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Bug#735553: packages.debian.org: unreleased, debports architectures make packages.d.o confusing

Package: www.debian.org
Severity: normal


packages.debian.org lists packages from a variety of architectures that
aren't actually in Debian. packages.debian.org has three main audiences
who come to it to look for information:

* end-users -- they aren't using debports ports so they don't want to see
  this information

* debian develoeprs -- they are more likely to look at packages.qa.d.o for
  information about packages and porting

* debports porters -- they have much better tools than packages.d.o to
  assess their porting efforts

The current infrastructure sets up packages.d.o as being for "end users"
while packages.qa.d.o is for "developers". Information about work-in-progress
architectures that aren't even available from the Debian project is at
best irrelevant to the end-user; unfortunately, is actively confusing in
many cases.

A FAQ in #debian has become (in infinte variants):

  "Hi! I'm trying to install postgresql-9.0.
  packages.debian.org/sid/postgresql-9.0 lists it but apt can't find it."

  "http://packages.debian.org/sid/tspc lists a binary package but no source,
  isn't Debian distributing the source?"

Now if you look at these pages for long enough, you eventually find, down the
bottom in the last place you will look in the download links that there are
only download links for m68k. But because you know that Debian has a
sophisticated package management system and you always use apt to install
packages because that's what you've been trained to do, you don't even
look at download links and you remain confused...

The other common variation on this theme is where a package has been removed
from Debian but has not been decrufted from debports yet. Even for those
not confused by the stray entries for packages that don't exist any more,
these entries are effectively noise that makes the site less useful.

If the work-in-progress, dead, being-revived or otherwise progressing well
ports from debports were keeping up with all packages in the archive,
this wouldn't be a problem but then again, if these ports were keeping up,
they could be official ports in any case.

Concretely, my suggestion is:

(a) remove architectures from packages.d.o that are not official Debian
    architectures. "not in dak", "not looked after by our ftp-masters", "not
    considered in architecture qualification by the release team", "not
    available from ftp.d.o" would all be reasonable definitions of "official
    Debian architectures" here (and give the same set of architectures).

(b) if those working on debports architectures need Debian maintainers to see
    information about the status of the packages and would thus be sorry to
    see this information disappear from view, then let's clone this bug to
    qa.debian.org proposing to include it in the packages.qa.d.o pages where
    the developer group is more likely to look for it anyway.

It would be nice if this FAQ didn't need to be answered on a ~daily basis
and if packages.d.o could become more useful to end-users.


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