[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Many packaged programs that are doing the same thing

On Fri, Feb 29, 2008 at 04:58:11AM -0600, William Pitcock wrote:

> > 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_.

When does it stop? After 20 httpds? 50? 1000? Surely there is a point
where there is too much choice. So if we, as a distributor with an
overview of the situation, see that there is so much choice, which can
be good but _not necessarily_, we should put some effort in determining
if we can improve the situation.

For example: if two light-weight httpds have a very similar feature set,
then if the two upstream maintainers can be made to work together and
create a single httpd with the best qualities of both, then that will
reduce choice, but the one choice left is better than both old choices.

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

Other possibilities: upstream doesn't know that there are other software
packages available that do what they want. Or maybe he doesn't want to
work together with other upstreams for the wrong reasons.

> 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.

Not only the highest quality of packaging, we also want to make sure the
software itself is of good quality. Otherwise, why would we bother
tracking upstream bugs?

> 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?

If we can create even better httpds by merging the development efforts,
then yes it does matter to me. I want high quality software. I don't
want a lot of choice of bad quality software. I am not saying that more
or less httpds to choose from is good or bad in itself, but more than 10
light-weight httpds might be an indication that there is room for

Met vriendelijke groet / with kind regards,
      Guus Sliepen <guus@debian.org>

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: Digital signature

Reply to: