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Re: A lot of pending packages

On Jun 11, 2010, at 10:17, Andreas Marschke wrote:

> On Fri, 2010-06-11 at 00:58 +0200, gregor herrmann wrote:
>> On Fri, 11 Jun 2010 06:01:27 +0800, Thomas Goirand wrote:
>>> My 2nd suggestion is coming from the Maemo platform (the OS behind
>>> the Nokia n900 that is Debian based). In Maemo, there is a "devel"
>>> repository that includes apps that aren't necessarily in good shape. The
>>> users know that fact when they are adding the repository which contains
>>> packages that are not necessarily as tested, and wont complain.

It is difficult to correlate the Maemo experience with the Debian experience. Remember that Nokia still controls Maemo and it is not free software, there are binary blobs and other things that are proprietary. So there toolchain and work flow are different.

>> I'm not sure I like this idea. Although I also sometimes install
>> "inoffical packages", when I look at the packages with RC bugs I'm
>> constantly suprised about the amount of low-quality packages we
>> already have in the archive (when poor lintian has to emit page after
>> page of errors and warnings ...).

Ironically enough, there have been calls in Maemo to follow the debian way of doing things, that is to say change the Maemo work flow so packages go into testing, etc. 
>> I understand that this new archive area  would be "non-offical", but
>> still my fear is that users won't distinguish and those packages
>> would be considered as "Debian packages" and might have the risk of
>> shedding a bad light on Debian quality.
> Hi!
> I'm not a DD but I'm thinking that we could rather utilize experimental
> for such things. For one thing it is OBVIOUSLY NOT recommended to use
> packages from experimental if all you want is a stable Debian. But it is
> still a place to EXPERIMENT with new and yet untested packages. So new
> and fresh package maintainers can try themselves out in experimental
> rather than cross fingers that enough people found out about this
> _unofficial_ repository. 
> Any objections? If so please let me know.

From my experience working with Maemo, I greatly prefer the Debian quality assurance and packaging process. I think it is far more effective for producing quality software as well as enabling contributions from developers and packagers. It is has been proven effective over time and contributed to Debian's legendary stability. Any change just for the sake of change would seem to be counter-productive. If you need a sandbox to test packages, pbuilder and/or cowbuilder are very useful, and you can create your own repository with reprepro which is an excellent tool. 

Fundamentally altering the current path that packages take into the stable distribution should have a compelling justification, I don't currently see one provided.


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