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What happens to stable packages at ftp sites?

I must admit that I've been disappointed several times when I discovered
that I couldn't find packages in the stable ftp directories. This has
happened with the mutt, xmcd and probably other packages as well. A
specific example at the moment is xmcd at ftp.debian.org in
dists/unstable/main/binary-i386 and dists/stable/main/binary-i386. It
seems to me that the unstable version won't install and the stable version
is gone!

The typical scenario is that I try to upgrade to an unstable version of a
package, it doesn't work, and then I can't go back to the stable version
because it's no longer at the ftp site or is just a pointer to a package
in an unstable ftp directory. 

As long as I'm on my soap box, I would be interested in knowing the reasoning
behind having packages in stable ftp directories point to packages in
unstable directories. Doesn't that circumvent the whole idea of having the
choice between stable and unstable versions?

Hopefully someone will enlighten me with the ftp address of old stable


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