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Is Sid for broken stuff? Is it too much to ask for testing the packages?



Hello everybody,

  First of all - I'm pissed off, so ignore any inflammatory comments should
I miss to spot them in what I'm going to write. 

  So, is Sid supposed to be a place where maintainers upload broken packages
so that others hit the problem and report them as bugs? And I'm not talking
about big problems, no:

http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=172677

this is just "a wrong sort of quotes" in the postinst script. postgresql-dev
in its previous version had a broken .postrm script which didn't care to
test for the presence of a file it was going to remove. The file didn't
exist, the return code was 1, the upgrade to the latest version broke. 
What does that prove? That some maintainers don't install nor otherwise test 
their packages before uploading them. Yes, I wrote 'maintainers' since there's 
another example from but a while ago:

Setting up mozilla-browser-snapshot (0.0.20021211.21.trunk-1) ...
Updating mozilla chrome registry...done.
update-alternatives: --slave needs <link> <name> <path>

Debian update-alternatives 1.10.9.
Copyright (C) 1995 Ian Jackson.
Copyright (C) 2000-2002 Wichert Akkerman
This is free software; see the GNU General Public Licence
version 2 or later for copying conditions.  There is NO warranty.

Usage: update-alternatives --install <link> <name> <path> <priority>
                          [--slave <link> <name> <path>] ...
       update-alternatives --remove <name> <path>
       update-alternatives --auto <name>
       update-alternatives --display <name>
       update-alternatives --list <name>
       update-alternatives --config <name>
<name> is the name in /etc/alternatives.
<path> is the name referred to.
<link> is the link pointing to /etc/alternatives/<name>.
<priority> is an integer; options with higher numbers are chosen.

Options:  --verbose|--quiet  --test  --help  --version
          --altdir <directory>  --admindir <directory>
dpkg: error processing mozilla-browser-snapshot (--configure):
 subprocess post-installation script returned error exit status 2
Errors were encountered while processing:
 mozilla-browser-snapshot

Another case of an untested package. Going back to postgres - apparently the
maintainer "has no time" to test upgrades from earlier formats of the
database to the latest format. If the upgrade isn't tested by the maintainer
and isn't tested now - when is it going to be tested and on whose data?
Ours? Our users's in 6 months when a broken package hits stable? At least
last 3 Debian releases of the postgresql packages were broken - the database
format upgrade from 7.2 to 7.3 seems to be broken upstream, is it too much
to ask the maintainer to test at least such things before uploading packages
to Sid? We, developers, are supposed to use Sid machines - they are our
working environment - and if they are broken because of somebody not doing
their job, something's definitely going wrong somewhere... The not so
distant in time bonobo-activation bug costed me (and a couple of other guys)
2h of worktime to recover - if the package was tested by the maintainer
before uploading it, the breakage of many, many workstations would have
never happened. And comments like 'this is unstable - it is supposed to be
broken' don't help much. Maybe the packages I maintain aren't important,
maybe they aren't used by other developers - but I still install each and
every version of them and test them _before_ uploading to Sid. And I do take
every mesure I can to make sure the packages aren't obviously broken.

If there are any inflammatory (for you) comments above, please ignore them,
I call for serious discussion on that issue, because it is getting serious
with the constant stream of untested packages pouring in Sid in the recent
times.

thank you for reading, regards

marek

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