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Re: Slink to Potato


Hmmm... exactly 80-column lines, more or less. 72 or 76 is much better
though, it leaves room for replies.

On Fri, 1 Oct 1999, Damir J. Naden wrote:

> Hi Brad; unless Mutt is confused, you wrote:
> ---stuff snipped here--
> > Depending on the particular package, recompiling for slink can be as
> > simple as "apt-get --compile source packagename" (with a new enough
> > version of apt, of course). The versioned Perl dependancies and such can
> > be fixed by editing debian/control in the downloaded source.
> Sorry for jumping in here, but I'd like to add my two cents in. I am
> using Debian for 4 years now, or close to that, but these must be the
> most confusing 6 months I remember if you are a Debian user. Could
> Debian management (do they read this group at all?) decide what is the
> direction they will be taking _and_ post that on the official Debian
> web-site? Isn't that what the site is for?

I'm not sure what you mean here... There is a pretty good bit on the
website, if you look in the right places. And if you're referring to the
Perl changes, that was discussed and announced on -devel, which all
developers are supposed to read. IIRC there's also some in the developer's
section of the website.

Not that i can comment much anyway, since i'm not a developer ;)

> Instead of going thru the archives of the debian-devel and such?

I'd think they shouldn't put stuff on the webpage until they've made the
decision, on debian-devel or debian-policy.

> I agree with the original author of this thread, if slink is current
> stable release, why not update the non-essential packages every, say,
> major upstream release? Leave the libc6 and other essential packages
> where they are now...

Still, there's the risk of major breakage. What do you count as a
non-essential package? Gnome, which has 10,000 libraries and such that
need to be properly managed?

Remember that stable isn't just a collection of packages that work,
everything works together as a unified system. If you start upgrading
parts of that, you may end up breaking another part.

> I am, and I think other non-computer-oriented users, would be happy to
> take the risk of my window manager not working quite right, knowing we
> can back out of it without breaking the whole system.

Part of the great draw of stable is that it is almost guaranteed 100%
stable. If you put stable on your critical server, you'll know that
everything will work together with no troubles. Change this, and what's
the point of stable at all?

Besides having to deal with possible breakage, what is it that makes
stable better for you than unstable? Or is the possible breakage reason
enough (it is a good enough reason)?

> Now, to the apt thing. I am in a great minority here, but is it still
> possible to fetch the packages (say in potato) and
> command-line-install them (remember dpkg --install my.pkg.deb?).

Absolutely! All apt does is download the packages and call dpkg to install
them. For the next generation of Debian package managment, dpkg will be
just another front-end to the underlying library, but rest assured it will
still exist. It's way too useful to lose!

> I have recently tried to update my XFree to 3.3.4 from ftp.netgod.x
> using this method and it wouldn't go.


> Why am I asking about apt? Because I prefer control dpkg is giving me;
> I always disliked Windows way of " Updating files now" thingy leaving
> me clueless on what is being updated. And I prefer to know that
> upfront rather than reading the changelogs after the fact. read more
> on this below.

That's a perfectly fine viewpoint.

> And if I have to get sources and apt-get source them, I am better off
> just compiling them myself and again, use dpkg -i ( after getting
> debianized sources, that is).

"apt-get source", without the --compile option, will download the
.orig.tar.gz, .diff.gz, and .dsc files and do dpkg-source -x on it. Or you
can specify the --download-only flag and run dpkg-source yourself.

Personally, i've never used the --compile flag, since whenever i download
the source i have need to modify something ;)

> > It's not standard, but check out ftp.netgod.net/x. Many slinkified apps
> > there.
> They _used_ to have only slink stuff. New Navigator packages (just
> tried them after downloading them and doing my dpkg thingy) are
> apparently compiled against libc2.1, xlib6g 3.3.4 or higher and
> libstdc++2.9-libc2.1!

i wouldn't know, since i went to potato when slink was still frozen ;)

> If I did apt-get, would the system go off and updated my libc6 to
> satisfy Navigator 4.7 ( is Naviagotr tarball from Netscape really done
> up against libc2.1 or is that internal to Debian?) without me
> realizing this and just answered (foolishly) yes to upgrade?

Nope, not unless you foolishly stuck an unstable line in your apt
sources.list. If you only have stable lines, it'll just complain that it
can't find the proper version of the libc6 package (or whatever).

> I realize there will be lots of answers with people pointing out that
> apt can do this and that, but my question stays: can I just use dpkg
> command after dowloading packages manually even if they are meant to
> be used with apt?

They're not even ment to be used with apt. Apt just seeks out the packages
and downloads them for dpkg to -i.

> Sorry for being way too long, but I thought this an appropriate thread
> to ask this sort of thing.

No problem.

- -- 
  finger for PGP public key.

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