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Re: What can Debian do to provide complex applications to its users?

On 19/02/2018 20:42, Michael Meskes wrote:=
>> Various other packages in stable won't work with the latest Node.js
>> and will also require upgrading.
>> In the Node.js ecosystem it is par for the course when upgrading
>> a package breaks countless reverse dependencies.
> Right, and that's why we were talking about stuff like flatpak that
> bring the application with its dependencies, more or less like a
> container.
> Michael

We need to be clear: is the problem we are facing one of timeliness
(stable being out of date), or systems integration ?

If its dependencies getting out of hand, containerisation is only a
temporary fix: it will become increasingly impossible to get  a complex
application working if the dependencies are conflicting. This then is an
upstream problem, not just a Debian one.

I think we also need to pay attention to the fact the DevOps approach
suits big organisations better than small: if I am managing a technical
portal with ~50-100 JAR files as deps, but 1-5 developers, I'm facing
much bigger issues than Google or Facebook with x5 the number of deps,
but x1000 the number of developers to handle the vendorization. I
suspect we're seeing a managed breakdown in standards to help
commercialize the free software world, much as it becomes much harder to
run your own mail / IM / Calendaring services.

If the problem is one of timeliness perhaps we need to reconsider our
cadence, especially with the advent of LTS releases: e.g. a 6-month
cadence for unstable with much longer LTS releases. If its integration,
we should be looking at changing the whole F/OSS landscape (hey, its
been done before), and leading the integration.


Alastair McKinstry, <alastair@sceal.ie>, <mckinstry@debian.org>, https://diaspora.sceal.ie/u/amckinstry
Commander Vimes didn’t like the phrase “The innocent have nothing to fear,”
 believing the innocent had everything to fear, mostly from the guilty but in the longer term
 even more from those who say things like “The innocent have nothing to fear.”
 - T. Pratchett, Snuff

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