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libc5 to libc6: purge or install *-dev?

The key document for upgrading from stable "bo" to unstable "hamm" is 
libc5-libc6-Mini-HOWTO.txt.  I have botched the upgrade from rex to bo, and 
the upgrade from bo to hamm.   I botched the upgrades because I installed 
programs from the unstable version over several months successfully, then one 
day installed a key program like "dpkg" without looking for or noticing any 
upgrade notes.  The web page entrance into the packages,
	"could therefore break your system"
This message could be more helpful.  How about a link to 
Also, how about putting in the file /debian/hamm/.message a warning as one 
enters this unstable directory via ftp.  Again, such a warning ought to 
mention libc5-libc6-Mini-HOWTO.txt.  Since this file is so crucial to moving 
from bo to hamm, please consider making a link to it with a more eye-catching 
name like README.UPGRADE-WARNING.  Another useful comment in 
libc5-libc6-Mini-HOWTO.txt might be something like "You will probably not 
completely ruin your current Debian distribution by installing from the hamm 
distribution, unless you install ldso, bash, libc, or dpkg."

In the debian-users mail-list, one person followed libc5-libc6-Mini-HOWTO.txt 
by trying to purge all *-dev packages, but zhe ran across so many dependencies 
that zhe stopped.  I tried the same with futility.  Is it really necessary to 
purge the *-dev packages?  Can't everyone just find the appropriate package to 
upgrade these *-dev packages, then install them as a way to rid the old *-dev 

Also, not all packages in development directories have *-dev endings.  Should 
your comment in section "3" of your document refer not just to *-dev packages 
but also to any package in a development directory?  For example, I suppose no 
major problems arise from the old
If other development packages are not so critical, you might state that.

Your libc5-libc6-Mini-HOWTO.txt saves many people from ruinning their 
operating systems.  A few changes could save a few more people.  When a person 
ruins zher operating system by badly adding packages from hamm, zhe consumes 
weeks of time.  You might save tens of people a hundred wasted hours each.


Jim Burt, NJ9L,		Fairfax, Virginia, USA
jameson@mnsinc.com	http://www.mnsinc.com/jameson

"If merely 'feeling good' could decide, drunkenness would be the supremely 
valid human experience."      --William James, Varieties of Religious 

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