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Re: Removal of ntop

On 1 January 2015 at 18:01, Ludovico Cavedon <cavedon@debian.org> wrote:

I am maintaining both ntop and ntopng. They are both in testing.

ntop is no longer supported by upstream and I would like to remove it from Debian.
ntopng is a complete rewrite of ntop.

How would you recommend to phase it out?

It is worth indicating that ntop has been in Debian for a few releases but ntopng has never been in a stable release.

With the upcoming ntopng, will ntop upstream still provide security support for previous ntop releases (i.e to version 5.0 which is in testing) ? 

If upstream does the I would suggest, if possible, an alternative: keep ntop in testing and add a NEWS file indicating that it is obsolete and superceeded by ntopng. Change also the description to indicate this.

You can also maybe point in the NEWS file to http://www.ntop.org/ntop/its-time-for-a-completely-new-ntop-say-hello-to-ntopng/ 

In addition send a patch to the Release Notes that describes the situation. 

It would also be good if you could tell users how to (or provide a tool in ntopng) to generate a ntopng configuration file based on ntop's. If it is able to move also the RDD files generated and keep them that would be a bonus.

That way, users in stable that use ntop (which are much more than users of ntop-ng) will know that there is a replacement for it.

If upstream is *not* going to provide security support for ntop then it would be best to not distribute it and just add the information in the Release Notes. Unless you, as maintainer, are going to commit to provide support for it.

If you request the package removal the I would also suggest to ask *all* bug submitters to review if their bugs apply also to ntopng (the code base is similar) and duplicate+reassign the bugs there too. Otherwise many of the open bugs (not addressed in ntop, but forwarded upstream) will get lost with the package removal.

Should I just request the removal of ntop instead?

If you do this, users will upgrade their Debian system and will not be aware that ntop is obsolete and will have to replace it. (unless they look in aptitude for 'Obsolete' packages).

FWIW, IMHO, the NEWS file I suggest should have been provided in ntop as soon as the move to ntopng was evident (¿2013?). That way users should have been given ample warning time.

That is:

- a new ntop package should have been moved to stable-proposed-updates including the NEWS file

- the ntop package in unstable/testing should have carried that NEWS file

If done that way, it would make sense to remove the package now, before the jessie release, in testing. 

From what I see in the popcon statistics of ntop  ([1], 1800 installs) and ntopng ([2], ~90 installs), it seems that casual ntop users are not aware of the switch.

Best regards


[1] https://qa.debian.org/popcon.php?package=ntop
[2] https://qa.debian.org/popcon.php?package=ntopng


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