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Re: When Debian 4.1 will arrive... will anyone care?

Craig Sanders <cas@taz.net.au> wrote:

> On Fri, Apr 20, 2007 at 09:27:48PM +1200, Nick Phillips wrote:
>> Craig Sanders wrote:
>> > IMO, if you need a 'stable' system with some newer packages, you're
>> > better off learning how apt's pinning stuff works than bothering with
>> > backports.  it's not hard.
>> The big difference is that with backports, they will be built with
>> stable libs etc. as far as possible -- that means a hell of a lot less
>> gets pulled in than with testing/unstable, no matter how you pin.
> 1. why is this allegedly a 'benefit'? what's so special about libraries?
> why is a new libc6 or libssl etc more scary than a new apache or php
> etc?

- because it's much harder to go back

- because if there's a bug, or an unknown incompatibility, it's not just
  apache which breaks, but the whole system (in case of glibc, or other
  central libraries)

- simply reducing the number of packages from non-stable makes it easier
  to maintain your overview of what's going on on your system.

> 2. backports has new/updated libraries too. it may not be the exact same
> set of updated libs as in unstable, 

Sorry, did you ever care to read the backports.org policy?  Or even try
to use them, or work with people who do?

I guess no, since of course "it may not" is plain wrong: backports.org
only has packages from testing.

> in my experience, backports causes more trouble than either testing or
> unstable. for one thing, you're running non-standard stuff that doesn't
> get tested anywhere near as much as the stuff in testing/unstable.
> and, more importantly, the upgrade path from backports to the next
> stable release isn't tested anywhere near as much as the upgrade path
> from old-stable to new-stable, or from testing/unstable to newer
> testing/unstable (or to new stable)....so you're going to have new and
> exciting problems when the next stable release comes around.

As far as the TeX packages are concerned, I can tell you at least that
one of the major TeX maintainers actually used the sarge-backports (me),
and that we did get feedback from backports users, but no bug reports
that wouldn't have also been in testing (and most bugs of the type
"upgrade scenario not considered" happen to *unstable* users).

Regards, Frank
Dr. Frank Küster
Single Molecule Spectroscopy, Protein Folding @ Inst. f. Biochemie, Univ. Zürich
Debian Developer (teTeX/TeXLive)

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