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alternatives and priorities


Today, after upgrading my system, suddenly mcedit became the default
editor, rather than vim as I expected it. Investigating showed that some
funny guy decided that mcedit could use a priority of 100, whereas vim
had fallen back to 60 since the latest upgrade.

Fixing this wasn't very hard, but it made me consider why we let a
maintainer decide what the alternative priority of an editor would be. I
mean, if you maintain a package, you probably like the editor very much,
probably more so than any of the other editors in Debian; so you're
quite biased. This would mean you would be the worst person to make an
objective choice as to what the best priority for your editor would be.
Granted, for some things the Policy defines the amount of points you can
add to your priority based on the features your program has, but it
doesn't do so for everything (unless I've missed something), which means
that it's not a definite solution. It's also not at all guaranteed that
doing it this way is actually useful.

So, instead of using static feature lists to define an application's
priority with which it would be configured in the alternatives system,
why not use popcon data to do that instead? Using popcon would ensure
that the applications which most people prefer would be the default;
this is a fair and objective criterion.


Fun will now commence
  -- Seven Of Nine, "Ashes to Ashes", stardate 53679.4

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