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

OoO Pendant le repas du jeudi 03 mai 2012, vers 19:35, Patrick Ouellette
<pouelle@debian.org> disait :

>> As said many times, node is an interpreter used in shebang. Using a
>> different name would just upset its user base. Debian will be seen,
>> again, as the one harming a community, like this may happen in the
>> Ruby community because of lack of understanding on how we work.
>> Outside of Debian, nobody will understand why a package related to
>> HAM radio hinders the use of one of the trendiest package (in the
>> top 5 of most watched and forked repository in GitHub).

> So every time something is the hot new trend it has the right to usurp
> an established package's binary namespace?  I'm not asking this to be
> argumentative, I really want to know if this is your intention.

Not  the right  but  this is  a  strong criteria  to  "hijack" a  binary
name. The second  strong criteria is the absolute  necessity for node.js
executable to be named "node" since it is used as a shebang.

> I'm not saying there is a perpetual right to a name either, but when
> a package has active users, has been in the distribution a long time,
> and still does what it is designed to do there should be some significant
> consideration given to protecting that package's name space.

I agree. But, this should not eclipse other aspects.

>> We are building a distribution for users. There are far more users
>> of node.js than there is for node. Plus the fact that the proposed
>> change will be absolutely invisible to most users of the "node"
>> package.

> The ham radio community is also our users.  In fact, one of Debian's early
> focus areas was amateur radio software (see Bruce Perens' history in Debian -
> he wanted to have a distribution that included the ham radio software and
> tools).

Yes, they are. But we need to  find a solution that will work for almost
every one and this solution seems to exist.

> Are you a ham radio user of node?   You can not make assertions that the
> change will be "absolutely invisible to most users" if you have zero
> experience with the community that uses the package.  The fact is it will
> break machines  that have been in  service for possibly as  long as 13
> years.

I am not  a ham radio user at  all. I base my writings on  what has been
said by others (who may not  be ham radio users either): "node" is meant
to be called through inetd which is configured by a conffile that can be
updated. This is a pity to do the change but it seems to be invisible to
most  users and  easy for  the almost  the rest  of them  (they  will be
prompted  for  the  configuration  change  if  they  have  modified  the
configuration file of inetd in the past).
Vincent Bernat ☯ http://vincent.bernat.im

Take care to branch the right way on equality.
            - The Elements of Programming Style (Kernighan & Plauger)

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