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Bug#570141: Specific Homepage entry for abandoned software



Hi,

> I would like to propose the following extension to "5.6.23.", the
> "Homepage" header line:
>
> ---
> If no homepage exists, e.g. because the software is abandoned and
> vanished off the net, "None" can be specified.
> ---

While I see the point in having something like this, perhaps some
standard page (hosted on the Debian servers somewhere) informing users
that the software has been abandoned (and perhaps pointing to a Google
cache/Web Archive cache of the original site, or other relevant
information) would provide more benefit.

In general, I think it's a good idea to move away from
abandoned/unsupported software -- if you wish to continue supporting
abandoned software, you should fork it/adopt the project upstream. I
do not believe Debian (as a downstream vendor) is really the place to
maintain too much native software (without an upstream), nor do I
believe it is good for users to want to use abandoned software
indefinitely.

If there is software that depends on such older software, perhaps that
should be considered a candidate for removal, too. Debian's strength
is its great number of software packages, but I think it is important
to limit the number of packages that would require too much support
from our side, which means relying on/coordinating with upstream. If
the upstream people do not show any interest and nobody assumes their
place, then perhaps it is safer just to remove the package.

Can you think of any other possible use cases for having "None" upstream?

Cheers,

Jonathan



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