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Patches that break stuff

Hi all.  I think this is on-topic for the security list since all Stable
package updates I see are security related.

On Bugtraq the issue of patches breaking various parts of an OS has been
raised (under the thread "Microsoft and Security").

It has been noted by one participant that his company assessed how often
patches had to be replaced because their were broken in some way.  They
came to the figure of 1 in 6 patches needed replacing.

In a private email the poster reported:

1. All vendors were within 3% of this figure.  He advises they did lump
   all Linux distros together.

2. Cisco was lowest and Microsoft was average.

I've found Debian puts all other "vendors" to shame when it comes to
stability of updates to the Stable branch.

Are any hard stats available on how many Debian package upgrades have had
to be replaced because they broke something?  I'm thinking the total number of
broken updates in 2.2 and 3.0 is 0 plus or minus 1 :)


Robert Brockway B.Sc. email: robert@timetraveller.org, rbrockway@uqconnect.net
Linux counter project ID #16440 (http://counter.li.org)
"The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens" -Baha'u'llah

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