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Re: Bug#468183: ITP: monkey -- small webserver based on the HTTP/1.1 protocol

On Fri, February 29, 2008 03:02, William Pitcock wrote:
> Why does a package need to clarify what's different about it than others
> like it? Debian is about having the possibility of choosing between many
> options for the same thing e.g. openssh, dropbear for sshd, 12 different
> httpd options, etc.

The word "different" is key here. Debian wants to offer different options
to its end users. But please, only options that are significantly
different to what we already have.

There are several costs associated with having yet another package doing
the same thing:
* For the project in general, it costs archive and Packages file space,
build time, QA efforts just to name a few;
* Especially true for network facing services: the security team needs to
support every package in stable;
* For the administrator: having a choice between a few webservers is good,
having to choose between a dozen that are hardly different just troubles
their view. You can have too much choice.

We can obviously live with the costs that a package incurs, but it makes
sense only if there is something that offsets the cost: a clear added
value of this package to the distribution. That is something that must be
able to be justified when any new package is added. "Just because" doesn't
cut it.

> Package descriptions should stick to positive aspects of the package,
> and not try to draw comparisons towards other packages. IMO.

A package description is intended for the administrator to choose which of
a set of alternatives to install. A comparison to others, or being open
about possible limitations, are very helpful to make this decision.

> It seems to me as if you are trying to get people to justify the
> packages they want to work on.

Yes, and that's very desirable.


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