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Re: Node.js and it's future in debian

* Jonathan Nieder [2012-05-01 12:57 -0500]:
> Carsten Hey wrote:
> > I don't think that there ever will be a consensus in all those
> > discussions without discussing in a reasonable way (which failed in the
> > past multiple times).
> Note that a consensus does not imply everyone agreeing.

I was talking about a consensus among the maintainers of the affected
packages.  Even if all but the maintainers of one of the affected
packages would agree to a solution, there would be no way to implement
this solution without asking the tech-ctte or (what would be not
appropriate for this) a GR.

> I am starting
> to see a consensus already and would welcome well reasoned opinions
> and clarifications that show where my understanding is lacking.
> By the way, separate from what happens to the "node" command are a few
> other questions:
>  - Can we come up with alternate names for both commands, so while
>    Debian users might be using the "node" command, Debian packages do
>    not need to?

nodejs for node.js and ax25-node for the ham radio node.  If ax25-node
is not appropriate, then one of the debian-hams can suggest something
more appropriate.

>    I think on the Node.js side this is basically a solved problem,

I would consider a Linux distribution that uses /usr/bin/monty-python as
binary for the python language to be utterly broken.  Users of it would
not be able to run any python script without adapting its shebang. Even
making /usr/bin/python a symlink that can be changed between a game and
the language would not make the situation any better, since users that
do not want to change the shebang line would need to check if the
symlink is set to the language on every box they want to run a python
script on.

node.js might not be that widespread in use as python, but shipping
a node.js with /usr/bin/nodejs seems to be broken in a similar way as
the above example.

Anyway, if the nodejs maintainers would be happy with a hack that
involves changing /usr/bin/node to /usr/bin/nodejs, then there is not
much we could do about this as it's their package.

>  - Is the "node" package undermaintained?  Should it be orphaned to
>    encourage active users to take on the burden of its maintenance
>    without worrying about stepping on people's toes?

If it would be orphaned, then the problem could be solved easily by
a QA-upload.

It was maintained in a great way until the one that did the last upload
retired from maintaining it in 2009.  I'd assume that a FTBFS bug or
a missing dependency would be solved by the remaining uploaders quickly
(as it happened in 2005 once) and the packages does not require much
attention in general.  I don't think it is orphaned, but I also wouldn't
consider it to be well maintained either.


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