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

On Thu, May 03, 2012 at 08:48:07PM +0200, Vincent Bernat wrote:
> 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.

OK, so in your mind the hot new item (that maybe unused in a couple
of years when the next new thing comes along) has a strong argument
to hijack a binary name simply because it is "hot" at the time.  Certainly
you are entitled to your opinion.  We'll have to agree to disagree on
this particular criteria.

I still don't get the importance of the shebang argument.  Scripts
are text files, like conf files and can be modified.  While definitely
not an ideal situation, replacing the shebang line can be pretty easily 
scripted.  It is the very first line of the script.
(yes, constantly having to run the script for *every* new
script downloaded from the prolific websphere can be a burden)

Changing conf files always requires manual intervention to preserve
any local changes.

> >> 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.

Can you please elaborate on the solution that seems to exist?  All I have
seen is a demand from Node.js to give up the name ASAP.  

> > 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).

This is from the linux-hams list where I asked about changing the name of node:

"From my experience, many MANY Linux hams have customized scripts that
startup some very elaborate HAM systems.  For many, these scripts
weren't written by them and the changing of the node command could be
very difficult for some.  The other aspect is if this change came into
a package update that could impact production systems in VERY remote
sites.  This could cause all kinds ugliness that can be easily


> Patrick Ouellette       |  While you are proclaiming peace with your lips,  <
> pat(at)flying-gecko.net |  be careful to have it even more fully in your    <
> Amateur Radio: NE4PO    |  heart.  -- Francis of Assisi                     <

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