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Re: package trees

Brian Nelson wrote:
Tom Allison <tallison@tacocat.net> writes:

This will probably get me ejected from the planet or accused of not
understanding how Debian works, but here goes.

There has been a long standing "bitch" by some that Debian is so vary
slow to update their base system.  Personally I stand entirely behind
the philosophies of making stable really stable and releasing updates
when they are ready.

I would not want anything to interfere with this as I believe it to be
one of the greatest assets of Debian.


I recently got burned a few times when I would skip an update to
testing.  There are some dependency problems I ran into where I had to
jump to unstable in order to get all the right versions of the right
software.  And some of them were less stable than others.

[snip rest of explanation]

However, you proposed any solution to the above problem; namely, that
packages in unstable tend to depend explicitly on versions of other
packages that are only in unstable.  This makes it quite difficult to
mix packages between unstable, testing, and stable.

Yes, you can recompile packages, but compiling software against older
libraries will likely uncover a lot of bugs that have already been fixed
in newer versions of the libraries and no one will want to deal with.
Inevitably, I think an implementation of the system you're proposing
would be less stable than any of Debian's current distributions.

Or, if you intend to ensure that a package and all of its dependencies
are "stable enough" before you will use it, then you're just reinventing
the testing distribution.

My experience of late has been contrary to what you say.

I have testing packages that required unstable installations or unstable installations that were dependent upon testing packages and were incapable of being compatable with their counterpart unstable packages.

They have definitely been mixed. If I run into it again, I'll post it in detail.

The only suggestion regarding "stable enough", as you put it (and reasonably so) is to cap the age that you consider seeing a package in testing if you are using a apt_preferences configuration which supports both stable and testing.

This would provide some increase of exposure to the testing packages prior to their roll-over into stable.

An atom-blaster is a good weapon, but it can point both ways.
		-- Isaac Asimov

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