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Re: removing tophat from Debian

على الخميس 21 كانون الأول 2017 ‫08:10، كتب Steffen Möller:
> So, what could justify a deprecated piece of software in Debian. To mind 
> come:
>   * an API change
>   * a well-established tutorial that was not yet updated

These two points can be summarized as inertia. I really try to avoid
accomodating that situation by keeping around deprecated
software--either I'd update the reverse-dependency to use the current
CLI/API myself, or leave it to upstream, otherwise keep it out of the

>   * historic landmarks achieved by that software that one wants to 
> compare new developments against

So should we also package something like the old Celera assembler
(wgs-assembler) despite it's being unmaintained and obsolete?

>   * pop-con

I wouldn't consider this reliable because, as the tophat developer
indicated, the program is still widely used despite being obsolete. I
think this is also because of inertia.

> I have difficulties with the role of our distribution as some kind of 
> package-value police. My personal
> threshold for sponsoring is a peer-reviewed publication.

Here, you're already setting a package-value criterion.

> But I like the 
> role of our distribution as a communicator.
> And we should indeed collect ideas on how to spread the news on a better 
> alternative - any clear cut
> improvals are rare enough, though.
> If upstream explicitly asks for a removal from our distribution, then I 
> am still hesitating. Do they also
> retract their publication? Most likely not since at some point in 
> history that previous version was just
> fine. It is a document that we do not want to lose. The same for the 
> software of that time. And I argue
> that I do not want to lose the package, either. I am afraid that when we 
> have it in snapshot.d.o, one or two
> releases down the road, the package will be forgotten. We would need 
> something in our task pages,
> then, to point to it, I suggest.

I think this is a good point, and valid for any Debian package. It's not
really trivial (at least as far as I know) to find out whether a package
used to be in Debian. I've always done it by URL hacking, trying
packages.debian.org/<guessed-package-name> and finding the package
history and finally the RoM bug report.

In any case, as far as tophat goes, I think the only reason we have a
problem here is because upstream renamed the program. If hisat is the
continuation of tophat and they just made tophat 3.x and 4.x, we'd right
now have the latest in the archive and the older versions would be in
snapshot.debian.org. This is a similar situation for wgs-assembler and
it's successor, canu.


Afif Elghraoui | عفيف الغراوي

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