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Re: Moving from console-tools to kbd [was: Bug#476097: kbd: Incorrect LSB init header]

Hi fellow DDs,

I had two separate discussions today with Alistair and Michael, about the state of console-tools and kbd in Debian. I decided to take this discussion to debian-devel to get more feedback on this matter.
Following are the relevant parts of the discussion:

Michael Schutte wrote:
On Mon, Apr 14, 2008 at 03:50:58PM +0200, Michael Biebl wrote:

Btw, I asked the maintainer of console-tools, Alastair McKinstry, about the state of console-tools in Debian (lots of bug reports with patches, no upload since a long time) and I'll be quoting the relevant parts here:

Alastair McKinstry wrote:
Yes, I've been very busy, and a co-maintainer would be a good idea. The code is already in alioth. More importantly, console-tools has no upstream developer, for several years now. kbd, which it intended to replace, is in active development. Hence console-tools should be removed from Debian, but a plan for replacement needs to be tested (compare kbd to console-tools; look for patches to console-tools that should be ported back to kbd, either features or bugfixes; test upgrade scripts in Debian). kbd is a 'mostly' drop-in replacement, but has some binaries
not present in kbd at the moment.

So it looks like, if Alaistair preferred, if console-tools was deprecated in favor of kbd (after working out a migration plan).

Yes, I know about the status of console-tools.  A quote from #446030,
where Anton Zinoviev wrote:

The transition from console-tools to kbd has been planned for years
and the only reason of the delay is the chronic shortage of console
maintainers in Debian.  It seems Alastair supports only console-tools
and for the rest it is only me and Christian Perrier and we both are
doing this only because nobody else does.

I have been added to the pkg-kbd team since then.

Do you think this could be done for lenny? Do you think it should be done at all? If so, would you be interested to look into that?

I think it has to be done sooner or later, if only because of lacking
upstream development in console-tools.  I don’t know if it is possible
to do this transition for Lenny, but having a brief look at it, it
should not be so hard:

fonty is the only package with a build-rdep on console-tools which
doesn’t allow kbd as an alternative choice.  It currently has an ITO and
would probably need an NMU to fix this.  And there are only three
packages with binary rdeps (or r-recommends) on console-tools only; they
are cmatrix, dynafont and freevo.

I’ll have a look at how much stuff there is in console-tools that we do
not have in kbd.  After fixing the four packages I listed above and
integrating possible patches, it should be safe to drop console-tools.

Comments are welcome.

console-tools is currently preferred over kbd and installed by default (on 97.41% of all machines according to popcon).

Given the comments of Michael and Alistair, it seems clear to me that we should move away from console-tools (back) to kbd. Also, Michael seems to be willing to look into this matter.

The question now is, if we should try to get this issue fixed for lenny or defer it to lenny+1. What other issues would need attention, d-i,..?

Comments welcome.


Why is it that all of the instruments seeking intelligent life in the
universe are pointed away from Earth?

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