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Debian Wheezy Now Has Less Than 100 Critical Bugs

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  • Debian Wheezy Now Has Less Than 100 Critical Bugs

    Phoronix: Debian Wheezy Now Has Less Than 100 Critical Bugs

    Debian 7.0 "Wheezy" is now under 100 release-critical bugs. The release of Debian Wheezy is now not too far out...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTMzMzA

  • #2
    I always found the Debian way to handle releases quite bizarre, and this time around it's no exception. Debian still tries to be "theoretically bug-free". This unnecessarily delays releases, sometimes for many months, without improving the overall product quality. Meanwhile, bugs are fixed upstream, but new versions are not incorporated. Instead, Debian tries to be more clever than the developers of a particular software, and picks various fixes, or includes custom modifications. Essentially, this often creates Debian-specific forks of many software packages.

    The OpenSSL debacle is a good example of why this is a bad idea.
    Last edited by brent; 03-21-2013, 08:55 PM.

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    • #3
      Stability.

      Bug fixing doesn't stop at the program. It also has to inter-opt with other programs and not cause further bugs. With this delay, it does improve the overall product quality.

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      • #4
        The installer is a big blocker too. In the past, from what I understand, the installer was more of a blocker than the bug count. Reading the mailing lists shows that Debian's Release Team considers the installer close to finished and don't expect it to be a blocker this go-round, though.

        So, no, it's not like a release of 40,000 packages is being held up by bugs in 96 of them. For now. We'll see what happens when the installer is declared release-ready. Then things will get interesting.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by brent View Post
          I always found the Debian way to handle releases quite bizarre, and this time around it's no exception. Debian still tries to be "theoretically bug-free".
          Debian is never bug free and never tries to be bug free... What's really bizarre is distros that ship software that crashes during normal usage by an end-user . That's what Debian is trying to avoid doing with their releases, and in addition to that they have a bunch of release goals for packaging and improving all the software in the distro. Not to mention, that Debian packages, by **FAR** more software than any other distro with a lot of devs stretching their time out to cover dozens or even hundreds of packages.


          Originally posted by brent View Post
          This unnecessarily delays releases, sometimes for many months, without improving the overall product quality.
          How does freezing the archive so that no new bugs can be introduced and making patches that fix application crashes not improve overall product quality? You need to explain your point because you haven't.


          Originally posted by brent View Post
          Meanwhile, bugs are fixed upstream, but new versions are not incorporated.
          The bug fixes are incorporated during the freeze if they're important bug fixes.

          Originally posted by brent View Post
          Instead, Debian tries to be more clever than the developers of a particular software, and picks various fixes, or includes custom modifications. Essentially, this often creates Debian-specific forks of many software packages.
          It's not a fork if the patches are accepted and used upstream.. So you're wrong.

          Originally posted by brent View Post
          The OpenSSL debacle is a good example of why this is a bad idea.
          Sooo... 99.999% of security exploits are caused by upstream and the 00.001% of the time that the distro packager makes a mistake, partially because a dev from upstream said "if it helps with debugging, I’m in favor..." You think that's enough of you to make an example out of? Fantastic.
          Last edited by Sidicas; 03-21-2013, 09:58 PM.

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          • #6
            Also wish to add: Debian has a lot of packages. It's a complicated distro to begin with, and the huge number of packages only makes it even more complicated. It's a lot easier for a minimalistic distro with only 15,000 packages (Arch Linux) to keep up-to-date with the latest upstream versions than it is for a maximalistic distro with over 40,000 packages to do the same. Debian has to try to be more clever than upstream, simply because there's more variables to the equation. Debian has shit to worry about that upstream does not.

            As for, "Why go the maximalist route?" Well, that's a question of preference. Some people prefer to set it up just the way they like it, and some people prefer to have someone else set it up for them. Debian is for the later.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Serge View Post
              As for, "Why go the maximalist route?" Well, that's a question of preference. Some people prefer to set it up just the way they like it, and some people prefer to have someone else set it up for them. Debian is for the later.
              IMO, I agree with the maximalist route because if end-users can't find the software they need in your distro's repos, they're going to be inconvenienced... They're going to go google it and of course the high paid websites end up on top (ex: The vlc malware website that bought it's way to a higher search ranking than the official videolan.org website and installed malware on countless PCs before it was shut down).

              Just wait until those malware websites repackage open source software along with malware and start shipping .tar.gz files .. It's going to be more fun than a barrel of monkeys.
              Last edited by Sidicas; 03-22-2013, 12:48 AM.

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              • #8
                /usr/ merge?

                No /usr/ merge?

                Boring that new fresh Wheezy will use old GNOME 3.4, KDE 4.8, and Xfce 4.8.

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                • #9
                  On the one hand, I'd like to have more recent software in Debian, too. Yet, on the other hand I wonder why this really matters. What real advantage does e.g. GNOME 3.6 have over GNOME 3.4? Maybe they use the old GNOME. Yet, when testing it, I was quite surprised as they pre installed different extensions which made GNOME more pleasant, e.g. the alternate button layout for log-off etc. And GNOME 3.4 seemed more stable than e.g. my GNOME 3.6 on Gentoo. The later tended to hang sometimes, so I had to kill gnome-shell in order to continue working. No such problem on wheezy. So even they use an elder GNOME version, the desktop seems more polished. And if you really want a more recent version of a package, there are always the backports.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by oleid View Post
                    On the one hand, I'd like to have more recent software in Debian, too. Yet, on the other hand I wonder why this really matters. What real advantage does e.g. GNOME 3.6 have over GNOME 3.4? Maybe they use the old GNOME. Yet, when testing it, I was quite surprised as they pre installed different extensions which made GNOME more pleasant, e.g. the alternate button layout for log-off etc. And GNOME 3.4 seemed more stable than e.g. my GNOME 3.6 on Gentoo. The later tended to hang sometimes, so I had to kill gnome-shell in order to continue working. No such problem on wheezy. So even they use an elder GNOME version, the desktop seems more polished. And if you really want a more recent version of a package, there are always the backports.
                    For certain packages it does matter.

                    Debian's testing, unstable and experimental repositories only carry Mesa 8 while virtually all other distributions are already on Mesa 9, and Mesa 9 is not even available in their backports. And that is just 1 example.

                    Those who prefer to compile their own software for the heck of it aren't going to be very pleased to work with older devel libraries and stuff. I remember that one time I could not even compile aMSN because Debian's copy were tcl and tk were too old to compile the latest aMSN sources.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by uid313 View Post
                      No /usr/ merge?

                      Boring that new fresh Wheezy will use old GNOME 3.4, KDE 4.8, and Xfce 4.8.
                      If you want KDE 4.9, it's in experimental-snapshots (qt-kde.debian.net). KDE 4.10 SC is currently being packaged at git.debian.org and will probably be in wheezy-backports. Also I think phoronix missed the news article about debian backports being merged into the official main repos.. Which means Debian *is* going to try to get something close to a rolling release going by backporting bleeding edge versions of software into Debian stable for people that want bleeding-edge versions of specific packages without having to pull in a ton of unstable libs to go with it.
                      Last edited by Sidicas; 03-22-2013, 08:02 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Sonadow View Post
                        For certain packages it does matter.

                        Debian's testing, unstable and experimental repositories only carry Mesa 8 while virtually all other distributions are already on Mesa 9, and Mesa 9 is not even available in their backports. And that is just 1 example.
                        Yea, I know.. Apparently the devs who work on X and Mesa also are on the Debian release team... When I contacted the Debian Mesa team because I had Mesa 9 compiling and was looking for suggestions on getting it packaged, they basically told me to wait until after Wheezy is released because they're all working on squashing Release Critical bugs in other software.

                        I think all the big Debian packages are collectively maintained, so it should be possible to join the team and push Mesa 9 packaging to the Debian's git repos, which are used as staging areas for packaging, in order to get it ready for wheezy-backports.. I'm still waiting for the approval to join the collab-maint team though , I guess the people who handle that are also busy squashing RC bugs in other software or working on other release related things..

                        Mesa 9 is absolutely critical if you're running Steam on open source drivers . It's also a PITA to compile for steam because you need a 32-bit Mesa 9 to go with the 32-bit Steam which means if you're amd64, you need to set up multi-arch and installing a lot of i386 dev packages just to get it compiled.. At least when you're done, you can run Steam with Mesa 9 and all your other apps can keep using Mesa 8.0.5 with the proven stability .
                        Last edited by Sidicas; 03-22-2013, 08:14 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Debian's testing, unstable and experimental repositories only carry Mesa 8 while virtually all other distributions are already on Mesa 9, and Mesa 9 is not even available in their backports. And that is just 1 example.
                          Yes, you're right when it comes to drivers.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by CthuIhux View Post
                            [...] it's draining tonnes of precious resources from the project.[...]
                            Would you elaborate that?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by oleid View Post
                              Yes, you're right when it comes to drivers.
                              The Mesa issue is the one issue that is really annoying for me at the moment (I run unstable at home).

                              For everything else, I don't see the big deal really. Debian stable is supposed to be stable, and it is. I use Squeeze (current stable) at work, and I haven't had a crash in over 2 years. With the exception of the Network Manager plasmoid for KDE which is flaky, no single app has crashed, nothing broke after an update, everything has been rock solid.

                              That's what I need on a work machine. It still has KDE 4.4, but it does the job, and it's stable stable stable. Latest Firefox is available through backports, most of the other stuff like GCC does not really need updating every month. I see what Debian are doing and I really appreciate it. I don't think that there is a more stable platform for serious work out there. Perhaps RHEL or SUSE EL, but I wouldn't bet on that either!

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