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Old 07-12-2012, 09:06 PM
Svante Signell
 
Default RFC: Why are so many debian packages outdated?

Hello,

Now when Wheezy is about to be released I would like to raise an issue.
How come that there are still so many outdated packages becoming part
of Wheezy. Some package maintainers are very responsive in upgrading to
new upstream releases, others are having packages several years old.

Something is not OK, compared to other distributions, why releasing
outdated upstream software (I'm not thinking about essential packages
here). Yes, I know about the rock solid stability, that's appreciated!.
But it should also reflect current software. gcc-4.7 is a good example
of current software (it will part of squeeze even if there were a lot
of complaints recently...)

The Debian package maintainer system is maybe too old-fashioned? Or more
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?








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Old 07-12-2012, 09:20 PM
Timo Juhani Lindfors
 
Default RFC: Why are so many debian packages outdated?

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.


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Old 07-12-2012, 09:25 PM
Svante Signell
 
Default RFC: Why are so many debian packages outdated?

On Fri, 2012-07-13 at 00:20 +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 already have (with patches to bug reports), but becoming a Debian
maintainer I have not yet applied for. Maybe doing some packaging, and
ask for a sponsor will be a good way to get involved more, as a start.



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Old 07-12-2012, 09:31 PM
Paul Wise
 
Default RFC: Why are so many debian packages outdated?

On Thu, Jul 12, 2012 at 3:06 PM, Svante Signell wrote:

> Now when Wheezy is about to be released I would like to raise an issue.
> How come that there are still so many outdated packages becoming part
> of Wheezy. Some package maintainers are very responsive in upgrading to
> new upstream releases, others are having packages several years old.

Yet another thread about this decade old "issue" is not really going
to help the release, since it takes time for reading it away from
potential RC bug fixing time.

Folks who are interested in avoiding reading threads like this might
be interested in the tool being discussed in this event at DebConf12:

http://penta.debconf.org/dc12_schedule/events/951.en.html

--
bye,
pabs

http://wiki.debian.org/PaulWise


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Old 07-12-2012, 09:47 PM
Svante Signell
 
Default RFC: Why are so many debian packages outdated?

Adding debian-devel to the recipients. I think the question belongs
there.

On Thu, 2012-07-12 at 21:39 +0000, Bart Martens wrote:
> On Thu, Jul 12, 2012 at 11:25:47PM +0200, Svante Signell wrote:
> > On Fri, 2012-07-13 at 00:20 +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 already have (with patches to bug reports), but becoming a Debian
> > maintainer I have not yet applied for. Maybe doing some packaging, and
> > ask for a sponsor will be a good way to get involved more, as a start.
>
> Yes, doing some packaging via a sponsor is a way to immediately start
> contributing to Debian.

What to do if the maintainer is unresponsive? Ask somebody else to do
the upload, or pinging the maintainer again? Alternatives (what about
wine 1.2++)


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Old 07-25-2012, 09:42 PM
Svante Signell
 
Default RFC: Why are so many debian packages outdated?

On Thu, 2012-07-12 at 23:47 +0200, Svante Signell wrote:
> Adding debian-devel to the recipients. I think the question belongs
> there.
>
> On Thu, 2012-07-12 at 21:39 +0000, Bart Martens wrote:
> > On Thu, Jul 12, 2012 at 11:25:47PM +0200, Svante Signell wrote:
> > > On Fri, 2012-07-13 at 00:20 +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 already have (with patches to bug reports), but becoming a Debian
> > > maintainer I have not yet applied for. Maybe doing some packaging, and
> > > ask for a sponsor will be a good way to get involved more, as a start.
> >
> > Yes, doing some packaging via a sponsor is a way to immediately start
> > contributing to Debian.
>
> What to do if the maintainer is unresponsive? Ask somebody else to do
> the upload, or pinging the maintainer again? Alternatives (what about
> wine 1.2++)

I think this issue is very relevant to Wheezy. Why are there so many
outdated packages going into this release? The whole idea of unstable is
(to my understanding) to package the latest upstream releases, and get
the bugs squeezed out, right? And when the freeze happens, the latest
stable software is available to the next Debian release. Or is this
reasoning completely wrong? Please tell if the Debian goals are
different from the above. Maybe I have misunderstood the whole idea of
Debian experimental/sid/testing/stable.


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Old 07-25-2012, 10:13 PM
Russ Allbery
 
Default RFC: Why are so many debian packages outdated?

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

> I think this issue is very relevant to Wheezy. Why are there so many
> outdated packages going into this release? The whole idea of unstable is
> (to my understanding) to package the latest upstream releases, and get
> the bugs squeezed out, right? And when the freeze happens, the latest
> stable software is available to the next Debian release.

Yes. And therefore you have just answered your own question.

Older software goes into the wheezy release because, at the time of the
freeze, just as you said above, one of the following was true:

1. The new release was not packaged for unstable.
2. The bugs weren't squeezed out in unstable before the freeze.

It's not particularly complicated, although of course fixing any one
particular case where we want newer software can be quite complicated
(because 1 and 2 both have to happen before the freeze).

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


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Old 07-26-2012, 09:02 AM
Svante Signell
 
Default RFC: Why are so many debian packages outdated?

On Wed, 2012-07-25 at 15:13 -0700, Russ Allbery wrote:
> Svante Signell <svante.signell@telia.com> writes:
>
> > I think this issue is very relevant to Wheezy. Why are there so many
> > outdated packages going into this release? The whole idea of unstable is
> > (to my understanding) to package the latest upstream releases, and get
> > the bugs squeezed out, right? And when the freeze happens, the latest
> > stable software is available to the next Debian release.
>
> Yes. And therefore you have just answered your own question.
>
> Older software goes into the wheezy release because, at the time of the
> freeze, just as you said above, one of the following was true:
>
> 1. The new release was not packaged for unstable.
> 2. The bugs weren't squeezed out in unstable before the freeze.
>
> It's not particularly complicated, although of course fixing any one
> particular case where we want newer software can be quite complicated
> (because 1 and 2 both have to happen before the freeze).

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


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Old 07-26-2012, 09:31 AM
Lars Wirzenius
 
Default RFC: Why are so many debian packages outdated?

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:

* The Debian package maintainer is dead, but nobody noticed it yet, and
nobody has wanted an update badly enough to do an NMU or to adopt the
package.
* The upstream release is actually a fake. It's a trojan, which was
put there by the NSA in order to infiltrate the CIA mainframe. The
Debian package maintainer noticed this and uploaded that version of
the package to non-free instead of main, since the trojan code does
not come with proper source.
* Upstream has moved the RSS feed for new releases without notifying
the old feed of the move, so the Debian package maintainer missed that,
and doesn't actually know about the new release. Due to a complicated
series of happenstance involving rainbows, midget unicorns, and the
ongoing rewrite of the Netsurf web browser, the Debian package maintainer
is not able to find the new feed because it would require doing a
web search and their browser doesn't have working form support now.
No other browser is available on the Amiga they're using as their only
computer, either.
* The new release is requested by insistent Hurd porters, and the Debian
package maintainer absolutely loathes the Hurd, and will refuse to
upload any packages that work on the Hurd.
* The Debian package maintainer suffers from mental problems cause by
reading debian-devel too much, and now has a nervous breakdown every
time they recognize a name as someone whom they've seen on the list.
* The Debian development process is being sabotaged by Microsoft sending
people to the developers' houses pretending to be TV license checkers
or Jehova's witnesses every time they detect, using the hardware
wireless keylogger embeddded in every PC, that the developer is trying
to run any Debian packaging command.
* Apple is also sabotaging Debian by paying me to write snarky e-mails on
Debian mailing lists to distract everyone from working on the actual
release, so that we can get past the freeze and start uploading things
again without having to worry that it breaks things in ways that
makes the freeze longer.

--
I wrote a book: http://gtdfh.branchable.com/
 
Old 07-26-2012, 11:28 AM
Samuel Thibault
 
Default RFC: Why are so many debian packages outdated?

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.

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.

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

Samuel


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