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Re: Overall bitrot, package reviews and fast(er) unmaintained package removals

On Thu, 7 Apr 2016 01:05:48 +0200
Steffen Möller <steffen_moeller@gmx.de> wrote:

> On 06/04/16 21:19, Wookey wrote:
> >> > .. perhaps be more aggressive in
> >> > removing software that's no longer useful and just lies in the
> >> > archive dormant.  
> > The fact that Debian has a lot of software is a genuine benefit.
> > Just because stuff is old, does not mean it is no longer useful. The
> > problem is that we don't really know how to distinguish between
> > old-and-just-cruft and old-and-still-handy.  
> The popcon stats may help.

Really, NO.

popcon is indicative only and the stats are only useful as metrics when
popcon counts become "significant". Any popcon score which is less than
1% or 5% of the archive is not much better than a guess. The problem is
that those are precisely the packages where removal is likely.

Also, packages may provide services to a lot more users than just the
ones with it and popcon installed. There are many the packages which
depend on a webserver of some kind - a single install can have many
thousands of users.

popcon data can be handy for humans who bother to go after the
package-specific context but it is not sufficiently reliable for
automated metrics.


Neil Williams

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