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Re: apt sources.list

Mark Brown wrote:

> Slink will disappear from the FTP sites once it is no longer the stable
> release.  If this is a problem for you you really ought to be using CDs

*but not the very minute* I hope.

> or some other form of archive that isn't going to vanish - changing the
> name of the distribution you're using in the apt sources.list isn't
> going to help much.

Yes, yes sure. Come on, don't you see the point in *the very moment* the
link changes there is *no way* in getting *anything* updated in Slink?
Or is the Debian development strategy really that strict that once the
link changes, the "slink" subdir vanishes - in which case we have an
even bigger problem.

> any case, it's not such a calamity to upgrade accidentally - Debian does
> generally handles upgrades reasonably well.

It is - with a modem. It really is, trust me.

> Pointing at the release name will break for everyone - people who want
> to track the current stable release will have to adjust things and

Where exactly do you think you'll find "People who want to track the
current stable release"? Those are power users. I have never seen any of
my customers asking me for "the current stable release" of *anything*.

> people who want to keep on using the old release will find the archive
> they're pointing at going away.

Again: is Debian going to purge Slink the minute the link changes??
That's worse than Microsoft has done *ever*.

Now let me state this very clear:
*the very minute* the "stable" link in Debian changes, newby users with
Slink will be out of luck with the current behaviour. No matter what.
There is no "soft upgrading", it's just "go get 1.2Gig". Your distro
becomes obsolete at this moment. I don't master the English language
enough to express my disagreement with this scheme in a polite enough

Now *that* is the bug. That has nothing to do with "people that want to
track the stable release", "seeing messages that warn for 1.2 gig
update" etcetera etcetera. Apt-get is supposed to make upgrading easy -
even for newbies. The current scheme does not do that, it will break
things. And if you think people should be able to track new stable
releases - then let them do that! It wouldn't be too hard to have a very
very small package "stable-release" that could tell people what's
happening? This way, you could even tell a complete newbie what's going
on. You would:

* have "<slink>" point to "<slink>" in the lists, not to "stable"
* have a very small package with version information. 
The minute "slink" is obsolete, there would be an "upgrade" of this
package for Slink, telling that slink is now obsolete - maybe telling
the user in the motd. If a user would want to keep using slink - no
problem - own fault.
Once Slink disappears, there's another update - maybe even leave the
Slink tree around to send the message "you're using an obsolete
distribution. To make use of the Internet updates, you need the blah
blah blah".

Then, a user interested in upgrading to <stable> could just do something
like "apt-get install stable-notify" or something, so the links would
reflect the current stable distribution. 

The above, of course, is only roughly speaking. But it's IMHO a better
system than the currently coming nearer "we drop slink...3, 2, 1, 0
*NOW!* haha!" scheme.


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