testing, unstable, and dependencies
I'm just a lowly user and don't subscribe to this list so please forgive
me if this doesn't make sense or has already been discussed to death.
I really like using the Debian distro except for one thing. (No, I'm not
going to say the installation.;-) ) It would be nice if select packages
could be installed from testing or unstable onto a system running stable
(or from unstable onto testing) without the need to upgrade core libraries
such as libc. If I'm forced to upgrade core libraries, I might as well
just run unstable. I have no problem with running the same version of a
core OS for years on a Workstation as long as security updates are
available (e.g. Debian stable). But not having new versions of
applications like Moz or OpenOffice for a year or more is annoying.
Also, what happens with security updates for people running testing when
unstable is backed up because of something like the new libc? Am I
correct in thinking that they get no security fixes unless they "upgrade"
If packages in testing/unstable were compiled against libraries in stable
when possible, things could be more selectively upgraded. This would make
running stable between the infrequent releases less painful. It would
also allow better testing of packages if everything weren't backed up due
to the new libc in unstable, and in general make running testing right now
less painful as well.
I suppose things like the new libc get more testing this way. However,
people who run unstable would be testing the new libc anyway. Any
additional testing would be the result of people being forced to upgrade
libc to install a newer version of some other package from unstable.
While that does result in more testing, essentially forcing people to run
unstable who don't want to seems like an unpleasant way to go about it.
Why have testing at all then?
Is it not possible to compile packages in unstable against libraries in
stable? I relealize that there are cases where a package requires
features introduced in a newer version of a library, but couldn't that be
handled with dependencies?
I another possible solution might be to have seperate release cycles for
the core OS components and other groups of interdependent applications
rather than one monolithic release. Would something like that be feasible?