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Re: Future releases of Debian

On Mon, Jul 21, 2003 at 12:37:30PM -0800, Britton wrote:
> How hard or unreasonable would it be to make it easy for users to sign up
> for some sort of automated notification system which would keep them
> informed about the status of packages they use?  If I were a completely
> pragmatic user, I would want something like this:
>   1.  To run stable.
>   2.  To be informed if a package I use regularly has some_number of RC
>       bugs open in unstable for some_amount_of_time.
>   3.  To be informed if a package gets orphaned upstream, or (more

gv is orphaned upstream since 6 years, cron is orphaned upstream since
9 years.

>       feasibly and probably more importantly) at the debian level.

MIA maintainers are a bigger problem than orphaned packages.

>   4.  Possibly to be informed if a package I use hasn't been updated
>       upstream and/or in debian for a long time.
> This would be useful information for making choices and plans, and
> acquiring it by hand can be a bit painful.
> Debian developers are uniquely situated to help users navigate and select
> amoung the tens of thousands of packages now available.  All we would need
> to do is expose some selected bits of our existing infrastructure in a
> collected, readable form.  We could simultaneously serve our users and
> address the fact that at some point, we're going to have to jettison
> packages that people are using (fair warning will make this less painful).

It doesn't help the non-hackers among your users.
Typical example scenario:
- several new computers for a lab at university
- some printers
- a new scanner
- a CD burner
- some already-bought laptops

All the users want to do in this situations is to:
- a distribution that supports all the hardware they have
- install the computers once
- get regular security updates

These people are definitely not interested in tracking which maintainers 
are MIA or things like that.

> Britton Kerin



       "Is there not promise of rain?" Ling Tan asked suddenly out
        of the darkness. There had been need of rain for many days.
       "Only a promise," Lao Er said.
                                       Pearl S. Buck - Dragon Seed

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