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Re: A new Priority level, ‘backports’ ? (Re: unstable/testing/[pending/frozen/]stable)

Hi all,

I was acually meditating on Joerg's answer for the past two weeks, wondering
that if my some of my packages are bullshit, I should look for another place to
distribute them instead of letting them be a burden for everybody.

Since he sent his anwer again, I will reply again. Let's hope it dissipates

None of the packages I maintain can be described as being a integral part of an
‘operating system’. None of them is essential to Debian.  Would a Debian PPA or
a private repository be a better place for them?  Personally, I do not think
so. I have embraced the ‘Debian Pure Blend’ concept, which is to do our work in
Debian, not as a supplement to Debian. Now that Debian has an official
backports suite, I think that it can change the way we distribute our final
products: packages that have demonstrated their quality by migrating and
staying in Testing.

Le Thu, Sep 23, 2010 at 09:17:02AM +0200, Joerg Jaspert a écrit :
> Le Thu, Sep 23, 2010 at 12:38:16AM +0900, Charles Plessy a écrit :
> > the addition of new suites has the disadvantage of dispersing our userbase.
> > Here is a proposition that conserves the current flow of package migration for
> > packages released in Stable, and that makes Testing the meeting point for all
> > the packages. 
> > We could introduce a new priority level, ‘backports’, with the following
> > features:
> This whole thing does not make sense at all. Priority is the wrong knob.


> So what backports "priority" actually says is "my package is such a
> bullshit that I don't want it ever released, but I am fine with putting
> burden on the people keeping backports running instead". I think we have
> a way already dealing with this: Don't upload them.

The package priorities establish concentric subnetworks of our binary
dependancy graph. I think that it is an interesting property that is
under-used. Having a priority lower than extra would allow packages to coexist
in Testing without interfering with Stable. They would have the same aims in
terms of quality – that is the responsibility of the maintainer.

However, the lower-priority package would not pretend at the same durability,
which is two to four years if we take the freeze and the Oldstable support in
account. In two years, some packages that are currently in Squeeze will still
be fine for most users, while for others, users interest for such an old
version can be very low. For this, the maintainer sometimes can do little,
apart from giving up packaging software from young projects.

Although it is not a problem to release these packages in Stable, I think that
— in the case of some packages I maintain in the Debian Med team — we would
send a clearer message by distributing them to our Stable users only as
backports.  Without compromising on the quality.

This, more than the particular implementation (based on priorities or not) is
what I am proposing.


Charles Plessy
Debian Med packaging team,
Tsurumi, Kanagawa, Japan

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