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Old 07-26-2012, 12:45 PM
Svante Signell
 
Default RFC: Why are so many debian packages outdated?

On Thu, 2012-07-26 at 10:31 +0100, Lars Wirzenius wrote:
> On Thu, Jul 26, 2012 at 11:02:10AM +0200, Svante Signell wrote:
> > Well there is experimental that could be used to package pre-releases
> > and new releases to make them suitable for unstable and testing _before_
> > the freeze!
> >
> > Add to that unresponsive package maintainers, refusing to package new
> > versions of upstream software, even with wishlist bugs filed. Take a
> > look at the age of some of these bug, both in time and release numbers.
> > There are people willing to package new releases, but they are blocked
> > by the current package maintainer. That problem is maybe more related to
> > the d-d thread entitled: "Hijacking packages for fun and profit" BoF at
> > DebConf
>
> There are a ton of reasons why Debian may have an older version of
> an upstream release. For example, and I hasten to point out that
> the following list is by no means exhaustive, and not all of the
> possibilities are common:

Very informative reply, thank you very much!


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Old 07-26-2012, 12:46 PM
Lars Wirzenius
 
Default RFC: Why are so many debian packages outdated?

On Thu, Jul 26, 2012 at 08:28:34PM +0900, Samuel Thibault wrote:
> Please consider that he is speaking on his own, do not take him as "the
> Hurd porters". The Hurd porter team wants to avoid anything that would
> delay the release.

I apologize for implying that the Hurd porter team would do that. It
was not my intention to do that, and I should have worded it differently.

--
I wrote a book: http://gtdfh.branchable.com/
 
Old 07-26-2012, 12:48 PM
Samuel Thibault
 
Default RFC: Why are so many debian packages outdated?

Lars Wirzenius, le Thu 26 Jul 2012 13:46:40 +0100, a écrit :
> On Thu, Jul 26, 2012 at 08:28:34PM +0900, Samuel Thibault wrote:
> > Please consider that he is speaking on his own, do not take him as "the
> > Hurd porters". The Hurd porter team wants to avoid anything that would
> > delay the release.
>
> I apologize for implying that the Hurd porter team would do that. It
> was not my intention to do that, and I should have worded it differently.

Ok, good, thanks

Samuel


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Old 07-26-2012, 01:02 PM
Svante Signell
 
Default RFC: Why are so many debian packages outdated?

On Thu, 2012-07-26 at 10:31 +0100, Lars Wirzenius wrote:
> On Thu, Jul 26, 2012 at 11:02:10AM +0200, Svante Signell wrote:
> > Well there is experimental that could be used to package pre-releases
> > and new releases to make them suitable for unstable and testing _before_
> > the freeze!
...
> * The new release is requested by insistent Hurd porters,

I can give a few examples of outdated packages having non-responsive
maintainers, wine is one of them. See the wishlist bugs! Finally a set
of NMUs solved that problem. And that package is not at all related to
Hurd. Wine does not even build there yet. Don't confuse my contributions
to the Hurd with my opinions on the Weezy release, please.

> > and the Debian
> > package maintainer absolutely loathes the Hurd, and will refuse to
> > upload any packages that work on the Hurd.
> >

Things like that happens too, but is not related to the Wheezy release,
Hurd is not a release architecture, didn't you know that?


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Old 07-26-2012, 01:04 PM
Svante Signell
 
Default RFC: Why are so many debian packages outdated?

On Thu, 2012-07-26 at 20:28 +0900, Samuel Thibault wrote:
> Hello,
>
> Lars Wirzenius, le Thu 26 Jul 2012 10:31:24 +0100, a écrit :
> > * The new release is requested by insistent Hurd porters,
...
> I would just like to confirm that the Hurd porter team does *not*
> back Svante's request for new releases. Even though we have already
> explained him several times why in general new versions are not well
> tested, etc. he seems to continue asking for them.

Again, this is not Hurd related, it is related to the subject: Outdated
packages in the next Debian release!

> Please consider that he is speaking on his own, do not take him as "the
> Hurd porters". The Hurd porter team wants to avoid anything that would
> delay the release.

Of course I'm not talking about the Hurd here. And it is my personal
opinion, not related to the Hurd porter team, got it?


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Old 07-26-2012, 01:09 PM
Jon Dowland
 
Default RFC: Why are so many debian packages outdated?

On Fri, Jul 13, 2012 at 12:20:23AM +0300, Timo Juhani Lindfors wrote:
> Svante Signell <svante.signell@telia.com> writes:
> > NMUs should be made/allowed/encouraged? I know all packaging is made by
> > volunteers at their spare time, but anyway. Debian is one of the best
> > distributions, what about raising the bar a little higher?
>
> The only way you can really improve the situation is to help with the
> packages.

I disagree.

Fundamentally the problem is lack of manpower. There are not enough
incoming people interested in addressing the problem (like Svante)
to make an appreciable difference if they dedicate their time soley
to packaging.

There is work to be done to make Debian attract more contributors.


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Old 07-26-2012, 01:29 PM
Timo Juhani Lindfors
 
Default RFC: Why are so many debian packages outdated?

Jon Dowland <jmtd@debian.org> writes:
> I disagree.

Maybe my statement was overly general indeed. I certainly agree with

> There is work to be done to make Debian attract more contributors.


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Old 07-26-2012, 04:55 PM
Russ Allbery
 
Default RFC: Why are so many debian packages outdated?

Svante Signell <svante.signell@telia.com> writes:

> Well there is experimental that could be used to package pre-releases
> and new releases to make them suitable for unstable and testing _before_
> the freeze!

Sure. But that doesn't magically happen; someone has to actually do it.

> Add to that unresponsive package maintainers, refusing to package new
> versions of upstream software, even with wishlist bugs filed.

"Refusing" is a very confrontational way of putting this. In my personal
experience, "refusing" is rare. Nearly all of these cases are cases of a
volunteer not having time. Filing a wishlist bug asking for the new
release is trivial; actually doing the work is sometimes not trivial at
all.

> There are people willing to package new releases, but they are blocked
> by the current package maintainer.

This gets a lot of attention and debate because it seems like a place
where we can Do Something, but I'm highly dubious that this is a
substantial percentage of the overall problem. For every case where an
unresponsive maintainer is blocking forward progress, I'm fairly sure you
will find dozens, if not more, cases where there's just no one with both
the time and technical skills to do the work.

See, for example, the huge and growing list of RFH bugs where the
maintainer is explicitly asking for people to help and, by and large,
nothing is happening.

--
Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org) <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>


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Old 07-26-2012, 06:48 PM
Wookey
 
Default RFC: Why are so many debian packages outdated?

+++ Svante Signell [2012-07-26 14:45 +0200]:
> On Thu, 2012-07-26 at 10:31 +0100, Lars Wirzenius wrote:
> >
> > There are a ton of reasons why Debian may have an older version of
> > an upstream release. For example, and I hasten to point out that
> > the following list is by no means exhaustive, and not all of the
> > possibilities are common:
>
> Very informative reply, thank you very much!

One wonders if some posters recognise comedy when they see it :-)

Thank you Lars, it was a fine piece of work.

Now back to your normal programming of humourless pedants.

Wookey
--
Principal hats: Linaro, Emdebian, Wookware, Balloonboard, ARM
http://wookware.org/


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Old 07-26-2012, 07:24 PM
Michael Gilbert
 
Default RFC: Why are so many debian packages outdated?

On Thu, Jul 26, 2012 at 9:02 AM, Svante Signell wrote:
> I can give a few examples of outdated packages having non-responsive
> maintainers, wine is one of them. See the wishlist bugs! Finally a set
> of NMUs solved that problem.

Pointing at wine at this point is a red herring. A group of
interested volunteers fixed it. That's how these problems get solved.
If a you see an out-of-date package, please volunteer your time to
help fix it. If you're not a DD, you can do the work and send a
message to debian-mentors.

We've also started various discussions and changes toward making it
more straightforward to fix these types of situations. e.g.:
http://bugs.debian.org/681833

Best wishes,
Mike


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