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Re: What can Debian do to provide complex applications to its users?

On Fri, Feb 16, 2018 at 04:11:29PM +0100, Raphael Hertzog wrote:
> Hello everybody,
> the fact that I had to request the removal of dolibarr from Debian makes
> me sad (see below for the reasons) and I believe that we should be able
> to do better to provide complex applications to our end users.
> Dolibarr is not alone:
There was/is a similar issue with ownCloud/nextCloud.

I would love to see something that allows for these complex packages
(package ecosystems, really) to play nice with stock Debian.

I am always hesitant to use unofficial upstream .deb packages unless I
know that they have experienced Debian Developers involved in the
packaging. There have been too many instances for me where such
packages are of poor quality and end up causing more problems than they
solve. My preferred method for applications like this is to install
manually from tarballs and just ignore the unofficial .deb packages.
Sadly, that is nearly always more work.

The container approach is very interesting since many of the most
complex packages would benefit greatly from being kept separate from the
rest of the system for a multitude of reasons. Certainly security is one
and dependency management is another (e.g., as in the Dolibarr example,
where upstream only tests against certain versions of the dependencies
which may not be available directly in Debian).

Anyhow, these are just my thoughts. I would love to see some effort form
around your proposal and would definitely get involved, time permitting.



Roberto C. Sánchez