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Upgrade desktop system between stables

Hi fellow developers,

I see some basic packages already frozen.  So we will release etch soon.
But (dist-)upgrade seems quite problematic.  As seen on debian-user
list, I see many people are hit with difficulty of (dist-)upgrade. 

Old_stable -> new_stable upgrade involves:
 * major library upgrades with conflict set for previous ones.
 * package reorganization with conflict set for previous ones.
    - new, split, merged, renamed and removed packages
Since all these happen simultaneously, things are much more difficult
for old_stable -> new_stable than daily sid upgrade.  It was not much
fun as I did it.  If anyone of you can suggest elegant upgrade path
which can be used for release note, please send suggestion to
401317@bugs.debian.org.  (Manual dependency resolution in multiple
aptitude runs or removal of large chunk of system in advance does not
qualify to be elegant.)

> Is installer can be improved to install new system to a chroot and allow
> switching root system upon reboot to let old system appear in such
> location as /oldsystem ?  Then can we provide tools or hooks to
> duplicate old system to new one?

This is my wishlist thought after trying to simulate upgrade of desktop

For the record, I tested sarge to etch upgrades so far following
proposed release notes using pbuilder chroot:
I had to remove big chunk of system before upgrade to have reasonable
upgrade.  (In case when you need kernel/udev upgrades, it seems easier
to do fresh install for sure.)

Basically if you have installed a set of packages with complicated
dependency chains and interesting package name changes, your upgrade will
become too complicated for you to manage while aptitude keep trying to
delete large chunk of system.  Few hundred packages removed are too many
to manage. You need to install them later to recover them. I think you
will be better off doing fresh install or doing upgrade after removing
all these sets of packages in advance while your head is cool.

I am talking sets such as:
 gnome packages
 kde packages
 tetex packages


Even with etch version of aptitude, Conflicts/Replaces/Provides
resolution is not yet optimal per bug 391377.  So we will hit similar
situation for etch+1.

(I have not checked issues with apache etc.)

Thanks in advance,


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