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Re: Archive is moving to auric / Incoming disabled

On Thu, May 11, 2000 at 01:14:40AM +0200, Wichert Akkerman wrote:
> Previously Craig Sanders wrote:
> > http is inadequate for anyone outside the continental US.
> I really don't see why http would be worse then ftp.

because fetching files from the US when you need them NOW adds
unnecessary delays to repairing a system that just got hosed by an
apt-get upgrade. over the years, i've been saved several times after an
upgrade by immediately looking in my local Incoming mirror for a newer
version of whatever just broke and installing it.

also, it's a PITA to use when you need or want to install something
that you know got uploaded weeks or months ago but has been stuck
in incoming for one reason or another, especially if that something
comprises several .deb packages...you either have to sit there and
manually download all the .debs individually or write a little script to
fetch them (and hope you didn't make some annoying typo in the URLs).
with ftp, the whole batch can be fetched in one go with a carefully
constructed wildcard mget.

a local mirror of Incoming also allows you to run "dpkg -I" on the
.deb files, which gives you a lot more information than what is in the
.changes file...for one thing, it gives you the description so you can
tell what a new package is. it also yells you what dependancies it has
so you know what else you might need to download or install.

these aren't just pretty theoretical advantages - they were practical
things i used to do regularly before the Incoming mirrors vanished. they
make a huge difference in debian's usability, especially if you keep
your machines mostly in sync with unstable.

http is great for browsing...but it's not well suited to automation.

it's possible to use wget or something to mirror the incoming directory,
but mirroring http sucks compared to mirroring ftp...wget doesn't offer
anywhere near the same control over what gets mirrored and what doesn't.

this issue was discussed on debian-project several weeks ago, but
discussion just stopped with no resolution not long after i pointed out
that there were no good reasons for stopping incoming mirrors and that
doing so actively caused harm to those who use unstable.  Ben's attitude
seemed to be "well, i don't need it so i don't care who gets harmed by
it". this attitude is, to put it politely, inadequate.


craig sanders

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