning. So we have to have some criterion for moving a
>  package from optional (where most packages belong) to standard.
> 	I think the only reason for a package to be in standard is if
>  it were not in standard, people should say what kinda unix is this?
>  it does not even have <blah>. Unfortuantely, mc does not qualify.
You are correct, however majority vote doesn't seem to be the criterion
for some. I would consider this a valid way to tell what is standard.

> Dale> I have always taken the "liberal" POV and have expected Debian
> Dale> to be a living, breathing, adapting system and have no
> Dale> objections to redefining the set of standard packages on a
> Dale> continuing basis.
> 	But not indiscriminately. Come up with a better candidate, and
>  you may well get a different response.

You mean something more like emacs? (Please don't bite)
> Dale> One final argument in favor of considering MC to be a standard
> Dale> package. The GNU folks have adopted this package and carry it on
> Dale> all their mirrors. We are "Debian GNU/Linux", not "Debian, the
> Dale> standard since ancient times".
> 	Oh, come on, dwarf. You wanna tell me that all packages on
>  ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu should be standard packages? Yuo know what all is
>  in there? gnushogi? xboard? 

Oh, come on, manoj. You know that's not what I meant. I was speaking to
that *what most folks think is Unix* issue that you say it the correct
criterion for judgement.

> Dale> Those of you who are opposed to changing standard please
> Dale> reconsider your position by taking a look at the list of
> Dale> standard packages with the eye toward what tools are missing
> Dale> that could be provided to make a more "complete" set of
> Dale> "standard" tools. (As you know, I think MC is a prime candidate)
> Dale> If you come to the conclusion that I am still wrong, please let
> Dale> us hear your reasons. Paul is correct. "No!" in reply to "Is
> Dale> this a good idea?" is a vote with no authority. Please, give
> Dale> logical explanation. This tends to starve the flames, while
> Dale> providing information to the rest of us.
> 	I would not consider it strange if a unix system does not
>  contain mc. And the drafts of unix 98 do not, in any way, shape, or
>  form, mention mc. I have not, to my knowledge, worked on any machine
>  that had mc installed. I do not think it is a standard package. 
This is more what I was asking for. This is much better than simply saying

I aggree with your most important point. The majority of "Unix" folks do
not consider it a standard package. However the general concensus is that
not only is this true, but it will always be true. It is that position
that distrubs me.


_-_-_-_-_-_-   Author of "The Debian User's Guide"    _-_-_-_-_-_-_-

aka   Dale Scheetz                   Phone:   1 (904) 656-9769
      Flexible Software              11000 McCrackin Road
      e-mail:  dwarf@polaris.net     Tallahassee, FL  32308

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