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Re: Status update

> > Anything that uses termio.h is usually very easy to convert to use the
> > POSIX.1 termios.h interface instead, and that is a better thing to use on
> > Linux as well.
> Okay - Are maintainers typically willing to accept these changes?

I would think so.  The termio.h interfaces are deprecated compatibility
support on every system that still supports them at all.

> > For anything that builds successfully, then a human can take a quick
> > look at the build log and see if it looks like it might really be
> > usable, and then decide to actually try it out; when a human declares
> > an autobuilt package is actually usable, it can be published.
> Is the volunteer pool large enough to support this much work?  

This kind of automation leverages a small number of volunteers because it
can take just a few seconds to glance over a log and decide that it's easy
enough to be worth the trouble to fix a package you otherwise would not
have thought about.  It also lowers the threshold for new volunteers to do
something helpful, because they can look at a lot of build logs of broken
packages and choose problems they think they can handle.

> I'd really like to get us to the point where we could consider
> participating in 'testing'.

I don't know what you mean by that; I don't follow debian goings-on much.

> I also know that for many of the packages, I can't tell by simply running 
> it if it's functional or not.  

That's precisely what makes it useful to autobuild packages and classify
them as "built but not tried".  Then any volunteer can see this on the web
page, get the package, and try it out to whatever degree they want to.
Then they either follow up with bug reports, or report success back to you
or somebody or other so the package can be reclassified as "really works".

It's always a little bit useful to have a little bit of information, like
that you ran it and it didn't crash outright but you don't really know that
it is actually usable.  So such things could merit intermediate an
classification of "hasn't caught fire yet, but hell if I know", or perhaps
just an annotation in the log so people can see a note about what you did
or didn't try.

> Libraries will be even worse.

Well, for libraries you can tell by trying another package that uses the
library.  Which reminds me, it would be useful in the aforementioned matrix
of package status to indicate packages we can't try yet because one of
their dependencies is not installable yet.

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