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Re: sid: libc6-2.2.5-4 kills vmware workstation 3.0

On Tue, Apr 09, 2002 at 08:11:59PM +0100, Colin Watson wrote:
> On Tue, Apr 09, 2002 at 08:45:16PM +0200, Jeroen Dekkers wrote:
> > On Tue, Apr 09, 2002 at 01:21:49PM -0500, Colin Watson wrote:
> > > On Tue, Apr 09, 2002 at 07:29:14PM +0200, Jeroen Dekkers wrote:
> > > > Vmware isn't even in Debian. This is truely a problem of vmware
> > > > itself. IMHO this isn't something for debian-devel. Or do you want to
> > > > make debian-devel a list where all Debian users can come with their
> > > > problems running buggy non-free software?
> > > 
> > > What if they turned out to be caused by bugs in our free software?
> > > Telling them to go away then would be foolish, since we want to know
> > > about bugs, no matter how they were caused.
> > > 
> > > Apparently this breakage was caused by a change in glibc. As a general
> > > rule, changes in the C library should not break any software, whether
> > > free or non-free. Sometimes this is not the case (e.g. StarOffice's use
> > > of private glibc symbols a few years ago), but bugs should be
> > > investigated rather than casually dismissed.
> > 
> > Did you *read* the thread? The cause of the problem was already found,
> > it was a vmware bug, vmware already provided patches but not for the
> > version Donald was using.
> I was rather under the impression that we were talking about any
> discussion of problems with non-free software, regardless of the cause.
> It certainly sounded that way to me.

Well, if everybody just understood each other correctly, it would
solve a lot of problems. However that's not the case. :(

> Even your improved reply says:
> > This problem is very common for non-free software.
> ... which really doesn't seem all that relevant apart from sounding
> good; hell, the change in nice()'s return value appears to be a problem
> for start-stop-daemon in dpkg, see #141500, and a minor problem with X,
> see #140012. The nice() interface *did* change without versioning - it's
> true that programs that relied on the old behaviour were buggy, but
> there are plenty of such programs in Debian main and that is something
> Debian developers should be aware of. Patting ourselves on the back is
> great when it's justified, but I think it's somewhat counterproductive
> when it isn't.
> Now, it's true that one generally can't fix the non-free stuff when it
> breaks in this way, nor can Debian. But claiming that the *problem* is
> common in non-free software, implying that it is not common in free
> software, is simply not true.

The actual problem was that he has an old version for which no patch
exists. That problem doesn't occur with free software because 1) If it
is in Debian the Debian maintainer would fix it 2) You've the freedom
to fix it yourself or let somebody else fix it. Now this is actually
one of the things free software is about, I just had to point that out
and say there are free alternatives in Debian. I don't see anything
wrong with that.

Jeroen Dekkers
Jabber supporter - http://www.jabber.org Jabber ID: jdekkers@jabber.org
Debian GNU supporter - http://www.debian.org http://www.gnu.org
IRC: jeroen@openprojects

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