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Re: Q: Do you believe in Supercow?

On Tue, Apr 02, 2019 at 10:36:09AM +0200, Joerg Jaspert wrote:
> You know, if thats just some 1st april joke, its a bad one.

Mails involving APT on the 1st April are never just jokes. Five years
ago we e.g. announced the 16th birthday with our binary release[0].
People though the java-remark would be a joke, but that was 100% true.

I think the 1st April is a lovely birthday to have – arguably because it
is so close to my own, and two other family members, so it feels a bit
like apt being part of my family, too – and it is sort of tradition by
now that we announce a birthday party. I didn't really had the time to
think up something truely great, so we have to make due with what we got
I am afraid. Maybe next year then Debian isn't in deep freeze.

> Old codebases usually do not attract many new people.

Well, yes, but what is that supposed to mean? APT had at least one
(serious) sort of rewrite (cupt) which isn't exactly overrun either
desperate it being many years younger.

Debian itself is pretty old and we are talking constantly about how to
attract new blood beside keeping the current happy. Taking your response
at face value means that this is pointless. Makes me wonder why we talk
about BTS, git-debian-archive or whatever through.

> > Or better yet, an idea on how to change that?
> if you find out how, tell me what you did, so I can repeat it for dak.

What has seemed to have worked in the past is that the entire team left
and out of the dark emerged a new team to salvage the pieces. Seems to
have happened a few times in apt. I have seen it happening in aptitude.

Not sure if that is to be emulated and from the "outside" it seems like
a waste of resources – beside being a high stacks gamble.

(The definition of team is a rather loose one here)

As you are asking about dak specifically, based on my experience in the
past (but that is some years ago) it was way too hard to get a local
test instance up and running. I think/hope that changed, I would like to
revisit the {Contents,Packages,…}-all thing eventually.

> > 2. There are glimmers of dissatisfaction hidden between "bikesheds",
> > "curl|sudo bash" and mentions of heretic tools like npm/yarn/cargo/….
> > Given a timemachine, infinite funds and unquestioned management powers,
> > what would you have made APT developers do one/two/five/ten/twenty years
> > ago to make you happy now?
> Whats it this year with people handing out lots of magic? Is that a new
> trend I missed?

A certain DPL candidate has in his platform: "We should look why people
chose something different than Debian. And see if we can enhance Debian
to provide the features, while balancing it with our current users."

If that isn't asking open questions (without asking directly) about what
would you change if you could I am not sure what it is.

> I am not deep enough in the apt mud to tell you what would need to have
> gone different whatever time ago to make us more happy now.

Most people aren't experts in climate change but still have an idea what
could be done (if it will work or is sensible is a technical detail).

"curl|sudo bash" is even a quote from your platform, so you surely have
some opinion, broad vision or whatever. The "magic" setup is just there
to prevent you from dropping an item from the list just because it seems
too hard, out of scope, out of fear it might be silly and so on.

> > 4. There is always the lingering question if Debian might become more or
> > less important in the future, but asking you that seems unfair as most
> > of you will not have a crystal ball. So my more realistic and totally
> > technically objective question is: Do you believe APT will be more or
> > less important (within Debian) in the future?
> I've not seen a real replacement proposed, so it will at least stay what
> it is. If it gets more or less depends on what you apt people do with
> it.

While objectively true, it is a very boring response even if consistent
with your platform in that you address the Debian version of that
question in it already.

I have some doubts it would age well if left to its own device to the
point that I would openly question "will at least stay what it is", but
I will let that slide for the time being.

The "apt people" part is annoying me through as it suggests the apt
people are an isolated pocket. In other threads there is talk about the
close maintainer-package relationship, if/how that should be broken
and/or even sort of abolished by granting all DDs free reign over all
packages in a central version control system. Yet, the things which are
truely Debian as even their version number indicate that they are only
useful in Debian are not (yet) the responsibility of all of Debian but
of some people only.

Thanks for replying so quickly to mail you were unsure about how to;
it isn't a lot to be chewed on, but every bit counts!


David Kalnischkies

[0] https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2014/04/msg00013.html

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