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Re: Bug#753704: ITP: amap -- Next-generation scanning tool for pentesters

On Sun, Jul 06, 2014 at 10:49:30PM +0900, Charles Plessy wrote:
> Le Sun, Jul 06, 2014 at 10:33:35AM +0200, Andreas Tille a écrit :
> > On Sat, Jul 05, 2014 at 04:37:16PM +0200, Ralf Treinen wrote:
> > > > 
> > > > This violates the Policy's section 10.1, but it is still my
> > > > favorite solution for the reason that you explained above.
> > > 
> > > I don't agree, packages should not be in conflict when it can be
> > > easily avoided by renaming files.
> > 
> > +1
> Hi Andreas,
> Feel free to rename yourself, but do not forget to remove me from
> the uploaders list.
> On my side I find these renamings harmful and illogical. The
> probability that people want to use both amaps on the same machine
> is close to zero, and the probability that users of both amaps will
> be annoyed by the rename is close to one. I think that these
> renamings are applied dogmatically in a way that makes Debian
> inferior. I do not want to participate to this.

I can see, and sympathise, with several sides of this debate of what
to do when two upstream projects choose the same executable name.
However, I do think what Debian's historically been doing (i.e.,
renaming even when upstream doesn't want to rename) is the right thing
to do.

Given projects foo and bar, which both provide an executable called
yoyo, there is no way for everyone to be happy. Both foo's and bar's
users are, presumably, used to calling it yoyo. Third party scripts
will exist that invoke either using the name yoyo. Whichever yoyo
Debian chooses to call by that name, some users will be surprised and

The standards FHS directory layout gives us four locations in which to
put executabes: /bin, /sbin, /usr/bin, /usr/sbin. In theory we could
then have four providers of yoyo, but that would be very confusing.
Even using bin vs sbin is confusing: if you're used to running foo's
yoyo as your normal user, it'll be quite a surprise when you try to
run it as root and get bar's yoyo instead.

We could have the foo and bar packages conflict with each other, and
in some cases that might not be too bad. However, it would be really
unfortunate for long-term quality, in my opinion, if Debian would
start choosing to compromise like that. It may be true that the
intersection of users of foo and bar are really rare, and that nobody
much would suffer if they conflicted, but it sets a bad precedent.
Conflicts in Debian are meant to be used for a specific reason: when
two packages _can't_ be used together (at least not as packaged). If
we use conflicts to resolve the yoyo for foo and bar, it means that we
are willing to change the meaning of conflicts to also be allowed when
we just can't be bothered to make difficult distro level integration

Using conflicts doesn't solve the situation for users, anyway. bar's
users will still be surprised by foo's yoyo, when they find it
installed and it doesn't do what they thought it would. Of course,
foo's users are in the same situation, if foo's yoyo gets renamed.

For this reason, I think the best approach is to get at least one of
foo's or bar's upstreams to rename their yoyo. If that can't happen, I
further think it's better for Debian's users if Debian renames at
least one of the yoyo's. Which one gets renamed will depend on
circumstance. The default, historically, has been that the first yoyo
in Debian keeps the name, and newer yoyos will be renamed. However, if
bar is extremly popular, and foo is rarely used, then possibly foo's
yoyo should be renamed. Or we could decide to rename both to avoid
anyone being surprised by the wrong yoyo.

Note that the Debian alternatives system can't be used for this,
unless foo and bar are both basically implementing essentially the
same interface for the same program, but that's rarely the case in
these cases.

Charles, I'm sorry to hear you think this approach is harmful to
Debian and that you don't want to participate in doing them.

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