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'unsupported packages' (was Re: uugetty?)

On Tue, 7 May 1996, Manfred Wassmann wrote:

> > what package does uugetty come with?
> uugetty is part of getty-ps which is not (yet?) available as a
> debian-package. I use version getty_ps-2.0.7h and had to fix some
> pieces to comply with the FSSTND.

Here's a suggestion:

If you're going to go to the trouble of compiling a missing program
for your system, it's only a few extra steps to add the debian control
files.  Then you can share your work with the rest of the debian user

Doing this is fairly easy for most programs...large packages like base
and libc are probably quite involved & difficult but something small
like getty_ps should be easy.

There's an advantage in it for you too:  You gain the ability to upgrade
your custom-installed programs with dpkg, just like any other package.  
This really does make it worth the extra effort!

This is why I released par & tkdesk...they're tools I personally find
useful, and I like the idea of managing ALL of my binaries with dpkg, so
I debiated them...after that, it was no trouble at all to upload them to

As an added bonus, you also get the satisfying feeling of putting
something worthwhile back into debian!

The only downside to this if you don't have much time is that
you're then stuck with the responsibility for bug tracking for your
package...unless you can find someone willing to take it off your hands.

Maybe there should be an 'unsupported' directory for packages which
have been released but don't have an active maintainer...or is this
what 'contrib' is for?  Also, allow any package in 'unsupported' can be
adopted by anyone who takes the time to actively maintain it.

Question for other developers: should the documentation for debian
encourage this?  Does the benefit of having lots of extra packages
outweigh the disadvantage of having bug reports about unsupported


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