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Bug#758234: it's actively harmful

Le Thu, Oct 30, 2014 at 05:09:45PM +0100, Matthias Urlichs a écrit :
> Santiago Vila:
> > Maybe because current policy allows one to take the following set of packages:
> > 
> > + Packages of required priority.
> > * Packages of important or higher priority.
> > * Packages of standard or higher priority.
> > 
> > and all those sets are self-consistent (i.e. they don't have
> > dependencies outside the set).
> > 
> > I think this is a useful and nice property, but I don't know how many
> > people rely on it.
> > 
> It certainly is useful to have these sets of packages IMHO.
> But the work to keep the priorities consistent is not useful when you
> already have a tool that adds them (and nothing else) to a set of packages
> when you need it, as opposed to "when ftpadmin gets around to updating the
> override file".

Hello everybody,

altogether, this is a cost/performance issue: self-conistency is nice to have,
but there is a soft limit to the amount of time and energy that Debian can
spend acheiving it.

One of the problems identified is that it is easy raise the priority of a
package to increase consistency, but harder to remember to lower it when it is
not needed anymore.

If there is a strong interest to keep self-consistency of priorities, could it
be done by making the archive overrides work in a two-step manner ?  First
apply the overrides as defiend manually (by the first upload and then by
requests to the FTP team), and then in a second step make the archive
self-consistent by increasing priorities where it is needed, without
permanently modifying the manual information of the override file itself.

But before doing that work, it would be good to make sure that it is really
needed.  The alternative, to change the Policy to remove the requirement of
self-consistency, is obviously easier, and the information of what the
"transitive" priority of a package can be calculated or served in a separate
way that does not require changes to the Debian archive.

Have a nice Sunday.

Charles Plessy
Debian Med packaging team,
Tsurumi, Kanagawa, Japan

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