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Re: [PROPOSAL] 3. RfD on new debian java policy

> >I'm not really comfortable with the idea of "don't test, just assume it
> >works until someone tells you otherwise". Yes, it happened with flex
> >but that was a once-off.  With this java proposal it will become
> >institutionalised.
> It is already institutionalised.
> ...

Yes, but in the old policy it's clear that we don't really know what
works and what doesn't.  In the new proposal, we claim to specify
precisely which VMs work with which package, and so if we encourage
maintainers to make such claims without actually testing the different
VMs, this will be come a kind of "institutionalised dishonesty".

Let me make it clear that I'm not arguing against your JVM dependencies
per se.  I'm arguing against the proposed method of maintaining these
dependencies, which is "don't bother testing packages across JVM changes,
just wait for the bug reports".

> > Most users will anyway only install one version of a virtual maschine.
> > This I find unlikely, especially if packages are explicitly depending on
> > known-working JVMs.  The more java packages I have installed, the more
> > likely it is that dependencies require me to have a variety of different
> > JVMs on my system.
> Lets say it this way: user wants a browser plugin (this is IMO still
> the only thing, which they know as 'JAVA' (sic!)). So they will go to
> sun and get the -bin download. Then they will hopefully look into a
> FAQ, which will (someday) say, that they should run mpkg-j2sdk (or
> mpkg-java, if it becomes that flexible) on the downloaded -bin and
> dpkg -i the resulting packages.

Right, so you just expect users to download a JVM directly from sun,
make their *own* JVM packages and then use these exclusively for java on
debian?  So why bother making a Java policy at all?

Btw, one of the great strengths of the main debian policy is to ensure
that packages interact properly even with unusual systems or
installations.  So even if "most users" will just exclusively use a
hand-rolled non-free JVM package, I will argue that the java policy
should also work well for those few users who actually do things the way
that we suggest they do, i.e., install a pre-built JVM package (or
packages) made by one of the official debian packagers, or get their
JVMs through the dependency system (and thus quite possibly have several
JVMs installed as described above).

Ben. :)

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