bugs + rant + constructive criticism (long)
Sorry for the crosspost, but I wanted to get this to those involved as
such. Hopefully my tone won't sway you, if you read on I think you'll
First, I regard debian as the 'best' linux distro out there. I recommend
it to everyone.
However, around the time of the potato release, things in woody especially
started falling to shit, mainly in stupid QC that could have been easily
Some packages refuse to install, and of course, break apt in the process.
Right now, I'm *hopefully* going to be able to repair a totally hosed
server that failed an apt-get because MAN AND GROFF failed to install
properly, ending the upgrade process and therefore stopping the install of
all the perl/debian-perl packages except the binary, rendering apt
No doubt the failure of man and groff has to do with the problem that i've
been having with many other packages, which I will detail below.
Please, please, please, please... Checking your shell scripts for SYNTAX
ERRORS is not a bad idea before you submit it to the package repository!
You have no idea how many times, that I have helped people in #debian on
OPN fix shell script errors for packages like mysql-server, which, could
have easily rendered a semi-production system completely dead (hopefully
they compile from source, but that's not the point, is it?) simply because
someone forgot a bracket or used the wrong 'set' parameters in their
Other issues with apt in general - there is no OBVIOUS way (short of
reading the APT/DPKG perl classes) to force certain flags.
For instance - install package 'realplayer', then, upgrade your copy of
xfree86-server or xfree86-common, and watch them fail as it tries to
write to a file in /etc/X11. I don't think I need to go into detail about
how much stuff like this pisses off the average user. rpm anyone? (no,
apt-get -f install does not work, so don't even bother)
And why are packages being REMOVED (lib-pg-perl for example) when I dist
apt-get and it's kin need more simple getopt-style flags that allow
overriding of certain things, mainly conflicts. Also, an option to
actually view what's being upgraded before you download 250 packages that
are only going to break your system would be nice as well.
I dunno - I was using debian back when hamm was released, and I have never
seen such an utter mess of incompatibilities and stupid human error
even in the worst mess of unstable upgrades (which happens, and is
understandable). Almost all of this is due to a significant lack of
adequate testing by package maintainers.
My apologies for anyone I offended.
Erik Hollensbe <email@example.com>
Programmer, Powells Internet Division
"I respect a man who lets me know where he stands, even if he is wrong."
- Malcolm X