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Re: post-release package update policy

> Dale Scheetz writes:
>  > >Some suggest that it would be best to leave debian-0.93 alone after
>  > >the release, and that instead of moving new and updated packages into
>  > >debian-0.93, we should put them in a different (but easily-accessible)
>  > >tree, such as debian-updates-0.93.  The advantage of this approach is
>  > >that it gives users access to both the "released" and completely up to
>  > >date distributions.  The disadvantage is that users would have to make
>  > >a decision as to which of them to install.
>  > 
>  > I, personally, like to be given choices. Being asked to make a decision is
>  > not a disadvantage to me! If I were asked to make more decisions during
>  > installation, and it made the installation more appropriate as a result, I
>  > would consider that to be an advantage
> I second this -- as long as it's clear to me (I'm speaking now for the millions
> [:-)] of coming debian users, not me, the ~20 year UNIX veteran) what
> the consequences of the decision that I am making are.  This implies extremely
> clear naming.  See below. 
>  > >
>  > >Others suggest that we should keep doing what we're doing now--that
>  > >is, as packages are released, we should move them into debian-0.93.
>  > >The advantage of this approach is that users are guaranteed to have
>  > >all fixed and updated packages at the time they download the
>  > >distribution.
>  > 
>  > This is true only for those who have the bandwidth to download everything in
>  > one session! I have worked for 4 nights over the last few weeks and still
>  > don't have all the essentials updated yet, not to mention all the frills!
>  > Having a stable set of directories to work from would let me put together "a
>  > specific" distribution whos pieces should all work together. The only reason
>  > a user should need to upgrade would be if some portion of the distribution
>  > did not work for it. (it = the gender neutral term for user)
> Until I saw this I was kind of on the fence about this issue.  
> One of the things which attracted me to debian in the first place (apart
> the fact that smail and news might finally work again in a current release, in
> constrast to smackware), was that the packages were so state of the art.  A new
> version of Foo would be released, and within days, the corresponding .deb file
> would appear.  This is GREAT!  Do not lose this.
> I think we can achieve both goals pretty simply, through careful naming and
> use of symlinks.  Proposal:
> Have two directory trees: 1) one for the current stable debian release (a
> snapshot), and 2) one for the latest versions of packages.
> Call (1) "debian" or "stable".  It is actually a re-bindable symlink to a
> versioned directory, like "debian-0.93R6" or "debian-0.93R6-stable"
> Call (2) "latest" or at most "debian-latest".  It has the current
> state-of-the-art versions of packages that are compatible with the "stable"
> version.  It includes a *complete* set of packages; those packages which have
> not been changed since the "stable" version, are just symlinks to the stable
> version.   When a new package is added the symlink is removed, and the new
> package is installed in its place.  I'm mentioning symlinks here for two
> reasons: a) to minimize redundant disk usage and b) to have a distinguishable
> (at least by some FTP clients) means of telling which packages have changed and
> which are the same as the stable release.
> New packages go into the latest version. At some point, the contents of the
> latest version is snapshotted and becomes the new stable version (in fact, you
> could almost just mv the latest directory to the new versioned stable
> directory, rebind the symlink "stable" (or "debian") to point to the new 
> stable version; you still have to replace the symlinks with their corresponding
> actual files from the old stable release).
> The old stable releases do not have to be removed; some aging policy can be
> applied to keep the last <n> versions; so if a stable version proves somehow to
> be broken, you can regress further to an earlier version.
> While this organization may sound complicated, it's relatively simple:
> debian/
>        debian-0.93R6/
>                      binary/
>                      msdos/
>                      source/
>     	    	     {etc}
>        stable -> debian-0.93R6
>        latest/
>               binary/
>     	    	     ...
>                      net/
>                          ppp-2.2.deb -> ../../../stable/binary/net/ppp-2.2.deb
>                      ...
>               msdos/
>               source/
>               {etc}
> Other things like the elf related directories, and Incoming could appear
> under the "debian" directory.
> I think this addresses the concerns expressed by Dale (and echoed by myself),
> allows both novices and experts to find and retrieve the files that they are
> interested in, and is relatively minimal in its use of disk space.
> Steve
Sorry for me tooing but I like this concept. Add one for pro.

Erick Branderhorst@heel.fgg.eur.nl +31-10-4635142
Department of General Surgery (Intensive Care) University Hospital Rotterdam NL

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