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Old 11-11-2008, 11:13 PM
"Sam Kuper"
 
Default When stability is pointless

Dear all,
I'm grateful for your comments on this thread. I've learned about a few parts of the Debian system I wasn't aware of before (volatile/sloppy) and have been pleased to see a range of perspectives, including from upstream of the distro.

A number of comments missed my main point, which was:
When 'stable' packages don't work, or are inadequately documented, it's a pain because the upstream developers (who are otherwise often the first port of call for help and documentation) may no longer support the version of the software that the stable package installs.

It's this support/usability gap that I feel needs addressing in a more concerted way when distros take on the commitment of accepting a package.
In my original post, I made some vague suggestions about how that might be done, and I'd ask any upstream or downstream maintainers reading this to consider their relationships with their counterparts, and whether modifications to the package acceptance/maintenance procedures might improve those relationships and mitigate the gap I've referred to. If so, I'd encourage you to propose those amendments to procedure, for the community's consideration.

(And finally, I'm sorry to have taken so long replying - it's been a busy period for me...)
Many thanks to all who've read or replied to this thread*,

Sam
*Aside from the troll Robert Caruso, who I hope for all our sakes has finally managed to spell "unsubscribe" and remove himself from the debian-user list.
 
Old 11-11-2008, 11:13 PM
"Sam Kuper"
 
Default When stability is pointless

Dear all,
I'm grateful for your comments on this thread. I've learned about a few parts of the Debian system I wasn't aware of before (volatile/sloppy) and have been pleased to see a range of perspectives, including from upstream of the distro.

A number of comments missed my main point, which was:
When 'stable' packages don't work, or are inadequately documented, it's a pain because the upstream developers (who are otherwise often the first port of call for help and documentation) may no longer support the version of the software that the stable package installs.

It's this support/usability gap that I feel needs addressing in a more concerted way when distros take on the commitment of accepting a package.
In my original post, I made some vague suggestions about how that might be done, and I'd ask any upstream or downstream maintainers reading this to consider their relationships with their counterparts, and whether modifications to the package acceptance/maintenance procedures might improve those relationships and mitigate the gap I've referred to. If so, I'd encourage you to propose those amendments to procedure, for the community's consideration.

(And finally, I'm sorry to have taken so long replying - it's been a busy period for me...)
Many thanks to all who've read or replied to this thread*,

Sam
*Aside from the troll Robert Caruso, who I hope for all our sakes has finally managed to spell "unsubscribe" and remove himself from the debian-user list.
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Old 11-12-2008, 01:31 AM
"Douglas A. Tutty"
 
Default When stability is pointless

On Wed, Nov 12, 2008 at 12:13:42AM +0000, Sam Kuper wrote:

> When 'stable' packages don't work, or are inadequately documented, it's a
> pain because the upstream developers (who are otherwise often the first port
> of call for help and documentation) may no longer support the version of the
> software that the stable package installs.

If a 'stable' package doesn't work, blame the upstream developer for
releasing a non-working package. Whatever the problem, it wasn't
considered 'release-critical' or it wouldn't have made it into stable in
the first place. Those of us who run 'stable' run it because things
don't change much. If you want more recent packages, run testing or
unstable (or experimental if you want).

Read the debian policy manual (package debian-policy).

On a debian system, your first port-of-call for help is this the bug
tracking system. There are various ways to access the list of bugs for
a package. You can google site:lists.debian.org to see if the problem
has alread been discussed, and if not, post a good question to this
list.

doug.


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Old 11-12-2008, 01:37 PM
tyler
 
Default When stability is pointless

"Sam Kuper" <sam.kuper@uclmail.net> writes:
>
> A number of comments missed my main point, which was:
>
> When 'stable' packages don't work, or are inadequately documented,
> it's a pain because the upstream developers (who are otherwise often
> the first port of call for help and documentation) may no longer
> support the version of the software that the stable package installs.
>

I'm still missing your point here. The example you gave was _not_ of a
stable package not working, it was a stable package that didn't conform
to documentation for a *different* more recent version of the package.
What you appear to want is for upstream developers or package
maintainers to make sure that all the features of the latest release of
a package are fully documented not only for that release, but also for
previous releases. You seem to be overlooking the fact that _new_
features are _new_ exactly because they aren't present in _old_ versions
of a program.

So, unless there's some detail I've missed here, there already exist
individual and community solutions to your problem - install it yourself
from source, or make and share a backported .deb.

Tyler


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Old 11-14-2008, 09:30 PM
Paul Johnson
 
Default When stability is pointless

Sam Kuper wrote:
> With apologies for cross-posting.
>
> Dear all,
>
> I have copied below the text of a blog post* I wrote a few minutes
> ago, because it addresses an issue in Debian and Debian-derived
> distros that I've encountered several times, and which no doubt many
> people encounter frequently.
If you want Windows, Red Hat or Ubuntu, you know where to find them.
For those of us living in the real world, there's Debian.
 

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