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Re: Many packaged programs that are doing the same thing


On Fri, 2008-02-29 at 10:38 +0100, Guus Sliepen wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 28, 2008 at 08:02:39PM -0600, William Pitcock wrote:
> > > Even there, it looks very much like other "very small" webservers,
> > > such as boa, bozohttpd, cherokee, fnord, lighttpd, micro-httpd,
> > > mini-httpd or thttpd. What does it do better than any of them? Or
> > > worse? Or different?
> > 
> > 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. 
> There is nothing wrong with having multiple packages in Debian that do
> the same thing. However, you can wonder whether it is really helpful for
> the user to have 10 or more light-weight http daemons to choose from. As
> a distribution, we have a much broader view than the authors of those
> http daemons. When we see something like this, maybe we should contact
> the upstream authors and suggest that they work together, so that the
> number of light-weight daemons to choose from decreases but the quality
> of the remaining will be better.
> Again, I'm not saying there should only be one light-weight http daemon.
> But more than 10?

Why not? Debian ships more than 10 different shells, media players, etc.
Why should an httpd be not included because there are already others.
This isn't about being "helpful", this is about _choice_.

Have you considered that perhaps the upstreams don't work together
because they DON'T WANT TO? Again, it's a matter of _choice_.

As a distribution, Debian's goals are to:
  * provide the widest latitude of free software;
  * provide the highest quality of packaging of said free software;
  * ensure the software we ship by default is really free.

If that means having a lot of different httpds to choose from, then
great! You're not being forced to use them, so why does it matter to you
if they are available in Debian? Most software in Debian is maintained
for personal reasons, e.g. the maintainer uses it. What further
justification than that is required?


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