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pro-active removals (was: Re: suggestion to add package vlan to default instalation DVD)

Hello all.

On Wed, Sep 16, 2015 at 09:10:15PM +0200, Sven Hartge wrote:
> Why? The vlan package is not needed since at least Wheezy to configure
> VLANs on devices since the program "ip" can do everything the same or
> even better. 
> Also ifupdown was changed to be able to configure VLANs using "ip"
> directly without the need for the "vconfig" from the vlan package.

I think this example is a good one to describe why we should be more
pro-active with removals from the archive.

I filed http://bugs.debian.org/501402 in 2008 when the vlan package had
already been deprecated. This was to allow the package maintainer (or
anyone else!) to implement a smooth transition to the new tools for
anyone still using the vlan package.... This has obviously not happened
(and I don't blame people for loosing interest in something that becomes
deprecated but it'd ofcourse be nice if we could provide smooth upgrades
for our users). As the years pass by it seems less likely that anyone
will step up and do the work to implement a smooth migration. Given
this, I think it would be a *service* to our users if we removed this
(and many other packages in similar situation) from the archive so that
we don't fool users into using (or wasting time even looking at)
long-deprecated software. If the package is no longer available that means
they'll find out the reason and discover the newer replacement that anyone
should really be looking at for new deployments today.

Unfortunately getting things removed from the archive is alot harder
than adding to the archive. This is something that I think we should

Andreas Henriksson

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