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Re: Intent to package xfntbase, xfnt75, etc.

On Wed, Jan 27, 1999 at 08:01:28PM +0100, Santiago Vila wrote:
> I intend to package all the dummy packages we have been talking about. 
> They match the packages that changed its name in the great X
> reorganization.

You'll do no such thing or I will take drastic measures.  Those packages
are MINE.  If the dummy packages are going to be created, it's going to be
me who does it.

It only makes sense, since I am more familiar with the X packages than you

> *) We have discussed enough, it's time to do something positive so that
> this issue is solved as soon as possible.

You've made it clear that your only definition of "something positive" is
whatever it is you want to do.  That definition is unacceptable to me.
John Hasler might like it but there are about 400 other people to ask.

If necessary, I will submit a proposal to the debian-policy group, which
seems to be populated by most of the developers who care to pick nits
over the details like this.  I'd ask you to, but your track record on
this issue does not inspire me with much confidence in your objectivity.

As evidence of that, I submit your "intent to package" message.  Rather
than sticking to points, you can't help but indulge in arrogant
condescention.  Such tactics are not how mature people settle technical

> * (From Branden Robinson) "Ok, don't worry, I think I should be the one to
> do it, since I'm the X maintainer".

Barring a better solution, I will be the one to do this.  The xbase dummy
package is already implemented in my current build tree and it makes sense
for these all to be generated from the same source package.

> * "You should not create them because they are useless".
> Not true, since lot of people expect the old packages to be upgraded by
> the new ones automatically, these packages are exactly which is needed
> (with existing tools) so that the upgrade is done automatically.

Non sequitur.  The packages *are* useless in a purely functional sense,
i.e., they are not ends in themselves, nor a means to anything but
overcoming limitations in the packaging system.

The "principle of least surprise" is a far better way of wording the above.
Ironic that it should be I who has to provide you with this term.

> * "Don't do it, they are ugly".
> Having an ugly thing does not mean it may not be useful as well.
> Functionality is more important than aesthetics.

The problem is ugly.  So is your solution.  I will concede that there may
not be a pretty solution short of adding a feature to the packaging system.
It does not follow that your proposal is the best of all possible

> * "There should be some better way".
> Fine. Which one?

Is there a way to have a dpkg --set-selections call lurk in the background
until the current dpkg process ends, like update-menus does now?  That
would be a far cleaner solution.

E.g., in the xbase postinst, embed or call the following logic:
  while (dpkg running)

  for oldpackage in xfntbase xfnt75 xfnt100 ... xslib xslibg; do
    case $oldpackage in
      xfntbase) newpackage=xfonts-base ;;
      xslibg) newpackage=xlib6g-static ;;
    echo "$newpackage install" | dpkg --set-selections

The second half is easy.  Waiting for dpkg to finish is what I don't know
how to do.  There is also the issue of guaranteeing that apt(?) is invoked
to realize the state of the new selections.

At any rate, other proposals need to be submitted and discussed.  The best
thing you could do would be to direct your energies into encouraging such
alternative proposals, rather than pursuing your own pet solution with such

I will not let you make this decision for me.  I'm not going to disregard
the collective knowledge and experience of the other Debian developers just
to get you off my back.

I will not be bullied.  I will not be intimidated.  And I will not have
my package (or any of its components) hijacked by you.  If you feel I
have mismanaged or handled XFree86 irresponsibly, then I trust you will
submit the matter to the project leadership for appropriate due process.

Otherwise, I hope you will soon rediscover the concept of "friendly

G. Branden Robinson              |   Any man who does not realize that he is
Debian GNU/Linux                 |   half an animal is only half a man.
branden@ecn.purdue.edu           |   -- Thornton Wilder
cartoon.ecn.purdue.edu/~branden/ |

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