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Re: Debian multimedia repository

Yaro Kasear wrote:
> Andrei POPESCU wrote:
> >Teemu Likonen wrote:
> > >Titanus Eramius wrote:
> > > >	My 2 cents on this is, that once packages is installed from Debian
> > > >	Multimedia it's very hard to go back to stable. But if one keeps using
> > > >	Debian Multimedia there are rarely any problems.
> > >
> > > Now I got curious because that sound so general. What makes it very
> > > hard? In my experience installing and removing packages has always been
> > > easy in Debian.
> >
> > The versioning scheme of Deb Multimedia packages is meant to take
> > priority over the Debian proper packages, but this can create problems
> > under certain circumstances.
> I haven't been using Debian as long as many on this list. Are
> failures with Debian-Multimedia that overtly common or are they
> rather circumstantial?

Originally I don't think there were any problems at all.  The
maintainer Chris Marillat did excellent work adding in bits that did
not meet the DFSG or otherwise could not be included in Debian.  But
that by itself created political friction because these were bits that
could not be part of Debian.  However many people used them regardless
of their status.  I think the quality was high.

Then as time has passed there has developed a social and political
friction between d-m.o and d.o.  This is unfortunate but appears to
have happened just the same.  I wish it were otherwise due to the good
work and benefit that Marillat and d-m.o has given to users over many

All of this is then turned into problems by users who do not
understand the relationship between d-m.o and d.o.  Many users by some
stretch of imagination think that d-m.o is an official part of Debian.
Users who did this were the real problem.  They would then report bugs
to the Debian BTS.  This annoys the Debian maintainers.  The annoyance
"prickles" everyone all around and with heightened tension people's
tempers have flared.  It is the Internet after all.  It isn't the
spirit of cooperation that holds it together but the flamewar.

For a recent discussion that will chain through much:


And usefully for versions of everything:


As to why there are problems I will speculate.  Debian has had much
churn of its multimedia packages recently.  This makes it a moving
target for d-m.o to work with and among.  I don't know but I will
guess that either to try to stay ahead of d.o packages or possibly to
correct internal problems several of d-m.o packages have increased the
epoch in the version number.  Or have added a dmo which also increases
the version number over the Debian version similar to what backports
does.  I haven't personally had any problems with this but I will
guess that is where one of the biggest issues have arisen.  Because
d-m.o and d.o are two separate repositories with different maintainers
there will always be some level of disconnect between packages.
Therefore the Debian guys always want their version number to be the
most recent, and so does Marillat.  I never have problems upgrading
but I always purge anything not strictly debian.org before an upgrade.

Then to add fuel to the fire there is the continuing saga of the feud
between the ffmpeg folks and the libav folks.  Anyone dealing with
multimedia packaging will be right in the middle of that fire fight.
This is yet another unfortunate situation which catches users in the
middle between two camps.  I am not sure how this affects d-m.o v. d.o
but I have heard rumors that it is involved in the problem.


Please can't we all just get along?  Ya, right.

  Everything will be all right in the end.  If it's not all right,
  then it's not yet the end. --Unknown


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