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Bug#485878: g++-3.4 no longer in testing

On 6/11/08 6:27 PM, Matthias Klose wrote:
IMO our primary focus is the distribution, which doesn't require g++-3.4 for building packages;

The provision of packages is so that people who need the software can use it. For example, the reason Debian contains apache2 is so that people can run a web server. Surely the reason g++ is in the distro is so that people who need to do C++ development have a compiler available to them. To say that g++ is only there for the benefit of the system itself seems unreasonable. Would you say the same of fortran, ada, pascal or haskell compilers?

We cannot provide you with a repository of old compiler versions.

I guess there are limits, but would it really cost you much at all to keep the g++-3 series in the distro for a while longer?

Also, it doesn't seem reasonable to throw out g++3.4 when gcc-3.4 is still there. I guess your answer is that there are still packages that need gcc-3.4 and none that need g++-3.4, but I would have thought it made sense to keep the two together.

Sometimes it feels like testing is the poor relation in the Debian world, and so it's not so surprising that many people have "defected" to Ubuntu. Debian testing works well for someone like myself, who wants a reasonably stable application development platform (ie not sid) but needs access to relatively up-to-date libraries (eg GTK).

I don't see the relation to Ubuntu; these changes will be merged into the current Ubuntu development release with the next merge. There's no special handling unless the MOTU developers decide on it.

FYI, g++-3.3 and -3.4 are both in Intrepid, and also in Hardy which is roughly equivalent to where lenny is at right now.

I guess this is not the place to have a philosophical debate, but the point I am making is that Debian testing is often broken for practical purposes, and the developers don't really seem to care. The Debian developers put their effort into sid or unstable, and don't seem to care much about testing except as a holding place on the way to stable. However, for a great many desktop users, stable is too old and sid is too new. If testing was looked after properly, I think it would suit a lot of people very well. However, for a system that's actually usable people seem to be much better off with Ubuntu. I really want to stay with Debian, but I'm not sure how much longer I'm going to have the patience for it.

Taking the g++-3 series out of testing seems to me to be another example of a lack of interest in the practical usefulness of the testing distro. If testing is to serve its purpose, which is to give packages more extensive testing, it needs to be used by a good number of people. However, people are going to use it if it doesn't serve any practical needs.

My comments extend to the whole distro, not just g++. I am thinking of other packages like MonoDevelop, which was completely absent from testing for a long time, although it was right there in Ubuntu. When I asked about it, the maintainer just talked about backporting it into stable, even though I'd already explained that stable wasn't appropriate for me.

Your statement about "primary focus" seems to suggest that the needs of people who actually want to use the software on the system aren't as important as the needs of the people who build it. If the majority of Debian developers think that way, Debian is doomed as a distro that ordinary people want to use.

Again, I'm sorry to be so off-topic. I'm mostly trying to justify my request for g++-3.4, although if there is a place where I could legitimately discuss my concerns about Debian testing in general, I'd be glad if you could point me to it.


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