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Re: how to make Debian less fragile (long and philosophical)

* Dale Scheetz said:

> > Does anyone here take this seriously?
> > 
> > Or is stability, reliability, and therefore cost-of-ownership a 
> > non-issue with the Debian group? 
> > 
> and have we stopped beating our wives?
> It seems to me that you have missed a fundamental point:
> Potato is unstable. Unstable is, by definition "fragile". No one running a
> production machine is ever encouraged to use packages from unstable.
Slink is as fragile as potato in that respect.

> That said, lets look at your idea:
> While staticly linked binaries would have avoided the recent brokenness in
> bash. It is not the solution to a "fragile" development process. How
> different would the situation be if the staticly linked bash (upgraded
> first to "guarantee" success of the rest of the install) was subtly broken
> such that certain crucial install processes fail. Now you are in the same
> boat as with dynamic linked brokenness.
The conclusion drawn from it is that such a complex shell as bash should not
ever be used as a single-mode shell either linked statically or not. SASH or
ASH are more suitable for that. Less complex - less prone for "subtle"
programming errors. And if a STANDARD shell is "subtly" broken, then it
should never be used and relied upon.

> The "problem" you are trying to fix is the frailty of human developers who
> don't always do the "right thing". Debian deals with these problems by
> having a publicly available "unstable" distribution, so that such problems
> may be discovered by those willing to risk breaking their systems to find
> them. It is not intended to provide the general user with the most
> up-to-date packages, as some folks seem to want to believe.
Hmm... still, the problem that was raised applies to all and every Debian
version, not only to unstable - dynamic linking can break everywhere, not
only with unstable. What does dynamic linking have to do with unstable

> If you still think there is need for an on-root rescue package, see the
> recent discussion on the rescue package. It was finally decided (at least
> this is the message I got from the discussion) that sash was already
> delivered staticly linked and provide all of the tools necessary to
> recover from most broken situations.
Well, I didn't read that disccusion, lamentably, as I was on my vacation,
but even if sash is used then init is still dynamically linked, and /bin/sh
as well - and sash uses /bin/sh when it cannot manage otherwise.

> Install sash and you should always be able to recover:
> ln -s /bin/sh /wherever/sash
provided ln works.


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