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Re: Useless packages (was Re: anarchism_7.7-1.deb)

On Sat, Sep 25, 1999 at 08:18:04PM +1000, Craig Sanders wrote:
> On Sat, Sep 25, 1999 at 02:51:36AM -0500, David Starner wrote:
> > On Sat, Sep 25, 1999 at 07:28:57AM +0000, Lars Wirzenius wrote:
> > > David Starner <dvdeug@x8b4e53cd.dhcp.okstate.edu>:
> > > > Instead of each developer chose what packages are and aren't useful 
> > > > to them, why don't we look at the popularity contest? A simple, bias-free
> > > > way of seperating programs on to the CD's, by actual use. That is what
> > > > it was made for. 
> > > 
> > > http://www.debian.org/~apenwarr/popcon/ says
> > > 
> > > 	*** THIS IS EXPERIMENTAL!! *** Try not to get upset if the
> > > 	results are incorrect, but be sure to e-mail me if you think
> > > 	there's something funny going on.
> > > 
> > > I wouldn't base decisions on it yet.
> i wouldn't base any decisions on it ever.  that's not it's purpose.

IIRC, it was designed in part to simplify the decision of what packages
to put on which CD.
> > 
> > Is there any reason to think it's not correct? 
> more to the point, is there any reason to think that it matters whether
> it is correct or not? the popularity contest is for informational
> (entertainment) purposes only, not for decision making.
> the usefulness of a package has nothing at all to do with it's
> popularity - it may be "unpopular" because it is an obscure and
> specialised tool but to those who know and need it, it is essential.

Okay, if you need the complete suite of geda tools, you're probably going to
need the full set of Debian CD's. That's life. Almost every program is going
to be essential to someone, and putting all the games on the last CD is not
going to go over well.

> the survey was never intended to be a means of deciding whether packages
> are useful or not. nor was it intended for deciding whether to include a
> package in debian or not.

I wasn't claiming anything of the sort.

> at most, it is a tool for *helping* to order
> packages on a CD 

It's a nice way to order the packages with little to no arbitary decisions,
and it's much harder to argue your favorite program was left off arbitrarily.
You could set up goals for the CD instead (all Emacsen and a complete Gnome
setup on the first CD, for instance), but think about the amount of arguing
_those_ goals could cause.

> (and even that is of limited use because it mostly
> shows the popularity of old packages in the last release but not new
> ones in the current unstable).

Over half the people who report are running Potato (libstdc++2.9-glibc2.1 
is installed by 355 people, while textutils (the top of base) is installed
by 612). Still, many of the people who install by CD are running Slink, and 
would appreciate having the upgraded versions of their current programs on
the CD. 

Does any one have a script to produce a CD listing from the popularity 
contest? That might produce interesting fuel for the discussion.

David Starner - dstarner98@aasaa.ofe.org

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