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Re: When unstable breaks

Jim Lynch (jim@laney.edu) writes:

> You're expected to know what's up, don't just go installing packages 
> automatically just because you wanna upgrade... you shoudl be following
> appropriate information sources, especially including the source code
> itself.

On the other hand, the Developer's Reference says, about
"people who live off unstable",

> we should encourage these people.

I want to support this view of the Developer's Reference.

I have, for some two or three years, as a Debian user,
blindly downloaded packages from unstable, indeed, just
because I wanted to upgrade.  I did so pretty much whenever
I wanted to start using a piece of software that I had not
used before.  Without ever taking the extra trouble to
follow ``appropiate information sources''.

I have encountered my share of occasional problems.  But
mostly configuration stuff I could fix myself.

I am quick to write bug reports.  But, when I count the
20some reports I have written over the last 2.5 years, I
seem to average just about one bug report every six weeks.
I see that as a good sign.

"Unstable" may not be all that unstable, really.  In my
experience, the added stability through bugs fixed upstream
outweights the risk of Debian-specific goofs.  It is indeed
possible to "live off unstable", happily.

I always thought that people like myself are a valuable
resource to the Debian project.  If nothing else, we do find
some of those bugs long before they even get close to

My plea:

Don't tell us we are expected to know what's up.
Don't tell us to read lotsa information sources.

Encourage us.

Making ``unstable'' as relieable and fail-safe as feasable
is a Good Thing.




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