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Re: Reasonable maximum package size ?

md@Linux.IT (Marco d'Itri) wrote:

>> > Also, you should think about this issue not just in the context of the
>> > single package you are interested in but as a general policy.
>> I was hoping to give that impression...
> Then it should be obvious that it's a bad idea to add to the archive
> multiple packages each containing hundred of megabits of data which are
> only useful for a few users.

In my view, there's a problem with this argument.  Fortunately, the core
of a Debian GNU/Linux system consists of reasonably small packages.  A
large scatter notwithstanding, larger (source) packages tend to have
less users (compare bash - XOrg - KDE).  So it's not surprising that
some of the packages with comparably small user base (games, scientific
data) have a large size.

On the other hand, if we want the best operating system in the world to
also be great for playing games and for doing scientific research, we
should care about these user groups, too.  They might get larger
finally, and even if they continue to be a small proportion, it's worth
supporting them.

I guess gamers and scientists are also similar in that they want the
software to simply work, and not bother too much with additional
installations.  Therefore, providing apt-get'able packages for them is
important.  Even if we can't do it in our usual infrastructure.

Regards, Frank
Frank Küster
Single Molecule Spectroscopy, Protein Folding @ Inst. f. Biochemie, Univ. Zürich
Debian Developer (teTeX/TeXLive)

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