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re:post-release package update policy

"behan (b.) webster": "re:post-release package update policy" (Oct 23,  9:55):
> Why do you need a specific "release" at all?  

One reason is that people need to be able to refer to some specific set
of software, instead of a rapidly moving target.  For example, I write
the System Administrators' Guide (well, more or less write).  In the
chapter on user administration, I might need to tell people which versions
of which distributions have support for shadow passwords.  Or in another
chapter, I might need to tell people which versions support ELF.
"The set of Debian packages in /foo/bar on ftp.debian.org in September,
1996 supported ELF" does not sound very good.

Also, many people would like to have an unchanging system (except for
_really_ important fixes), since that makes it easier to administer things.
For them, it is simpler to just live with a few minor bugs, rather than
get and install the newest version of each package every day.  These
people would like to have a fixed release.  Sure, they could assemble
it themselves (just collect a set of packages which seem to work well
together, and use that), but that approach creates an impression of
chaos.  A fixed, clearly identified release makes life much easier for

Lars Wirzenius <liw@iki.fi> <wirzeniu@kruuna.helsinki.fi>
MIME and PGP mail welcome.  Key: finger @kruuna, or check keyservers.
Publib 0.5: ftp://ftp.cs.helsinki.fi/pub/Software/Local/Publib/

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