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Re: bugs + rant + constructive criticism (long)

The reason that I haven't responded to this yet is simply because I knew
it would go way off course onto a thread like this.

Personally, anything I would put into 'production' would have all of it's
servers running from-source compiled versions of the daemons it serves.
Nothing against any of you debian contributors, but there is too much at
risk, stable or unstable, from using a self-upgrading packaging format. I
could go on with more reasons, but it'd be pointless. The server in
question is a hobby server, that I run at home and TO TEST unstable.

Unstable, while being unstable, should still install. I think of
'unstable' as 'untested packages', not 'untested package management'.
Frankly anyone who can't dpkg -r/dpkg -i before they commit a package is
someone that I would not want workign with me, much less handling my
systems. Whether or not this is a free system is beyond the point.
Packaging on a preset system is not rocket science, it's just a glorious
mishmash of perl scripts and shell scripts.

And I would have never written the mail in the first place if I had felt
that it was my system config that was causing the problem. I have been
running almost vanilla unstable to the T since potato was unstable on this
system, and *NEVER* had install issues like this on it. The breaking of
man and groff are inexcusable at best, and with dpkg's dependency on perl,
perl should be coming with those modules as well as dpkg, with dpkg
providing upgrades.

Regardless, I do appreciate those that took the time to actually help
solve my issues, but, none of them worked, of course, because apt and dpkg
depend on perl modules, those of which did not get installed. As any perl
hacker would know, no module == no execution. Tonight I'm going to try
and track the packages that contain this information, and install them as

My general point (which most of you missed), was that I was using
unstable. Not woody, not sid, unstable. I ran the dist-upgrade shortly
after finding out about the testing<->unstable merge, so I was somewhat
prepared for the worst, but nothing like this. I was also rather irate
about the fact that a single failed package install causes the apt-get
process to halt completely -- it should only avoid interdependent packages
with the broken ones. Last I checked there were very few things that
depend on man/manpages to run. (man and groff being the only things that
come to mind)

However, I can't even reconfigure, simply because the important packages
never made it to the configure stage. This system is nigh unto hosed until
I'm able to manually unpack the right packages with the proper perl
modules and copy them to the proper spots, to fullfill these dependencies
manually. Package management should have guarded against this, or at least
provided me with an out (or at worst, checked itself and warned me).

I have, in other less major cases had to run apt-get sometimes up to
4 times to finish the install process because of a single broken
package that keeps appearing in random spots in the list -- this is
something I should never have to do. I should be able to run it once,
have it install all POSSIBLE packages, and then have it report a list of
packages which were unavailable to install. IIRC, This was the way that
older versions of apt worked, but I may be incorrect.

I'm sorry to sound so arrogant when it comes to this, but I just can't
believe there aren't mroe safeguards built into the package system that
prevent stuff like this from happening.

Erik Hollensbe <erik@powells.com>
Programmer, Powells Internet Division
"I respect a man who lets me know where he stands, even if he is wrong."
- Malcolm X

On Thu, 4 Jan 2001, Craig Sanders wrote:

> On Wed, Jan 03, 2001 at 06:16:17AM -0800, Jim Lynch wrote:
> > If you want to advocate the use of unstable software, please be my
> > guest... but not on #debian. it changes daily, and can potentially
> > break every day, potentially disasterously. So -no-. It's NOT
> > appropriate to tell people to run servers on unstable software.
> if i ever happen to be on #debian and someone has a problem where the
> best solution is to upgrade to unstable (either a full dist-upgrade or
> just selected packages) then i certainly will recommend exactly that.
> it is *always* appropriate to provide a good solution to a problem -
> whether it accords with your opinion or not.
> > On the other hand... if you want to -pay- me to take the support load
> > for a limited period of time, I'll open the door, for a limited period
> > of time. I'm a volunteer there, you already know what a volunteer is
> > if you have anything at all to do with debian.
> there's no need to be so pompous and pretentious. you're just another
> volunteer, not the Thought Police.
> craig
> --
> craig sanders

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