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Re: dist-upgrade wants to remove scwm

Josip Rodin <joy@cibalia.gkvk.hr> writes:

> On Sat, Jun 24, 2000 at 04:20:28AM -0700, Miguel Wooding SF Ten.Union wrote:
> > It appears that the problem is that perl-5.005 depends on
> > perl-5.005-base, which in turn conflicts with perl.  apt doesn't seem
> > to figure out that it can upgrade perl to the new dummy package,
> > install perl-5.004 to satisfy the dummy perl's dependency, and then
> > remove perl to satisfy the conflict with perl-5.005-base.
> That problem still exists? Darn... it shouldn't happen.
> We'll document it better in the Release Notes if it doesn't get fixed.

As I look at it further, it seems like it's a fairly substantial
problem.  If I understand correctly, it means that any package that
Depends: on perl-5.005 (or, as in the case of scwm, on any other
package that Depends on perl-5.005, recursively) can't be upgraded
using apt-get.  That's a substantial number of packages.  Just to get
a rough idea, I counted some of them:

$ apt-cache dumpavail|egrep "^Depends:.*perl-5.005"|wc -l
$ apt-cache dumpavail|egrep "^Depends:.*debconf"|wc -l

Now, not all of these packages are necessarily in slink, so upgrading
might not be an issue, but then again there are others (again, like
scwm) that are farther removed and aren't counted here.  A couple
other packages that don't upgrade include gnuplot and lynx.
Undoubtedly there are more.  (I think that lynx, at least, is silently
left at the previous version rather than being removed or upgraded.  I
don't know whether others also get removed, as scwm does, as a result
of this bug.  Removal is clearly a much more serious problem than
simple failure to upgrade, but the latter seems like a concern as
well.  When I have time later I'll try to look at that further...)

Debian is (justifiably) much-vaunted for its easy upgrade path; this
would significantly tarnish its reputation on this score.  I know
potato is about to release, but it would be really nice to have
upgrades work properly.  I suppose documenting that they don't work
right is better than nothing, but it's still not optimal.  I hope that
I'm over-estimating the extent of the problem but I fear that I am

> > By the way, the release notes pointed to on the web site at
> > http://www.debian.org/releases/frozen/i386/release-notes/ are not in
> > English for some reason.
> You should set up (or fix) content-negotiation in your web browser. Also,
> the english version should be accessible directly, tack index.en.html on the
> above URL.

I simply followed a link from the Debian Documentation Project page in
the Developers' Corner at the Debian web site.  All the pages leading
up to this were in English; isn't it reasonable to expect that they
would continue in English? (I'm using links; I'll try later on to see
about setting up content-negotiation.  But it still seems like a naive
user following a series English language links at a web site should be
able to expect that they will continue in English without making
changes to the browser.)


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