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Re: User-installable Debian packages?




On Sun, Jul 30, 2017 at 02:36:03PM +0200, Steffen Möller wrote:
> 
> Users will not care if it is flatpak, singularity, conda or prefix -
> they want
> all the packages and the packages shall work. What I like about all of these
> efforts is that from what I grasped we will stop caring too much about
> backports.
>...
> What it somewhat boils down to me is that we need to decide about  the
> roles a Linux distribution shall have. And if we want problem-centric
> communities (like BioConda) to come up with a pan-distributional
> gentoo-prefix-like setup. The folks that are only after the immediate
> scientific
> findings will go for the community-effort.
>...

The main benefit of a stable release of a distribution is getting a set 
of packages that are confirmed to work, and tested to work together.[1]

Backports are a workaround for the situation when a user of stable has
an urgent need to cherry-pick a specific package from the next stable,
but every package installed from backports brings the risk of breaking
something unrelated.[2]

If a large part of the users in an area want/need the latest upstream 
code, then a cross-distribution community-effort would actually be:
- less work (only done once for all distributions), and
- remove the risk that packages installed from backports/PPA/... have
  a negative effect on the whole system.

Unless all users would consider using the versions in stable pointless,
Debian could continue to ship the software in stable.

But comparing backports with a flatpak solution for users who want the 
latest upstream code, I see all the benefits at the flatpak solution.

When it is both less work for Debian and a better result for users,
I do not see the point why Debian should compete with that effort.

> Steffen

cu
Adrian

[1] some problems always slip into a stable
[2] e.g. by also pulling in an update of some library or python module
    that might have functionality changes or new bugs

-- 

       "Is there not promise of rain?" Ling Tan asked suddenly out
        of the darkness. There had been need of rain for many days.
       "Only a promise," Lao Er said.
                                       Pearl S. Buck - Dragon Seed