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Re: RFC: Why are so many debian packages outdated?

Svante Signell <svante.signell@telia.com> writes:

> Well there is experimental that could be used to package pre-releases
> and new releases to make them suitable for unstable and testing _before_
> the freeze!

Sure.  But that doesn't magically happen; someone has to actually do it.

> Add to that unresponsive package maintainers, refusing to package new
> versions of upstream software, even with wishlist bugs filed.

"Refusing" is a very confrontational way of putting this.  In my personal
experience, "refusing" is rare.  Nearly all of these cases are cases of a
volunteer not having time.  Filing a wishlist bug asking for the new
release is trivial; actually doing the work is sometimes not trivial at

> There are people willing to package new releases, but they are blocked
> by the current package maintainer.

This gets a lot of attention and debate because it seems like a place
where we can Do Something, but I'm highly dubious that this is a
substantial percentage of the overall problem.  For every case where an
unresponsive maintainer is blocking forward progress, I'm fairly sure you
will find dozens, if not more, cases where there's just no one with both
the time and technical skills to do the work.

See, for example, the huge and growing list of RFH bugs where the
maintainer is explicitly asking for people to help and, by and large,
nothing is happening.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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