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Re: Weired package policy

On Sun, Jan 07, 2018 at 04:37:49PM +0100, Hans wrote:
> Am Sonntag, 7. Januar 2018, 16:26:55 CET schrieb Floris:
> Hi Floris and all,
> maybe my question was not clearly expressed, due to my English. It was not 
> aimed to that special package. I would like to know, why packages completely 
> disappear, instead of just leaving the last well running version available in 
> testing. IMO to fully remove a running version completely in opposite of 
> keeping the last good version is in my eyes the worse idea.

One point that has been skirted around in a couple of answers but not 
directly expressed is that putting the old, working version in testing 
is not the right thing to do in some situations if that old version 
cannot be a candidate for inclusion in buster when it is released (that 
is, when it becomes the stable distribution).

Using this package you took as an example, it is not at the moment a 
candidate for inclusion in buster as a release because it depends on a 
version of the SSL libraries that will not be there when buster is 
released (unless something changes). Putting it in testing now would be 
lying, in a way, because that package will not be there when the testing 
distribution becomes the stable distribution. The version already in 
stable is fine because the version of the SSL library it needs is in 

Why then, you might ask, is the package in sid? Two reasons, I guess : 
one, the package maintainer is clearly engaged in an argument with 
_someone_ about what the right resolution is, but the package isn't 
regarded as evil and isn't being dropped from Debian altogether, on the 
assumption a resolution will eventually be found. Two, the required SSL 
library is in sid but blocked from making the transition to buster, and 
therefore this package cannot make the transition because not all its 
dependencies have.

So in summary this comes about because the package is not _currently_ in 
a state that could be released in a stable buster release, but an 
optimistic assumption that the problem will get solved eventually is 
being made. In the meantime, no claims are being made that buster is 
anywhere near ready for release, so things like this are to be expected.