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Re: Handling of removed packages


Marc 'HE' Brockschmidt wrote:

> For some time now, I have been thinking about the problem of packages
> which are removed from the archive at some point, without an (enforced)
> transition to a new package name. Users of such packages keep them
> around, usually never noticing the fact that no security (or other)
> support is available anymore.

Maybe it should be mandatory to always have a transition package for
packages which are being removed from the archives? For example, when
package X_0.1 is to be removed from the archive, there has to be a
transition to a package X-obsoleted_0.1 (which is in fact the same as

As addition, some mean of telling the user "There are $NUM installed 
packages on your system that seem to be abandoned: X-obsoleted" could
be established (either in apt, aptitude, or apt-listchanges), with
the option to turn off this message (I wouldn't want to have to read
this every day).

> Our current package management doesn't handle this case at all, so we
> might need to fix this - we just need to decide how. The probably
> easiest way would be to make apt whine on all packages that are not
> available in any version at one of the locations specified in
> sources.list. This trivial solution sucks, because locally created
> packages [1] also fall in this category. 

IMHO, packages that are not (and never have been) available from the
Debian archives should be left alone from any 'detect unsupported
packages'-mechanisms. The user decided to install these packages, so
he/she will have to deal with keeping them up to date or uninstall them
once they are not maintained anymore.



I hope that when I die, people say about me, 'Boy, that guy sure owed me
a lot of money.' (Jack Handey)

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