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Re: RFD: Draft for a volatile.d.o policy (was: Re: Updating scanners and filters in Debian stable (3.1) )

Sven Mueller <sm@leogic.com> writes:

> Doing a backport of some upstream change is usually a pretty difficult
> task (except for smaller security fixes). It's pretty easy to claim
> "no new command line feature added", but it is pretty difficult to
> claim "no new bugs added" or "all necessary security fixes added".

It's in fact so difficult, that this is exactly why we don't just
allow arbitrary changes to stable things, and relabeling them
"volatile" and "optional" doesn't actually change the matter.

We might need a method for allowing really important upgrades in to
stable, which preserve stability, and we have that now for regular
stable proposed updates, for security, and we could add it for virus
scanners and the like.  But in all those cases, we need the same
concern for stability.

Saying "it's really hard" is not a good excuse!  People are doing it
for those other packages all the time.

> These are packages that become less useful over time, not because
> upstream releases new versions with new features, but because the old
> features aren't enough to fulfill the original tasks anymore.

Right, and I'm happy to see that done, provided that only the new
features are allowed which actually keep the particular utility in

> I know this policy is not really to the taste of Thomas Bushnell,
> especially because new features _might_ be introduced. 

Heh, but compromise is always possible, and I'm interested in hearing
what other people say about this proposed policy before I comment
further on its details.

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